Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beat photographer

Dorothea Lange quotes, Photographs of a Lifetime
"You force yourself onto strange streets, among strangers.
It may be very hot. It may be painfully cold.
It may be sandy and windy and you say, "What am I doing here? What drives me to do this hard thing?"
   ~ Dorothea Lange

Lately, I have been harping on the lack of photos of "me" in photos, read end of a recent post where I vowed to be in front of the camera more often, and why you should too. While going through my many negatives and slides taken on assignments I found the below photo, taken in some distant place in Thailand. It may have been an outpost or a refugee camp. I always had guides in other countries, and the whirlwinds of my assignments took precedence over geography, something I never excelled in.  I still get lost in my town comprised of around  3000 people. 

I recently posted one of the few photos of myself taken on assignment in Bangladesh. I seldom had time to be on the other end of the camera, and I was not being paid to take travel photos of myself. Actually, I had just arrived and was relaxing at wherever I was staying, looking quite refreshed. This is how I really looked after a day on a 2-3 week assignment. I remember how pooped I used to get - the days were long - carrying around all my gear  that included 3 Nikon FE-2s (at least in the old days), assorted lenses, flashes, cables, other essentials, and as much film as I could squeeze into my bag. I traveled with 200-300 rolls of film, leaving what I could do without back at the hotel,  restocking when I returned, and sometimes packing my tripod. Many times I was away from the hotel for 3-4 days, depending on how far I had to travel and what I had to shoot. While on the road I stayed in some crazy places from tents to shanties.

So here I am in all my glory, the tired, pooped-out photographer who like Dorethea Lange always wondered, "What drove me to do this hard thing?" Of course the answer is, it's in the blood, and returning to a Third World country or war zone is always on my mind.

Illustrated photo:

1 comment:

Bagman and Butler said...

Thanks for putting in the explantory comments! Wonderful picture.