The other day while working on a film set, I happened to get into a conversation with one of the crew about photography. Whuda thunk it?
After discussing some race track shooting, and then migrating to photography in the 60′s, this gentleman told me of his dad, Leigh Wiener, a photographer who was from a now classic era .
He had passed away in 1993 but the passion with which his son talked about his Dad touched me in a way I can hardly describe. But I’ll try.
The amazing stories and accomplishment of Leigh Wiener will not be lost, and his sons efforts are the reason. He was able to recount the specific instances of greatness, and invention. And there were many.
Luckliy there are video archives: In the 60′s there was a TV show ,TALK ABOUT PICTURES, on KNBC and that footage exists. Plus interviews with Mr. Wiener.We hope to be able to share some of that with you in the future.
In a time of the year where we cherish our loved ones and friends and remember those who are gone, speaking with his son Devick, who always referred to him in our conversations as Dad, the respect and honor he showed his father was overwhelming. and heartfelt. and inspiring.
Made me reflect on my own dad, and his life.
The books he shared with me presented a true professionals’ insight into his craft, and a private artistic journey he couldn’t help but make.
Photonduced.com is privileged and proud to introduce you to a photographer you should know.
Now I don’t want to mangle or miss any part of this story, so it will be told in parts.
From the website:
“During his 50-year career as a photographer and photojournalist, Leigh Wiener photographed every U.S. president from Truman to Reagan, Hollywood legends from Marilyn to Marlon, musicians from Miles to Sinatra, poets, scientists, playwrights and industry titans. Born in 1929, Wiener grew up in New York City, where his father worked as a newspaper man. Arthur â€œWegeeâ€ Felig, a family friend who worked as a freelance news photographer, first taught Wiener to look at pictures. By 15, he had sold a photo to Collierâ€™s.
He moved to to Los Angeles in 1946, working in the library at the Los Angeles Times. His first big break as a photographer came in 1949, when he photographed the empty swing of Kathy Fiscus. The three-year-old captured the worldâ€™s attention when she fell down an empty well, but by the time rescuers found her, she had died. Wienerâ€™s photo ran on the front page of more than 100 papers around the country.
Wiener went on to become a staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times and then shot freelance for Life, Time, Fortune – Sports Illustrated and many more. He created and co-hosted the Emmy Award-winning half-hour television show “Talk about Pictures” on KNBC, Channel 4, in Los Angeles and received numerous awards for his football motion picture documentary â€œA Slice of Sunday.â€
Leigh Wiener’s photographs are in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery and several national museums. He also published several books that include his photos. He passed away in 1993, leaving behind a rich archive of images that uniquely captures the second half of the 20th century.”
More will follow.