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How National Geographic Photography Worked 20 Years Ago

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by phigmov, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Editing is becoming a lost art :crying:

    Mike Johnston once wrote a column that went roughly:

    Film process - "I went to 100 garage sales over a year and shot 50 rolls of film. Here are the best 10 pictures"

    Digital process - "I went to 2 garage sales last weekend. Here are the best 100 pictures"

    So true.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    As a kid in the early '80s, I had a friend whose father was a photo editor at National Geographic. At the time it seemed the coolest job possible. Heck, today it still does.

    As an editor, he did about one shoot of his own per year, and being pretty senior he got to choose his assignments. He liked Italy, so he made a lot of trips to Italy.

    He was a Canon guy, and I think his primary camera was an AE-1, which I found sort of surprising, because that seemed kind of consumery to me. I thought all Serious Photographers had a Nikon F2 or F3.

    The thing that surprised me most was that an old bellows-front Polariod was part of his kit. He used it for test shots, I guess to see how the lighting was going to look on film. He didn't like the newfangled SX-70-style cameras, but he thought the old-style peel-apart-film Polariods worked well for this purpose. Maybe it also helped him keep track of what he shot while he was waiting to take his film to the lab.

    And this is way off topic, but remembering my friend's Dad's AE-1 brings to mind the TV ads for that camera that bombarded the airwaves when it first came out, which brings to mind this classic SNL fake ad:

    [ame="http://www.hulu.com/watch/124971/saturday-night-live-kannon-camera"]Hulu - Saturday Night Live: Kannon Camera@@AMEPARAM@@http://www.hulu.com/embed/3TfW_mEeYCf1m8lNuQq1qA@@AMEPARAM@@3TfW_mEeYCf1m8lNuQq1qA[/ame]
    • Like Like x 1
  4. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    On second thought, I think he shot with an A-1, not an AE-1, which would make sense given its more rugged construction.
  5. Do you mean F-1? The A-1 was a more advanced version of the AE-1 with full Program, Av and Tv modes, and a digital viewfinder display, but shared similar componentry and build including the mirror mechanism that now famously squeaks on so many of the remaining A-series models.
  6. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    Nah, it was definitely one of the automatic cameras, which I remember being surprised about. I'm pretty sure now it was the A-1, which Mr. M. found suited his needs best despite not being a "pro" body. He probably had an F-1 body, too, but I remember him raving about how nice the A-series cameras were.

    As a teenager who was buying into the hype about the newest high-end Nikon gear, it was a surprising -- and long-lasting -- lesson from someone with impeccable credentials (right there for everyone to see on the National Geographic masthead page every month).
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