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Ode to Street Photographer – Howard Patrick

New York St. Paddy's Day - 1985 - © Howard Patrick

Street photographers are unique in photography. They are always at-the-ready! My good friend Howard Patrick of Blackpool, Lancashire, caught this iconic 1980s image of a NYPD street cop on St. Patrick’s Day. In the tradition of (Henri) Cartier-Bresson, a French photographer known as the father of modern photojournalism and a co-founder of Magnum Photo, street photographers always have a camera on hand for moments like these. Howard Patrick met Cartier-Bresson and printed for him at the great photo agency, Camera Press, in the mid-1980s. Cartier-Bresson admonished Howard for trying to crop one of his images. “Do not crop my images,” he said. “They perfect!”

Capa D-Day Photo damaged in the photo lab by the "tea boy" at Life Magazine ©Robert Capa

Howard also printed the famous Churchill shot by Yousuf Karsh of Ottawa when the priceless negative was sent over from Canada with a security guard who protected it, even through the printing process. No extra prints were made. Only one for the official Churchill postage stamp. As everyone probably knows, Karsh snapped this portrait for the cover of Life Magazine, right after having snatched the now famous cigar from Churchill’s grasp. He only had enough time (5 minutes) to get two 4×5 images – one with and one without the cigar. No digital cameras back then!

Karsh of Ottawa's famous portrait of Winston Churchill © Karsh of Ottawa

Howard is still out there shooting, and his remarkable images never cease to capture truth in all its forms. Here’s to you, Howard, mate!

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