One of the cool things about shooting for Nikon a bit of late has been hanging with my Italian and Jewish brothers, Mike Corrado and Lindsay Silverman. Among the three of us, we must have about eighty years of camera experience. (They would immediately assure you right now that they each have ten of those and the remaining sixty belong to me.) We collectively survived the acetate era, and arrived intact in the age of digital. Intact physically, anyway. Mentally, the three of us are a few pixels short of a full frame chip, if you know what I mean.
I love going on location with Corrado. His presence insures that virtually every activity will be in some measure inappropriate, yet somehow productive. He’s also a good stand in for, uh, the talent, while you’re testing, what with all of his roguish good looks and magnetic personality.
Lindsay, as I always say, has forgotten more about flash than I’ll ever know. He’s the conduit for information back to the engineer dudes about what is happening out in the field, and what we need to happen with future flash technology. My emails to him always start with, “Dear Obi-Wan…” And I report back as a not-so-young Jedi about my misadventures and lunatic impulses regarding light. He is a wise and knowing counselor, which is why I did his portrait thusly.
The above is cropped to a square, because Lindsay showed up at the studio wearing a perfectly ridiculous pair of shorts. I recall asking him if he always showed up to have his picture taken while still wearing his pajamas. I wanted to put a backlight into the above frame, but we were laughing too hard to continue to work. Plus, if I used a backlight for Lindsay it might once and for all prove that he’s actually a computer generated hologram, and indeed, not of this earth.
The two of them together are trouble. I was teaching once, and standing in front of a class (that happened to include the former managing editor of the National Geographic) when Lindsay, who was helping out with the instruction, got a call from Corrado, who promised to pay him $20 to immediately go up behind me and grab my ass. Which he did. While I was lecturing. The class was somewhat nonplussed, but, as I recall, I gamely just continued to teach as if nothing ever happened. I think they just wrote it off as a some sort of welcoming gesture culturally unique to the photographic industry. Sure enough, by the end of the workshop, all the participants were greeting each other in this fashion.
I do know this, however. I have learned much from both of them, both as a shooter and a person. They are enormously talented, and dedicated to helping photographers climb the ever steepening mountain we face every day. (The both are terrific shooters in their own right.) They push themselves at the office and in the field, and work crazy hours to make sure numnuts shooters like myself can figure out which way to point the pixels.
And, they’re family. We’re like three crazy siblings mom just gave up watching a long time ago. It’s a good thing all of us found photography to funnel our antic energy into, or all three of us would have ended up as wards of the state. What can I say? When my photo instructor told me in 1973 to buy a Nikkormat camera with a fifty mil lens (“a poor man’s F2,” is how he described it) little did I know that shooting these cameras would lead me to find a couple of brothers I never had.