The History of Photography: 2001

by Matthew Cole
2000 The 2000s 2002

Work with Seasoned Professionals
Work With Seasoned Professionals: Is it just me, or do the aircrew today seem really young? Here Henry & Geneva take the controls of a United 727 on the ramp at O'Hare. Their granddad flew 727s for American and United Flight 1944 to Chicago was one of the venerable and soon-to-be-retired Boeings. We waited until most people were off and the crew were happy to have the kids stop in to visit. It's handy having charming polite children at times like this. This was September 2, just over a week before the terrorist attacks on the East Coast. The First Officer said the 727s would be used for another year and a half; in fact, United retired them all by November 1 and American by April 30 the following year. O'Hare Airport, Chicago, September 2001. Nikon FE, 20mm f/2.8, Vivitar 283, Kodak E100S

The highlight of the year was our trip to Britain for an aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. The Anniversary was September 15; we flew September 2 and were there when the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked by Arab terrorists. Photographically, I took the Nikon FE instead of the Contax because I have the 20mm for the Nikon already and it's such a handy lens for things like airplane cockpits and large groups of people. I also took the Mamiya 6 for group shots and because I like the camera so much. I was happily using some black and white in the Mamiya in Shrewsbury on September 11 when we saw a newspaper seller with the "Jet Airliner Hits Skyscraper" headline scrawled on the front of his kiosk. Without making inquiries I figured that a 707 had probably clobbered a building in Lagos or Seoul or Lima, crashes like that happen more than you'd think. We only discovered what had happened at tea time in a pub in Corwen several hours later, by which time the World Trade Center towers had collapsed, the Pentagon had been hit, the fourth plane had crashed in Pennsylvania, U.S. airspace had been closed down and trans-Atlantic flights had been diverted and cancelled until further notice. Although I had plenty of people to stay with if our return were delayed and we had a week left to run on the trip anyway, there was an odd feeling of isolation knowing that, for the moment, there was no way home.

We finished out the trip and got home with less hassle than people who were stranded domestically in the U.S. We came home on the flight we were scheduled for and, travelling with my father, who had limited mobility prior to his knee surgery, had a wheelchair passenger which got us through check-in and other lines very quickly. The plane was packed from London to Chicago, partly a result of several days' cancelled flights; once back in the U.S., both the O'Hare and Minneapolis-Saint Paul airports were eerily empty for a weeknight.

So how do you write smart-alec photo hints against that background? There's evil afoot, some people don't like us and will kill us if they can. Well, life goes on. The kids keep growing, the cat needs shots, the yard has to be mowed, there's Girl Scouts and cello lessons, church choir and football season, and I still like photography. We had a marvelous time in Britain even if half the trip was against the backdrop of an unsettled international situation.

More Photo Hints from 2001

Your Composition should work on many levels
Photo Composition should work on many levels: Let's see, there's the mother of my children in front of a Dali statue of a woman with an egg in her belly while behind is the BA London Eye with 32 egg-shaped pods in a circle and I don't even want to speculate on the contrail's significance. Nikon FE, 20mm, Kodak E100S or E100SW
The Subtle Use of ColourEquipment
The Subtle Use of Colour: The subtle use of colour can be effective in many cases. Actually, this brings up a real parenting tip; when you have the offspring in crowds or foreign lands, dress them in orange shirts (like Henry's t-shirt, under the understated sweater). Nobody wears orange voluntarily, the kids'll stick out. Red hair helps, too. Isle of Wight Ferry, Lymington, September 2001, Nikon FE, 50mm f/1.8 lens, Kodak E100S or SW
Use Appropriate Equipment
Use Appropriate Equipment: Your equipment should be a virtual extension of your body, fit like a glove, operate as if connected directly to your consciousness. Or something like that. We didn't hire a Mini; we actually got a VW Passat which was quite fun. It's notable that the new Mini, by BMW, is two feet longer than this original one. Carrisbrook Castle, Isle of Wight, September 2001, Nikon FE, 28mm f/3.5 lens, Kodak E100S or SW
Mess Around in Boats
Mess Around in Boats: No vacation is complete without a boat ride, I always say, and here is Geneva up on the fo'c's'le while deckhand Henry holds onto the line as we wait for the lock to empty. I took my Domke bag with me and got it permanently stained on this trip to Red Wing and back. Lock and Dam No. 2, Mississippi River near Hastings Minnesota, July 2001. Nikon FE, 20mm lens, Kodak E100SW

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