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These photos are what I was able to retrieve from my agency "PIX INC" after all the Kennedy Visit photos were used.
They have been through the mill. Digital techniques have helped improve some faults, but they are historic, they are the rarest Kennedy photos, never ever published since, and, I feel, worth a look.
The vignetting on the corners of some photos is due to the extreme wide angle and tele lenses used. Back then, I used the most extreme lenses available. The tele lenses were from the Astro Gesellschaft in 640 and 800mm focal lengths, held on the backs of helpers. Tripods were out of the question from any decent standpoint.
To do this assignment, I hired four helpers, all bouncers from the Eden Saloon, who knew me, were good friends, and were ready to do anything necessary to help. Marvelous guys, one and all.
We started at the airport, of which I only was returned a few not so great photos (I will post one, just to see the scene), then we drove the back streets to each decent vantage point along Kennedy's route and stopped on the side streets. At each vantage point, one man would stay with the car, while the other three and I made our way to the main street with a step ladder and equipment. Then, while the men protected me and held the ladder, I shot the motorcade and what I could of Kennedy as he passed. Then on to the next position.
At the City Hall, things were even more complex. The press sections
were not good views, so we had decided not even to bother. We brought
the step ladder and two enormous lenses right into the crowd and,
while my helpers held back the surrounding crowd, I did the photos
from the step ladder, with one of the men, the tallest, standing on a
small stool and holding the lens on his shoulders.
The faster black and white films are sharper. But I did not get back many of those. In any case, I am lucky to have these, as other agencies didn't bother. PIX Inc was the best of the great agencies. It was somewhat smaller, because it chose its photographers very carefully and devoted real attention to them, through every step of the marketing and advising process. Franz Furst, the agent who watched over me was one of the finest men I have met. I was very lucky. And Franz went to a lot of trouble to get whatever he could of these photos back to me.
Photograph © 1965 - 2006 Mark B. Anstendig. All rights reserved.
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