Photography

A Milestone Made Out of Nikkor Glass

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Digital Digicam World busted out this week with information of a manufacturing milestone simply reached by Nikon. 120 million lenses produced. I can see why. Terrific glass, mounted on extremely sturdy excessive efficiency cameras. So, why am I exhibiting you an image of a silver haired gentleman handing Richard Nixon a e-book on Park Avenue in NYC?

Forgive me, I’ve written of this earlier than. However in these tumultuous occasions, with thousands and thousands of images flooding our eyes, and a madding, uneven, sometimes gifted horde of content material suppliers, influencers, and creators clicking voluminously with livid abandon, I believed a point out of the ability of a single, observant, quintessentially hard-nosed skilled photographer could be intriguing.

On the suitable is David Douglas Duncan, a formidable LIFE journal employees photographer, presenting Richard Nixon, a battle buddy from their days within the Marines, along with his newest e-book on Picasso. Duncan was a fight photographer within the Marine Corps, and after the battle joined the employees of LIFE. Later in his profession he grew to become an intimate pal of Picasso, and shot many books of the famed artist.

After the battle, stationed in Tokyo, Duncan’s pal Jun Miki insisted that he go to the Nippon Kogaku plant to check out their lenses. Impressed with the sharpness, he took them into the entrance strains of the Korean Warfare. (As David all the time mentioned, “As soon as a Marine, all the time a Marine.”) Thought of by many to be probably the most vital photojournalist of the Korean Warfare, Duncan’s photos had been so crisp, his editors at LIFE in NY thought he could be utilizing a plate digicam. When the remainder of the LIFE employees obtained discover of how good the lenses had been, they wished in. And this small, comparatively unknown lens producer was on the street to turning into the worldwide model recognized now as Nikon.

I shot the image above for UPI, and it ran web page one. (Gradual information day.) A pair days later, the telephone rang in my tiny NY condo. “Joe, it’s Dave Duncan, and that was a helluva good picture you took the opposite day. Can I get a print?”

I virtually dropped the telephone. I had studied his work in class. I stammered out a “sure” and made him a print. Dropped it on the Time Life lab for him to choose up. Didn’t signal it. It was 1978, and I used to be a child. I didn’t assume something about copyright, possession, worth. I used to be simply tickled to be capturing photos in NYC.

A few years later, as Nikon approached it’s one hundredth Anniversary, I used to be despatched to Castellaras, the place Duncan lived along with his spouse Sheila. We did video interviews, and I shot portraits of this splendidly gifted man, considered one of my picture heroes.

After a bit, he mentioned, “Joe, include me.” We went into his studio and he rifled by means of some stacks of images and papers. And turned to me with the print I had made him almost forty years earlier. He checked out me and mentioned, “It’s time you signed it for me.”

One gifted photographer. 120 million Nikkor lenses later.

Extra tk….

The submit A Milestone Made Out of Nikkor Glass appeared first on Joe McNally Images.

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