Henry was a press photographer in the ’80s. He insisted he knew my name back then and I insisted he didn’t. In the mid-’80’s I had taken my first steps into the photo world and was extremely low in the ranks; in army terms, a Private. So I’m almost certain that at the time there weren’t any bylines bearing my name for Henry to notice.

I spent two days in his company at his home in Calvinia and wondered how does someone who had a career like his walk away from it? There was no hint of regret, sadness or even bitterness; it was just something he did in the past and now doesn’t.

A Nikon F was standing bolted to a tripod in a corner. The weapon of choice for the press corps back then; a heavy beast that withstood anything worldly events threw in it’s path. Looking at it in that dusky room; forlorn and gathering dust and appearing a lot smaller than I remember, I thought of a declawed lion if one can imagine what a declawed lion would look like.

Being a photographer is akin to belonging to a large family, at times it feels like the mafia, once you are in there is no escape. Henry found the way out.

Calvinia, 2020.

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