Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/07/12

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Subject: [Leica] RE: Another Door Closed to Photography
From: tedgrant at (Ted Grant)
Date: Sat Jul 12 16:52:38 2008

It's too bad I can't find a story I wrote for one of the upcoming books of
shooting on the "wild side!" :-) And I could just block, copy, post! During
the 60's. Oh I'm so organized as you know, but it'll turn up one of these
days. :-)

But to offer a tiny bit of what it was like I'll try to give you an idea of
a few of the assignment photo projects I worked on without a piece of paper
in my pocket confirming whom I was shooting for. If there ever was a
question my answer was simple. "Please phone this number in Ottawa and it
will be confirmed. Thank you!" Truth as I type this. no one ever called, but
took me at my word! That's when the world of photo-realism and believing
people was at its best.


Chinatown, Vancouver BC Canada. two weeks average 18 hours a day shooting
everything possible day after day and not one questioning comment. No
threats, no negativism at all!

Hundreds of rolls of film. The Courts, hospitals, stores, street after
street of people  and never a negative look nor word.

Steel mill: Hamilton Ontario Canada. Walked in talked to the Public
information office. this is who I am and this is what I'd like to do. "OK
Mr. Grant we'll do a walk around with you so you know where to go and we'll
assign a mill attendant for safety, but the place is yours! Would it be
possible to get a few snaps later?"  Obviously the answer was always. "For

A documentary on the automotive industry of Canada. a two month assignment:
Ford, GM, Chrysler the whole works, plant after plant. Same open space the
place is yours! Never a question nor complaint!

Some of my first medical documentary assignments: . open hospitals without
any problems. Not one single piece of paper or negative questioning. It was
always positive. Damn it was such a beautiful simple caring society of

Laser weapon development. UK

No problem. However in this case there was some diplomatic organizing, but I
had the run of the place for a couple of weeks.

Off shore oil exploration and in the far northwest Yukon areas of Canada. No
releases, no "you can't go here or do that or show this!" Two months day
after day everything that went on and not one person said no, because it was
a documentary of their work and lives as rough necks in the Oil Patch! Or
off shore exploration from ships.

It was truly a time like no other when people trusted each other and 

to be a photojournalist documenting the lives in almost every imaginable
avenue of life was incredible.

The documentaries of subjects housed in the collection of my 280,000 images
held in the National Archive vaults of Canada is an amazing collection that
today would be extremely hard to repeat, if at all possible. 

It's a shame the trust has been lost due to probably many factions of
society to blame any one situation. 

But it is a shame as the societies of the future are the losers and that is
a shame.

This merely touches a few photo projects and I trust it gives you a slight
look through the window of time at a world when it was simple, honest and
caring. A beautiful time to be a photojournalist. God I loved it so!! 










Replies: Reply from imagist3 at (Lottermoser George) ([Leica] RE: Another Door Closed to Photography)
In reply to: Message from imagist3 at (Lottermoser George) ([Leica] RE: Another Door Closed to Photography)