For one day last September, it seemed as if the world stopped. And in the subsequent days and weeks, we were all awakened to the realization that every moment of every day is precious, since, as we saw, our own security is but an illusion.
The world will never be the same as a result of those fateful events. Global economics and politics have shifted dramatically, while a country (Afghanistan) has been decimated in order to overthrow a corrupt government and eliminate a terrorist network. These efforts have collectively tapped our courage as a society while we try to return to some degree of normalcy.
While our fall 2001 issue—coincidentally but appropriately—covered photojournalism, in these pages we focus on people and places, the two subjects most affected by Sept. 11.People were the victims of the attacks, while the survivors were forced to reconsider our interconnectedness as a society. Whether or not we knew anyone who lost his or her life, virtually no one was untouched by what occurred. At a minimum, the fallout has affected us all, psychologically and economically. Many of us have discovered a new spirituality and have embraced our neighbors and communities as never before.
Getting to places for business or pleasure is now a whole new ballgame. Traveling domestically or internationally is no longer something we can do as a matter of course. We have to exercise care in planning a trip and accept the fact that, more than ever, there are no guarantees of everything going smoothly in a world where evil individuals or groups are determined to harm innocent people.
In early November, I flew to New York City for the first time since the attacks to attend the PhotoPlus Expo and to visit family and friends. The flight was notable for the increased security, and the Expo was notable for the heightened atmosphere of community among those attending in the midst of a clearly shaken city. I salute Photo District News for having the determination to go forward with the show despite the prevailing uncertainty. That visit also allowed me the opportunity to visit Ground Zero and see first-hand the devastation we reported on in the fall issue. It was a sobering sight. And my personal visits seemed to have more meaning this time.
In this issue, we are pleased to introduce you to the work of our profile subject, Jim Erickson, a photographer who walks the fine line between artistic and commercial success with a spiritual balance.In our feature, “The Road Ahead,” six prominent travel and location photographers offer their views on the impact the declining economy and the reactions to the terrorist attacks have had on their careers.
Also, travel shooter Doug Wilson explores photo opportunities of and from trains; Charles Krebs gives us a peek into his intriguing macro world in this issue’s Portfolio; and our Electronic Market feature examines what might motivate a photographer to embrace ever-improving digital camera technology.
And speaking of technology, last year, the Biography Channel intriguingly named Johannes Gutenberg the most influential person of the last millennium for having invented the printing press, the foundation of modern mass communications. As a publisher, I am indebted to him and hope that my use of that invention, especially since Sept. 11, may contribute to elevating society in some small way by educating and inspiring readers.Your feedback about our efforts is welcome. Also, see our ad on page 31 and send us your nomination for PhotoMedia Photography Person of the Year.
And, of course, please be sure to mention PhotoMedia to our advertisers. Their support makes the depth of our industry coverage possible, and they want to know you’re noticing.Wishing you valued friendships and safe travels.
Gary Halpern, Publisher