“Class I” Image: The only thing wrong with it, is that I didn’t do it.
When encountering a Class I image, my usual initial response is wondering how this came to be. Besides the equipment utilized: (in my case, pre-digital) Leicaflex SL-2 with 5 lenses along with Gitzo tripod (currently, Canon G-11, occasional use of compact carbon-fiber Gitzo tripod), and how carried: Rhodesian Ammo Vest (pre-digital), what was the context, working conditions, environment, and set-up that resulted in a given image. How was the photographer able to make this happen; i.e. what is the story behind the image.
Over the years, as my wife and I traveled to various places to photograph and I was busily involved with my subject, June has on numerous occasions documented my endeavors. No great art, but interesting by way of background and providing some insight never-the-less.
Since I believe that Photography, more than the other arts, requires improvisation, one must be ready at all times to use whatever materials at hand to accomplish one’s goal. So back in the day (pre-digital, no image stabilization) when I still had pretensions of being a “Serious Photographer”, the use of a tripod was always part of my S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure). In the case of “Kahili Ginger,” for example, we were all packed-up and heading for the airport when I spotted my potential subject along a steep bank: I could get up to it okay, but positioning my tripod was a bitch until I hauled out our suitcases to serve as a tripod support.
Seems to me this would be a great subject for a book: the set-up on one page along with the resultant image on the facing page. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen such a thing, but I’ll bet a lot of photography-types would be interested.
More from Warren Krupsaw
Warren Krupsaw, a one-time student (and house guest) of Ansel Adams is a nature photographer concentrating on landscape & detail. After participating in the first year of a new graduate program in Photography at M.I.T. with Minor White, he earned his M.F.A. in Photography under Harry Callahan at the R.I.S.D. in 1968.
Book: Portraits of Passion and Other Dalliances