Posts Tagged ‘Tim Page’
One day in 1992, Tim Page got in touch with Horst Faas. He had a bunch of photographs he wanted to show him.
Both men were veteran war photographers although, in other respects, they were radically different. Page, younger than Faas by a decade, had revelled in both the spiritual and pharmaceutical excesses of the 1960s. He had stumbled into picture-taking at the end of a crazily eventful road trip that ended in Laos when his funds ran out. He discovered more or less by accident that he had a knack for composing pictures when he picked up a camera. That knack led him to neighbouring Vietnam where he was fearless to the point of recklessness when following the troops. He was famously the model for the Dennis Hopper character in the film, Apocalypse Now. Exuberant and a little mad.
Faas belonged to a different generation. He was a child in Germany during the Second World War, had experienced bombing from the point of view of those on the ground looking up, and had acquired fortitude and survival skills of a high order. He served an apprenticeship in photography in Germany, tried a stint on London’s Fleet Street, and then was sent as a staff photographer with the Associated Press first to Algeria and then to the Congo. The African assignment was a bloody one. Faas thrived in it, however, snapping, among other notable pictures, the last known image of nationalist hero Patrice Lumumba before he was killed. Faas was subsequently dispatched to Laos and, from there, to Saigon, where he set up shop as the AP’s photo editor. He remained a fixture there for most of the war.
It was almost twenty years later that Page approached Faas with his sheaf of photographs. He was just back from a trip to Hanoi where he had purchased them for about a dollar apiece. The North Vietnamese, he said, were talking about their photographers and about the many who had lost their lives. Faas looked at the pictures, thought about it, and said, “Page, let’s do a book on the dead from the other side and from our side. But all of them, Vietnamese included.” And this was the origin of Requiem,* one of the most beautiful and moving collections of war photographs ever compiled. Read the rest of this entry »