I’m starting a series of iconic images in my life and will continue for a few weeks in my posts. This blonde headed kid is one of my first street photography images. It was taken back in the ‘70’s. I’m kind of shy, really! So it’s not my first inclination to put my camera into someone’s face and shoot. We were at a street fair and this kid just presented himself, isolated in the crowd, just him and me. He’s got to be in his forties now. I wonder what he’s doing. This was one of the earliest street images for me. The other great source of images was New York City’s street fairs, which were just beginning in the ‘70’s. Nowadays there’s a street fair every weekend and most times in multiple locations. Back then, it was a local merchants fair. But, London was among my earliest experiences.
Well, here’s a rare photo of my childhood. As much a photographer as I am now is probably because my family had a laissez faire attitude about pictures from my youth. Or, it’s too emotional for me to go back and look for the old snapshots. There are some formal baby pictures but mostly we have very few photos from that time. We had an Argus C3 (see next post). And my first camera, now long lost, was a Kodak Instamatic 100. It shot 126 size cartridge film and had no settings and a rudimentary flash. At least I think it had a flash. Nonetheless it was my first camera purchased shortly after we moved back to NY from West Virginia. I had purchased it with my mother in Astoria on Ditmars Boulevard. Somehow the Kodak advertising had appealed to me through the Walt Disney TV show. I first used it at the World’s Fair 1964 to 1966. As it turns out my wife lived in Flushing a few blocks from the house that I lived before my family moved to West Virginia. She used to beg her parents to go to the Fair, and only rarely got to attend. My first real camera was an Exakta around 1971. After that I finally got a Nikon Ftn and the rest, as they say is history.
Sometimes you don’t have the traditional monkey handy and available. Maybe the monkey had the day off. Wally and Smartie, are street performers, from the London street fair scene many years ago. Who was who? You don’t see folks much like that in New York. But then we have our own characters.
What do you say? – ‘A One Man Band!’ There is a lot to criticize about this photo and then there is the simple snapshot of it all. It was another photo from the London street scene. Johnny was there to earn a living and I sure hope he was successful. More than 30 years ago, I wish him well.
This is another outtake of photos from London street fairs. I had my favorite among my very early posts. (9/14/11) Here the color of the old slide has given a certain patina that my daughter recognizes on sight. Kids riding on Dad’s shoulders are easy targets. They are relatively immobile and they have an excellent uncluttered background.
In my early years with much less technical expertise, I shot a series of early street shots when I visited London. It should probably be in photocriticism.com my other blog. Notice the two monkeys, one parrot, and the smiling face. Of course you did, didn’t you? Maybe it’s not a great shot. But it did catch my eye and made me set it aside when editing recently.
London, England. It was a long time ago. This kid is an adult with a beard and perhaps balding. But, who would disagree that this was an adorable child. I took this at a street fair completely random. It has remained a favorite of mine. Just another grab shot as they say.