“The only thing we photographers really want more than life, more than sex, more than anything, is to be invisible.”
The great Magnum photographer, Philip Jones Griffith, who died Wednesday, said those words above.
Getting close, being invisible. Impossible sometimes, desired always. Achieved only by the best.
I didn`t know much about Mr. Jones Griffiths before but I have learnt a lot in the last few days. In the course of this education I found that, of course, I know his photos, especially those from Vietnam, and those images have always been part of my life.
I too often wish I was invisible. The picture I took above is the closest I have ever come to a subject that wasn`t personally known to me and I really did feel invisible at that time.
Maybe what Mr. Jones Griffiths achieved was a different kind of invisibility though. His images helped change the way people looked at warfare, yet his name, unlike some of the newer, media friendly type snappers was relatively unknown to the ordinary person. In this day and age everyone wants to be famous, often for no other reason than being famous, yet in the future will their “personality” still be remembered? I think not. Yet, the name of Philip Jones Griffiths will live-on as long as his images do. And that will be a very long time.
Update 22nd March: I couldn`t load the picture yesterday for some reason but here it is today with a bit more of what I wanted this post to be about.