I take the train into the city and flip through photo books I can’t afford to buy. A typical rainy afternoon. I find a copy of Josef Koudelka’s book with beautiful black and and white panoramas and I remember a story that I had read by photographer David Hurn.
“I first met, josef in 1970. Elliot Erwitt brought him to my flat in Bayswater, London. My initial impression was of a huge grin on which was superimposed a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles. Elliott suggested that Josef should stay in my flat – affectionately known as the ‘doss house’ by the many itinerant photographers who had stayed there – for a few days, while he developed some film. My memory is that the ‘few films’ were actually 800 rolls and that he used the abode as his base camp for the next 9 years.”
I can only imagine the comraderie, the time spent in the darkroom, the pondering over contact sheets, the smell of chemicals in the air.
I would love to say “those were the good old days” but in reality I wasn’t around then, and these days we sit alone in front of computer screens. I’d like to think that the comraderie still exists, the comments left, the words of encouragement, or maybe it’s just the effect of a rainy day.
Here’s a cool little Koudelka Clip