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04 July 2017

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When we regard anyone as the best or the greatest we often bite off more than we can chew. In the case of Gordon Parks, I can never feel that I have overstated his importance to photography and to America in having stated that. I knew from a young age that photography was going to my life's passion. Gordon Parks ignited that flame in me. Life magazine came into our home each week and in the 60's that brought Gordon Parks' view of the world as well. In the 25th anniversary issue of the magazine the Harlem gang leader story was reprinted. I remember lying in the floor staring for hours at Red Jackson and his family and that haunting photo of him staring out the broken window. Gordon Parks helped me understand the other America, that as a white Southern child I was so often confused about race and my own place in a very confusing time. With Vietnam Nam raging, riots, our icons being murdered it was very scary. I was blessed with parents of strong moral compass and the ability to impart lasting wisdom. Gordon Parks how you inspired me, you were perhaps the first Nike photographer because you "Just did it". When I started to print in the darkroom I wanted that full tonal look that your photos possessed. Most importantly, I wanted to tell a story. I think that what Gordon Parks taught me, to be a good storyteller. Not enough to infer your idea, tell it! I enjoy your website, kudos to the importance of the picture not so much to the gear that we use. No one covets equipment more than myself but the image, that lasting split second of our vision that will forever be stopped....it's all that matters.

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