With all the talk about the new DSLR cameras with their megapixel possibilities, it was refreshing to find an “old friend”… the Argus C3 rangefinder (circa 1938-1956) at a recent photo swap meet in Vancouver. Affectionately referred to as “the brick” (it’s heavy enough to use as a doorstop or pound fence posts with), I inherited it from my grandfather and it was the camera that I learned on and took my one and only photojournalism course with.
While taking that course during the 60’s, I remember covering a riot/demonstration on the college campus. All of a sudden, the national guardsmen broke ranks and started pounding on students. Right in front of me, I thought I had just taken my Pulitzer Prize winning photo and sprinted to the journalism building to process the film and share my excitement. I busted into my professor class, shouted that I just got this amazing photo. The prof asked where and (being the rookie that I was) I said, “Here!” and popped open the back of the camera, perfectly ruining the film. To which he replied, “Not anymore.”
I processed the film anyway and salvaged a few frames but it was then and there and I knew photojournalism wasn’t going to be the genre I’d be pursuing.