Monday, December 30, 2013

Found Objects # 7: Photojournalism

Jennifer Warnes from Broadway after Hair, 1971, Aspen

As I wrote in Found Objects #2: Photos of Jackie, I was a neophyte journalist and not naturally talented with a camera. After graduation I was headed for a galvanizing experience in Aspen, where two newspapers were locked in trench warfare, so aptly described in Hunter S. Thompson's The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales From A Strange Time. 

I later wrote my experience during that time in a piece, From the Same Volcano as Hunter Thompson I recount a humiliating rookie experience fresh out of J-School.

I photographed car wrecks, rugby games, graduations, high school football games, rugby games and ladies’ wet t-shirt contests. Anything to stay away from reporting on the town's moronic politics.

One of the perks was meeting Dwight Hooker, the famed photographer of Playboy's double page spreads of the early 70s. I offered to be his guide to finding and interviewing girls for a series, Girls of Aspen. What I learned in a few days with Mr. Hooker could fill a library.

One of my first assignments for our paper was to photograph Jennifer Warnes fresh off the run of Hair, in which she starred.

Taken during interview with Jennifer Warnes.

Jane Dornacker
This singer was a much beloved entertainer in San Francisco's Castro District circa 1974. Being fans we got a ring side table to see her Leila and the Snakes in performance of "Don't Touch Me There", which she co-wrote for The Tubes.

A crowd favorite: "Don't Touch Me There."

The Boy and the Whale

I heard on the radio that a Blue Whale had washed up on the beach near Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco. We beat the crowds and I got this shot of a boy contemplating the whale. This photo was later published by Friends of the Earth in "Progress As If Survival Mattered". 1977.

Boy surveys a dead Blue Whale 

There are literally hundreds more slides waiting to be investigated. A box is no place for memories. 


1 comment:

  1. It sure looks like you have an inclination to live in a story from the movies: The storyteller as the story itself.

    I wonder how the whale was treated in 1977. In 1970, there was a misjudged effort to explode one that turned out to be a sorry mistake: