Magnum Force

“I noted here last spring that a gaggle of photographers from Magnum had descended on Rochester and dispersed around town to pursue individual projects. They were nearly departed before I knew about the enterprise. You can read about their stay here at The New Yorker (work up from the bottom – the comment from Alec Soth I lifted above comes from the initial entry).

   *Let me be very clear. These are fabulously talented photographers.  And everything I know about the individuals involved suggests they are men and women of conviction and integrity. That includes Paolo Pellegrin. 

My complaints here are not about their intentions or talent. These reflections instead are about the practice of photography, the conventions that dominate the field. If the Magnum crew, with all the resources and prestige at their disposal, misses the  story, I fear what less talented, more mercenary photographers might do in analogous circumstances.”


Jim Johnson commenting on Magnum’s visit to Rochester, NY.

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

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