New Guinea No 20
From the New Guinea collection
The major parts of the New Guinea collection are photos of local people. Once again I was lucky enough to be in a place and time where people were not used to photographers. It was a rarity and I prospered from that.
The assignment for the New Guinea trip in 1979 was to take photos of fishing for the Heinz annual report. It sounds simple enough. Getting there was not. It required a flight from NY to Sydney, Australia, another flight to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, a boat to some island where I got on another boat to what’s called the mothership, where I was finally deposited to await the fishing boat I would be shooting. That boat came in at night, unloaded its catch and took me on as a passenger. Of course everyone on board had obviously been told to be nice to me.
There was only one problem: In the crew of about 25 men, not one spoke English.
I remember one of the few verbal exchanges on the trip: I was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Peter Cooper who founded The Cooper Union school. One of the crew smiled and said, “Your fathah?” I said, “No, my teacher.” He smiled again and said, “Mo bettah!”