Cincinnati Enquirer work done between 1966 and 1978
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I was an unusual photojournalist. I considered it my job to cover the life and times of my city, not just crisis and tragedy. Peanut Jim, who sold bags of peanuts downtown for years was as important to me as a major fire or sports event.
Journalists try to be objective but they idolize one thing out of proportion to its importance. That's TODAY. The emphasis on TODAY belittles the importance yesterday and tomorrow. This makes it easy for shysters to dominate the news.
While at the Enquirer, I would drive into work on Westwood Northern Boulevard every morning, pretending I was Sir Galahad on a quest for truth in my community. If I found something, I secretly imagined I was an ancient hunter, returning to the campfire with a carcass on my shoulder. We would eat tonight.
If you haven't done it, you may think these musings are kooky. If you've been a daily photojournalist, you recognize the inner narrative a photojournalist needs to find meaning in the chaos of the day. Without this inner narrative, your camera is about as useful as a pea shooter.
Oh, there are dry spells, days or weeks when the muse eludes you. You find nothing significant, or your interpretations are bland. Every photojournalist has a bag of tricks to work out of a dry spell. I tried many. Some worked.