Story   Photographer   Editor   Student/Intern   Assistant   Job/Item

SportsShooter.com

Contents:
 Front Page
 Member Index
 Latest Headlines
 Special Features
 'Fun Pix'
 Message Board
 Educate Yourself
 Equipment Profiles
 Bookshelf
 my.SportsShooter
 Classified Ads
 Workshop
Contests:
 Monthly Clip Contest
 Annual Contest
 Rules/Info
Newsletter:
 Current Issue
 Back Issues
 Subscribe
Members:
 Members Area
 "The Guide"
 Join
About Us:
 About SportsShooter
 Contact Us
 Terms & Conditions


Sign in:
Members log in here with your user name and password to access the your admin page and other special features.

Name:



Password:







|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2012-08-02

‘Citizen journalist’
Internet-age phenomenon? Think again

By K.C. Alfred

Photo by Arthur Cofod

Photo by Arthur Cofod

Cofod went to Lakehurst Airfield in New Jersey to pick up photographs for Life Magazine being transported by the zeppelin Hindenburg when he captured these historic images with his Leica.
Sad that your evening news looks like TMZ? Bummed everyone with a cell phone is now a citizen journalist? Frustrated because exclusive photos of Beyonce’s baby are the top story of the day. If you think this all came about during the Internet/digital/cell phone age, think again.

It all goes back decades, 75 years ago to be exact. The May 17, 1937 edition of Life Magazine is a perfect example of how, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

On the night before May 6, 1937, Arthur Cofod, who was an amateur photographer, worked feverishly to repair his broken camera. It wasn’t advancing film properly. He had hoped that his repairs worked, for the first next roll of film through the camera would capture history.

The next morning, Cofod went to Lakehurst Airfield in New Jersey to pick up photographs for Life Magazine being transported by the zeppelin Hindenburg, after world’s largest aircraft made a transatlantic flight.

Cofod (who happens to be my wife’s grandfather) was in his 20s and worked for a firm that expedited items through customs. Instead of picking up those photographs, he made some of the most historic photographs of the airship as it caught fire during landing and burned to the ground.

Thirty-six people of the 97 people aboard died. While most professional photographers back then used single shot, large format cameras, Cofod brought along a 10-year-old, rangefinder 35mm Leica camera to record the landing. Using the Leica allowed him to record the only series of the disaster, while most press photographers at the scene could only get off one or two frames.

Photo by

Life Magazine ran five pages of the Hindenburg disaster photos, including a photo page of Cofod’s series.
The next issue of Life Magazine ran five pages of the Hindenburg disaster photos, including a photo page of Cofod’s series. It had very big display by today’s publishing standards. You might think the largest air disaster at the time might make the cover of the magazine. It is not like everyone had seen it all over the Internet. But there was more important news that month; the Dionne quintuplets were turning three years old.

For those of you who don’t know, the Dionne quintuplets where the 1930’s version of Octomom. The quintuplets staged birthday party was on the cover and had an eight-page photo spread in the magazine.

But nothing is more relevant to the blurred lines between news and entertainment than the first paragraph in the magazine about the quints. It says:

“The five Dionne girls of Callander, Ontario, will be three years old on May 28. They have already celebrated their birthday twice, once for the Newspaper Enterprise Association photographer who takes still pictures of the quints and again for the Pathe newsreel cameraman. Because newspapers and newsreels want pictures in advance, the quints must celebrate every holiday from St. Valentine’s Day to Christmas at least thrice. They enjoy it very much but they are due for a rude shock when they grow up and face the hard reality that Christmas comes but once a year.” It goes on to say that the quints have amassed $900,000 endorsing everything from dolls, to shoes, to toothpaste. “The right to take still photographs of them costs Newspaper Enterprise Association $50,000. Exclusive magazine rights belong to Time Inc.”

It is no wonder they were on the cover of Life and Time magazines multiple times. As for Cofod, his photographs of the Hindenburg disaster have been published repeatedly in magazines and books.


K.C. Alfred is a staff photographer at the San Diego Union Tribune. You can see his work at his Sports Shooter member page: http://www.sportsshooter.com/members.html?id=4021

Contents copyright 2017, SportsShooter.com. Do not republish without permission.
AVAILBLE TO COVER YALE AND UCONN FOOTBALL FIND ME HERE ::..