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Introduction by Ted Grant

Real Photographers Shoot BW: some times colour.
Or “I’m an Endangered Species.”

Editor’s note: this is an introduction written by Ted Grant, following many suggestions on the Leica Users Group that he should collect all his stories in a book. What I have published here on the blog is just a small selection that Ted has posted during July 2006. Hopefully, Ted will follow our collective suggestion and do a book; at least he wrote the introduction already!

Why this book? Well, I’m basically the sole survivor of Canadian photojournalists from the 50’s and ’60’s who’s still shooting in 2006. Many from that period have gone to the big dark room in the sky or just retired to easy living in the country — So, at 77 years of age, that makes me an endangered species!Some photojournalists disgruntled that time passed them by, long for the good old days of photojournalistic rotogravure sections and picture magazines we no longer see published. Oh sure there are magazines, but they are the “one picture tell all” illustrations and rarely ever use more than two pictures to a story. No longer do we see 6 – 8 or 10 page spreads of in-depth photography for a photo-essay on a single subject.

When my first picture was published in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper on September 17, 1951, little did I know 56 years later I would still be taking pictures with the same passion that started my career. Probably with greater passion to-day realizing I’m quickly coming to the final frame on the roll.

Photography has taken me to many countries around the world and given me experiences that fall into “truth is stranger than fiction.” There have been good, bad and ugly assignments, some successful others just a tiring experience of frustration.

Would I change it?

Not really! A few things though, more rest between assignments for one, but when younger you are invincible and there are too many places to go and things to shoot. The telephone rings and even though you are dragging it matters not when you hear, ” Can you get a plane down to Bermuda in the morning and meet our writer there?”. The adrenalin is pumping in seconds and off you go like a filly in a race, “Tired? Not me I’m outta here!”

Not to become angry when the weather or some other situation is completely beyond my control. In reality I should have sat back, relaxed, had a drink and just rolled with it. I used to lose a lot of sleep over totally uncontrollable things, but time tempers those feelings and to-day it’s, “what you can’t control, you don’t sweat.”

The stories and anecdotes of the “times of Ted” will leave you wondering, “is it possible for one photographer to have this many experiences?” Honestly, yes it is and then some!

For me, time has never stood still since the taking of my first photograph and hopefully it won’t, until the last. And when asked, “When are you going to quit or retire?” I jokingly respond, “My retirement date is September 17, 2021.” That will be the 70th anniversary of my first published picture and I’ll only be 92! So that seems a reasonable time to consider relaxing.

Now, if I can only get my body to agree to that date. . .

The book’s open folks, come on in and start your odyssey through my world as a photojournalist.

Ted Grant Photography Limited
1817 Feltham Road
Victoria BC V8N 2A4

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