I remember graduating at a place called Scarborough High School, which is up near the Tappan Zee Bridge. I remember for my graduation present my parents gave me a Nikon FTN, and that was really the beginning of my serious photography. Then I started to sort of emulate Magnum photographers.1 I mean at that time in history, in photographic history, I mean what we might call great art photography was great Magnum photography. I mean the height of photography was — the type of work that was being done in Magnum, there was no photographer who would call themselves an artist by any means. They were a good photographer, a concerned photographer. The best photographers — the photographers who were making the statements that had the most impact on the world were mostly people who came out of Magnum.

 

It wasn’t people from France in the 30s or this sort of thing. It was people who were doing this strong social documentary work at the time. That was the height of the photography business. There were a lot more magazines and a lot more newspapers, and TV wasn’t so pervasive. So, there was space for that type of work. But yeah, I remember clearly towards the late 60s, early 70s, their business started to diminish quite substantially because of the — a lot of the newspapers started to go out of business, and TV started to play a huge role in people’s — these were good times. So, I think Magnum sort of reached its peak sometimes in the 60s, and then after that I think maybe even to this day, sort of gradually petered out in the importance in the photographic business.

  1. Raghu Rai []
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