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Rich Clarkson profile
Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 2:02 PM on 04.05.15
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 5:13 PM on 04.05.15
->> Perhaps Clarkson't biggest contribution to the industry was as photography director for the Topeka (KS) Capitol-Journal, where he mentored scores of world-class photojournalists.

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Gene Boyars, Photographer
Manalapan | NJ | United States | Posted: 6:24 PM on 04.05.15
->> Indeed Mark. He was a hero, a mentor, an icon to all of us when I was in school and that was a long long time ago.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 6:56 PM on 04.05.15
->> Let's please back up a bit and use present tense. Instead of saying he "was" a hero I prefer "is" because he is still very much alive, working, mentoring, etc. to all generations of photographers.

He was one of my instructors over 40 years ago at a Missouri Workshop. The work ethics, strive for quality, and other teachings hasn't changed in all these decades, and will continue for many years to come and beyond by those of us who follow his examples and pass on his wisdom to each new generation of shooters.
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Gene Boyars, Photographer
Manalapan | NJ | United States | Posted: 7:52 PM on 04.05.15
->> Doug, I was speaking of a time more than 45 years ago... he was all of those things then and thankfully for all of us, he still is.
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Rich Pilling, Photographer
Jackson | NJ | U.S.A. | Posted: 9:20 AM on 04.06.15
->> Rich Clarkson... one of a kind.
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Robert Deutsch, Photographer
NY | NY | USA | Posted: 1:08 PM on 04.06.15
->> and, for the last time, as I have for many (but not 60) years, I get to sit next to him again tonight:)
Looking forward to it...
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 9:59 AM on 04.07.15
->> Four degrees of separation...I got to sit next to the guy who sat next to the guy who sat next to Robert.....
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 11:07 AM on 04.07.15
->> If it were not for Rich Clarkson and his constant teaching through his workshop series, I would likely never have gotten through the door at SI, let alone up the elevator. My trip out to Los Angeles, shortly after I graduated from college, was a life-changing experience and set up the my meeting of Peter Read Miller who has been my good friend ever since.
There are many great photographers and many great teachers but there are very, very few great photographers who are also great teachers. Rich Clarkson, Eddie Adams, Heinz Kleutmier... these are all great shooters that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to. They have impacted my career as well as hundreds of other photographers because they chose to give back to the profession...

Kudos to you Rich!
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Dennis Montgomery, Photographer, Assistant
Ogden | UT | United States | Posted: 5:44 PM on 04.08.15
->> While I read the message board almost every day, I very seldom post since I consider myself mostly a "GWC" compared to most posters. This thread, however, made me want to share an experience I had with Rich Clarkson several years ago and I think it shows you why he is such a revered figure to anyone in with even a cursory knowledge of sports photography. Its a bit wordy, but please bear with me:

During the Rich Clarkson’s Adventure Photography workshop several years ago, one of the days consisted of a river trip on the Snake River to photograph two kayakers in “playboats’. We were in two 16 person rafts and the kayakers performed various whitewater tricks allowing us to photograph them as we ran the Class II and III rapids.

After I had been leaning out the side of the raft to get the best shots, I moved to the interior of the raft to allow the others in the raft access to the side for unrestricted viewing of the playboats. While in the middle of the raft, I saw the one of the kayakers directly between our raft and the other raft and snapped off a quick shot.

During the next day's image review, we had to select three images to show and have them critiqued by the highly qualified, experienced instructors that had been handpicked by Rich to mentor the attendees. Since all my images were basically the same---whitewater, a kayaker and background---I decided to include the kayaker and the other raft full of shooting photographers as one of my three images. I thought it was interesting and would be a bit different from all the other images.

The critique proceeded normally and as usual, we learned more from the critiques of the other attendees’ images than we did our own. Then my images came up. The first one was OK with the usual comments about the effect different shutter speeds would have had on the image and how changing the composition slightly would have improved the image. Then my “kayaker with the raft background” image came up.

There were audible groans from the instructors, with comments being made about how the image was “ruined” by including the photographers’ raft in the image and wondering how anyone could include that image as anything except as a reject. One instructor asked “…who took that image and why would you ever include that as one of your picks?”

As I was trying to decide whether to crawl under the table or make a quick dash to the restroom, a small but authoritative voice spoke up from the back of the room, “I beg to differ.” Everyone turned around and there was total silence in the room. It was Rich Clarkson who had come in the night prior and was watching the critiques from the back of the room. He strode slowly up to the front of the room and continued, “What all of you have forgotten is why we take photos. We take photos to tell a story and that image tells a story.” He then proceeded to take each element in the frame and relate it to the story it told and why it was important to telling the story of what was happening on the river that day.

Suddenly, all those bricks that had been flying my way disappeared. There were choruses of “…you are absolutely right, Rich…” and comments as to how the image perfectly captured the day’s event. I won’t say it was the biggest “ring kissing” thing I have ever seen, but it was close.

The proverbial bottom line to this experience is that all of us---workshop attendees and the instructors---walked out of that room with a renewed insight to what “good photography” means. While that photo was not the best image, either technically or compositionally, it told a story. I don’t think anyone in that room will forget that lesson.

Rich Clarkson never forgets what photography is supposed to be about and more importantly, he never ceases to impart his years of experience to others in the photographic community---whether they are Sports Illustrated photographers or merely guys/gals with a camera who want to make better photographs. Thank you Rich…
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Thread Title: Rich Clarkson profile
Thread Started By: Chris Peterson
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