Quality Time With Someone Special

Have you ever been lucky enough to not only meet your idol, but actually spend some quality time with him? Such was the case when I was in Maine, for a one-on-one private workshop with my mentor, John Paul Caponigro (JP), and had the privilege and honor to chat with his dad, Paul.

Regrettably, I missed the opening of Paul’s retrospective. I did, however, buy a copy of the book Paul Caponigro: The Hidden Essence Of Places which spans his entire career, focusing on specific locations he has visited. I asked JP if his dad would sign it for me. He did! Then I had the chance to speak with him about a couple of topics. Below, I paraphrase…

*** On why he did not go to Egypt in 1966 to shoot his first choice sacred places destination, but rather ended up in Ireland and England…

Dorothy Lange warned him that it was unsafe for tourists in Egypt.

*** On what made him shoot so much in Redding, CT in 1968…

He lived in Redding for two years while he commuted by train to New York while teaching at NYU.

*** On the real purpose of the 1963 Association Of Heliographers started by Walter Chappell…

There were not as many opportunities as there are today for photographers to show their work. So they banded together. and were able to get a few shows.

We then talked about some health issues affecting me. Paul and JP even had suggestions for these!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Paul from the book.

Leaving things out is the beginning of composition…But to arrive at the composition, I reach into my feelings.

Images are made from the heart. You have to be pretty quiet in the brain to apprehend what the emotions are finding. You partly see it with your eyes; mostly you see it with your heart. You have to sense that and keep it alive…It’s meditation in action.

Paul, who turned 80 years old in 2013, was very easy to talk to and very willing to share information. It was easy for me to see where JP gets these same traits!

Image 1

The picture on the wall is my favorite JP image, called Resonance in Blue and Gold.