Thursday, July 12, 2007

Flag Day In An Ever Changing World

photo (c) 2007 Nuri Vallbona, Miami Herald Staff

A lot of things have changed in the nearly forty years since I used to cover these events for the City of North Miami and the Herald would run the pictures, or for a few years, I worked for the paper directly. I only knew two female pro photographers back then. One did advertising photos in her home studio and the other worked as a stringer for the Miami News because nobody would consider having a girl photographer on staff back then. It was an era of film cameras, and most everything was shot in black and white using Nikons and Leicas. Nobody even imagined digital.

I introduced myself to Nuri Vallbona. She recognized my Leicas, but she'd cut her teeth on digital. Those huge zoom lenses she had on a brace of Canon DSLR bodies probably weighed more than my usual kit of three Leicas and a few lenses. I wondered how she could even maintain her balance with all that weight sticking out in front of her like that. We chatted a bit about the way it was and the way it is.

I was just shooting for fun so I'd brought my light little Bessa L with the ultra-wide 15mm Voigtlander Heliar lens. I wanted to get some photos showing Nuri in action, and I noticed a few times that she was aimed over in my direction.

The next morning, before I'd even left the house, I started getting calls: "Nice shot of you in the Herald this morning!" I got the same greeting at the 7/11 as I bought a paper, and more of the same at the Post Office and at Starbucks. Everybody around here seems familiar with my one handed shooting style. Nobody needed to see my face. The just KNEW that it was me.

The bottom photograph shows Nuri in about the same place where she was when she shot the picture. Her photo and mine were exposed within a couple of minutes, perhaps even seconds, of one another. Nuri, I love the shot! Thanks.

The scan was made off of the newspaper page. That's why it's not exactly crisp looking compared to my shots, which were scanned directly from the color negatives.

(Note: I'm using her copyright photo under the "fair use" provision of the copyright act because in concert with my photo it's educational and I'm receiving no financial benefit from using it.)


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