You can see such goddamn great stuff. All it takes is to go outside.
Last October, I was on a working gig in South Africa. My friend Steve and I were able to visit Soweto but we could only spend a few hours there because of our schedule. Soweto is an amazing organic sprawl, a self-contained megalopolis of corrugated metal and dirt. The line between documentation and exploitation is very fine and as rich as the imagery was there, I chose to take only a few photos. I was able to speak enough Zulu to make people laugh at me which helped break the ice, but many spoke English or Afrikaans so it was easy enough to communicate.
Steve and I had a great lunch there, in one of the upscale neighborhoods in the hills: oxtail soup and pap. I can still remember sitting there looking at the empty bowl, clutching the spoon, wishing for just one more scoop.
I met Cheryl on the set of a movie when we were both extras. I have only photographed her once before, several years ago in LA, and the camera absolutely loves her. We were both surprised to find out that the other had recently moved to New York. This photo was taken with my Nikon F5, the great 85mm f1.4 lens, and Tri-X. I do not remember where she bought her glasses, but she only paid a few bucks for them.
After four days at Phoenix International Raceway for the fall NASCAR race in October 2008, John Z. decided to shower on our last morning there. Only fools would bother with the showers that were a hundred yards away.
I was killing time a few weeks ago in the West Village, waiting to meet a friend for a late brunch at Philip Marie. I stood up from my park bench and my shiny, unblemished chrome Leica M6 .TTL 0.58 and the similarly pristine chrome 35 summicron lens attached to the body, fell out of my Domke bag and tumbled towards the pavement. Thinking quickly, I stuck my foot out to cushion the fall of my precious, shiny Leica.
I flicked my foot out so quickly that I managed to catch the M6 on my shoe, only to kick it an additional three feet or so in the air. The sound of a Leica, with all of its heavy soft brass, hitting concrete is one of the most expensive sounds I have ever heard.
When I picked up the dinged and now thickly focusing lens, I noticed that a frame had been exposed. The photo my left foot took is below:
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