Monday, August 1, 2011

The Human side of the Photograph.

Mountain fest 2011. Morgantown, WV.

As I have travelled all around this fine country, Tramping from one rally to another. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the greatest people on planet Earth. Each one an individual and each with an extreme story to tell.
Michael Lichter is a photographer. We have all seen his pictures in magazines and other print media. Hell, The man has been working his craft for 30 plus years. I had the pleasure of being in Sturgis last year when he was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the industry. The mans body of work is in my humble opinion the greatest in the industry. I can spend a large amount of time looking at his work and picking out all the little suttle elements that make up the photo's. I have often thought about a picture of his and wondered what the story was that went with the picture.
In the last year Michael and I have gotten to know each other a bit more. Daytona  BikeWeek 2011 he rode backwards on my motorcycle shooting photo's of a group of custom bikes out on a ride. In Arizona, He make the trip from Phoenix  north to the mountains to shoot an event that I was involved with called Choppertown Camparound. In all this time he was working and I never took the time to ask about the stories behind the pictures.
Mountain fest. Michael had set up about 60 of his pictures in the air conditioned pavilion and he and his lovely wife were there answering questions and selling books of his work. Now understand this was not a photo album on a table. This was a full blown art exhibit with each photo framed with special lighting.  I had the High honor to be with a small group of 4 or 5 people that Michael took from photo to photo. He would explain in great detail about the where's and the when's of the picture. He was very involved with communicating to us about how it came to be and the elements of that picture that struck him.  This man took the time with us to answer all of our questions. He would take us to the time and emotion that was depicted in each shot. After we had reached the last photo, we all thanked him because it was such a High Honor to spend that time learning about all that his art is. As I turned to thank his lovely wife and talk a bit about the schedule for the day, I turned to see that Michael had already started the process with another small group of admirers. The sight of him sharing his stories with other people did my heart good. I hope they gained as much from the experience as I did.
It's not often in the world of successful people that you meet one who will take the time to share with you. I feel that Michael Lichter is one of the good guys in that group.
Until we meet again,

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