W. Edwards Deming
Of the thirty-plus assignments that I have shot for @smithsonianmagazine, the story on W. Edwards Deming was my favorite.
If you do not know who Dr. Deming was, he has impacted your life in one
way or another. He was a brilliant engineer and management consultant
who helped Japan become an industrial powerhouse by using his techniques
and philosophy of perfection in quality control - always. General
Douglas MacArthur brought him to Japan to originally help with the
census during occupation.
The assignment was spread over a couple of weeks. I spent two-days with Dr. Deming in his DC home office and at American University. Next up was a trip to Detroit to the Ford Motor Corporation where he met with Dr. Baker, a VP at Ford. (I was asked to never repeat anything I overheard in the conversations between Dr. Deming and Dr. Baker) and then off to New York City to Columbia
If I recall, I shot this primarily with Nikon F3's and maybe a Leica M6 - all on Kodak Trix-X that was pushed to ISO 800.
Ed Rich , R.I.P. (former Photo editor at Smithsonian) and I talked about how
to shoot the story - what approach to take - to light him and shoot portraits or be a fly on the wall. I pushed for photographing as he went about his day and available light B&W.
Ed agreed. It was the first time I had shot a magazine story in black and
white - it was a blast.