What makes a photographer when everyone is taking pictures – At 83

| April 19, 2016 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

JUDY WOODRUFF: And now another in our Brief But Spectacular series, where we ask interesting people about their passions.

For six decades, Ken Van Sickle has been quietly producing photographs in his darkroom, located in the center of Manhattan. His photos range from documenting the bohemian life of New York and Paris in the 1950s and ’60s to pushing the limits of the medium itself.

KEN VAN SICKLE, Photographer: If you walk out of the front of the Flatiron Building and you walk straight across the street, you walk right through my door. Then you have to go 91 steps up the stairs, which is really good for me, because it keeps me healthy.

I’m 83 years old now. I moved into this building in 1963. And it’s rent-controlled. And it’s a landmark building, and I’m a senior citizen. So, I don’t pay much rent. That’s the only reason I can live here at all.

I don’t have a favorite place to take photographs or even a favorite subject. I carry a camera. If I go out into the hallway, I carry a camera with me.

When I was in Paris, I was 23, I think, and I wanted to shoot everything I saw, but I didn’t have enough money to buy, like, more than like a roll of film every two weeks. And somebody said that Chet Baker was playing over at the American club. And I went over and I took two pictures, and one of them is out of focus, and the other one is a great photo.

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