Tuesday, January 19, 2016

shooting the news

Since no one could possibly need to see another view from my desk - at least, not until the seasons change - you might as well see what's on it.  I'm back to the news photography and flash chapter - one that has a whole section about crime photography in the middle, which means that I've spent much too much time today looking at perfectly grisly pictures of dead men and occasional dead women.  Or as Weegee put it with typical laconicism: it's easy enough to take a picture of a corpse, because they don't get up and move.  Floherty throws together a lot of anecdotes about news photographers - both newsreel shooters and still photographers: given how much space he grants the former, I love the fact that, nonetheless, the publishers chose to illustrate the profession with a flash gun.  He has some good turns of phrase - I like the comment that the flashbulbs going off from myriad of newsmen covering the Lindbergh was like the flickering of fireflies on a summer evening: this is one of the first similes that I've found about flash bulbs - as opposed to smelly explosive flash powder - since they were introduced around 1930.  But startling, too, was a description of the combusting Hindenburg airship - in 1937 - like one great flash explosion, allowing photographers to shoot images of its fiery fate by the light that it itself emanated.

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