There are photographers and photographers….some take a few shots every other day, some only take out their camera on special occasions whereas some take shots of everything and anything, hoping for that jewel in the mud-slicks.
Recently, my friends and I were gathered at our favorite hiding-hole, the Smile diner in downtown VanCity. As usual, we got yapping about various things…. life, money, cars, cameras, gadgets, ladies, high heels, RED high heels…ahem…and other such allied things!
Amongst the topics someone came up with the name Arthur Fields…a guy who hailed from Ireland.
Arthur loved photography, just like you and me and everybody else, but aside of loving it, he also made his living out of it…in a very unique way.
This man stood on the same bridge in Dublin, day in, day out….not for 1 month, not for 2 months, not even for 6 months….he stood on that bridge for 50 years non-stop, 365 days a year, taking shots of people walking by. A herculean effort, in anybody’s books.
Arthur’s technique was to photograph absolutely everybody and anybody, giving those interested a card with a unique number on it, which they could take to a studio down the street and purchase that photo some time later.
Initially he used film cameras (from the photos, it looks like he used a Contax rangefinder), but later when Polaroid came on the scene, he adopted that, together with a new selling catchphrase “Give it to you now!”.
Arthur was the son of a Ukranian refugee, and his real name was Arthur Feldman, which he changed as soon as arrived in Ireland.
His sons estimated that he took more than 180,000 shots in his life, and those shots must be in the hands of thousands and thousands of people, possibly in Ireland or even all over the world, wherever they may have moved to.
Whatever, I have never, ever come across a guy as determined and forthright as Arthur. I certainly could never hope to emulate him, and I’m pretty sure nobody else could either these days!
all photos courtesy flickr.com