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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Comments

Before I traveled to Barcelona many years ago, I contacted a Leica user who lives there. We met up at Cafe Zurich facing La Rambla. I just followed him. We talked, we shot pictures, he opened doors and opportunities; he said a few words in Catalan to various people and I could shoot to my heart's content.

Then we stopped for lunch - typical Catalan meal in a family style restaurant - and I ate to my heart's content.

Yes, access is everything.

Mike,
It happened to this German photographer who lived in Manaus. Practically all the photographs of the "golden age" of rubber, when Manaus was considered to be "The Paris of the Jungles" were taken by him. Governors, presidents, scientists and even Theodore Roosevelt in his passage there, already very sick, were registered by this forgotten photographer, rescued from oblivion in this book (there is a french edition):

https://www.amazon.com.br/George-Huebner-1862-1935-Fot%C3%B3grafo-Manaus/dp/8585371552

I recall reading an anecdote in a book by a photographer / educator of his encounter with a student. “What should I photograph?”, asked the student. “What can you photograph?”, he replied.

I’m sorry to admit I don’t recall the author’s name but it could probably be many people.

Personally I’ve never been that hung-up on “access” because I’ve never been a hound for documentary work. I’ve found myself far more enchanted by photography of what is thought than of what is seen. Passes, permits and expensive travel arrangements are not needed for that.

[That's a quote by Steve Szabo and you read it here! He was one of my teachers. --Mike]

Mike, I agree that there were so many comments that explored all sorts of types of access that I read all of them, one after another.

What a treat that was!

I once thought I was going to be a news photographer, but after a dead end as an engineer and finally switching majors (and seeing my grades greatly improve), I was tired of college and took a break -- which has lasted until today.

I would have had to get a new job after all the newspapers cut jobs, so in the long run it didn't really matter -- except that it would have been much more interesting that what I ended up doing.

I enjoyed working for the university newspaper and even got to take photos of Jesse Jackson when he made a campaign stop in Akron. The secret service had to examine all of my lenses before I was let inside the auditorium.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, also made a stop. She was a tough subject. I took three rolls of Tri-X in order to get a good facial expression.

What job besides a newspaper reporter or photographer would you have something different to do every day?

I went along with a photographer at the local paper and saw how the photographers were considered "second class citizens" compared to the reporters.

The lady photographer who I followed that day is now an instructor at Kent State. Yes, that Kent State.

I would have liked to have switched to Kent State for the photojournalism program, but at that time you couldn't carry your class credits to a different college. Now you can, but you sure can't pay for a semester's tuition with your summer job earnings!

So, I'll be an amateur and enjoy it as long as I can.

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