Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 2 2014: My sister Lucy in Australia—and photography

To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.

Elliott Erwitt

I have long admired Elliot’s work and finally got to meet him through my first editor, Rose Marie Morse. They had once been an item. Small world. Great people. Fantastic photographer—one of the Magnum Photos greats.

Magnum is a photographic cooperative founded by such greats as Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris in 1947.

Elliott introduced me to Murray Sayle who, at the time was living in Japan. Meeting and becoming friends with Murray, the kind of classic war correspondent and thinker you couldn’t invent, was one of the great experiences of my life.  What a man—and what a lovely family! Sadly he died not so long ago.

This is my sister Lucy—the beautiful mother of five attractive and talented children, the youngest of my siblings, now the matriarch of the family—and a talented photographer.

Does she have any vices? None of any significance that I know of. She is a credit to the family—and I am vastly proud of her.

I think this photo was taken by my sister, Hermione, when Lucy was visiting her in Australia last year. It’s a great shot, which shows the setting to great advantage, but leaves Lucy’s face in shadow. Is that something I can remedy with software? I have no expertise in this area but feel compelled to tray. Lucy looks at least a decade younger than her age—and should, I feel—be shown off to best advantage.

I’ve been seeing a lot of faces in shadow recently—they are one of the curses of automatic exposure meters—and truly regrettable. Sometimes, there is something to be said for separate meters and the manual approach. That said, would I go back to my expensive, but heavy, Nikon? Probably not.

Still, I loved my Nikon and took some great pictures with it. It was a commendably tough camera. On once occasion, when doing a story on the French Foreign Legion in Corsica, it got jolted out of my hands after the military truck I was in hit a bump—such trucks aren’t strong on suspension comfort and we were up in the mountains near Clavi—and the camera flew from my hands and crashed to the metal truck-bed. In short, I didn’t just drop it. I practically flung it—albeit unintentionally.

I was appalled. It had to be broken. Not a bit of it. The body was scraped, but the camera itself worked on like a dream.

There are good reasons why so many professionals opt for Nikon. The things work regardless—and Nikon lenses are magnificent.

The trick with a camera—as with a weapon (or any tool, I suppose)—is to know it so well, you don’t have to think when you use it. I got that way with my Nikon.

Writing is what I do, and it is a demanding discipline—but I have a yen to get back to photography again—if only for the occasional foray.

Not an impossible dream.

Yes, it was, of course, a Nikon F.


No comments:

Post a Comment