Just visited my old haunts at ABC TV, where the gracious editors let me peruse some of my old pics, and offered me a few scans to have for my archive. I was a staff photographer there during a tumultuous time. Made the first promo pictures of Ted Koppel as they launched Nightline in response to the Iranian hostage crisis. Ted might have had an inkling, but I sure had no idea as I made these in the control room that Nightline was going to go on to become a long running journalistic institution.
Obviously, I had no idea about the lighting, either. Flash hits galore above. I shot this with old potato masher flashes, powered by wet cell packs, with no modeling lights. I didn’t even know how to work a Polaroid, and was too nervous to ask. I just gutted my way to a flawed solution on chrome film using an old hand held meter and guesswork about how it might look. Ted was great to work with, though. A patient pro. Again, I think he knew, maybe along with Roone Arledge, the maestro who ran ABC News at the time, that they were onto something.
It was a busy time to be a photog. A presidential campaign occurred in the middle of the crisis, and I hit the road with Reagan. Below, a couple scans from the ABC archive.
And of course the requisite vertical, up close head shot. You never knew who might run a cover.
Reagan handily beat Jimmy Carter, so it was off to the inaugural, on January 20th, 1981. And the hostages were returned almost immediately after Reagan took the oath, and a parade happened 10 days later, on Broadway in NYC.
Thankfully, things remain busy, though I no longer chase candidates. These are fun to look at though, back at a time when I was knocking about with F2 cameras and transparency film. We’ve come a long way!