was asked on the National Press Photographers list, what it
was like to discover a picture from two years ago that turned out
to be the "picture of the week".
have been lots of rumors running through the photo journalistic community
about the picture that was the cover of TIME magazine, showing Monica
Lewinsky, her red lips glowing, her eyes closed in anticipation, being
embraced by President Clinton at a fund raising event in October of
a theory that every time the shutter captures a frame, that image
is recorded, at a very low threshold in the brain of the photographer.
I have heard this over and over from photographers around the world.
It doesnt matter if the photographer saw the processed image
or not. These split seconds, as the mirror returns, are recorded as
"photographic lint" on the mind of the photographer.
the photographs of Monica Lewinsky, in her beret, on the lawn of the
White House, emerged in February of this year, I KNEW I had seen that
face with the President. I had no idea when, or where.
the Lewinsky story broke, all these organizations started to go through
their files, and found nothing.
Monica went to the prosecutors, and offered her testimony, the story
went back to page one. At this point, TIME and the agency went into
action. The photo was run as a cover on TIME, and is now in magazines
and newspapers around the world.
the things that become clear is that first, the wires, could not find
this photo, even after it was released in their files. That may be
due to several problems. First, they have cut back on their support
staff - who is going to go through their photos ? The reality is that
after several months, out takes go into ware houses. If the photographers
to the left and right of me on that stage, that night, were shooting
digital, they probably erased the files ( Monica, who ?) The networks,
once TIME released the photo, were able to go back into pool footage
and find the picture . However, we have not seen anything from the
other photographers who were there, other than an amateur photographer
who was in the crowd, and whose photo was the cover of NEWSWEEK.
make some money from this picture (not nearly as much as most people
think), but if I did not own my photographs, if I did not go through
them, the picture would never had emerged.