An Unlikely Weapon: The Eddie Adams Story

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One Response to “An Unlikely Weapon: The Eddie Adams Story”

  1. Jason Says:

    Over the years I have worked many photographic events and met many people from both sides of the lens, meeting Eddie Adams always tops my list. As stated by the commentary in the trailer for the documentary on his life and work above, you felt you already had met Eddie before meeting him. I wouldn’t say I had expectations per say, but I had an idea of what kind of photographer as well as what kind of man he would be. This is one of the rare cases, you can believe the hype.

    Some might not know the name Eddie Adams, but his images document turbulent decades that shaped the world of photography and journalism as we know it. I met Eddie at a trade show, shortly before his death where he was making the rounds to see his friends in the industry, my boss at Unique Photo was one of them. I was asked to take part in a impromptu meeting regarding the upcoming Barnstorm workshops, which was a photo-journalistic workshop (tuition-free might I add) put on by Eddie and Nikon. Like the man, these workshops were a no-nonsense event, no sales pitches no extreme PR this was about photo-journalism and nothing else.

    I was introduced to Eddie, shook his hand and hung on every word he had to say about what Barnstormer’s was in his mind when he created it in 1988, what my boss had helped him make it become, and what he wanted it to always be in the future. This meeting happened in a wide open 20 x 20 trade show booth, and in time his appearance had created a gathering of people also watching and hanging on his words. At one point another photographer tried introducing themselves to Eddie and interrupted the flow of the impromptu meeting, Eddie without missing a beat turned to the photographer and said, “Who the F*#k are you?” The photographer then began to introduce himself again of which Eddie quipped, “I don’t actually care who the hell you are, can’t you see (using a hand gesture to show those in the meeting) WE are having a conversation here?”

    In my mind, I don’t think Eddie knew who he had just spoken with, and even if he did I don’t think his attitude would have changed. But it was a photographer who had combat photo journalism experience just as he did, a man who worshiped the guy for nearly 2 decades. As the meeting progressed Eddie looked at me and said, “Do you think I was to harsh to that man?” I responded, “He was rude, but I assure you he means well.” Eddie then put his hand on my shoulder and smiled and said, “… your alright kid, (my boss) was right about you, if your around in this business Barnstorm is going to be fine long after I am gone.”

    Sadly shortly thereafter, Eddie was gone. The ideas discussed in the meeting on that trade show floor would never become a reality, but hopefully Eddie knew that it wasn’t individuals like my boss, his sponsors, or next generation of people in the industry like me that would keep Barnstorm going, it was his life and legacy that would endure time. The release of this documentary in my opinion has been long overdue, but considering the times we live in today I could not imagine a time when it would have been needed more.

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