Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Peterkin in Focus

Lem Peterkin is the tall, burly photojournalist whose work is seen in many New York City publications. Peterkin says the New York Times, New York Newsday, New York Post and every African-American newspaper use his photos. Peterkin was surprised that anyone knew his first name because his photo credit has become consistently photograph by Peterkin. Rather than fight the name drop, he capitalizes on it. His business card reads, “Photographs by Peterkin.”

In his forty years in photography he’s stayed in step with each advance in image technology. These days his mobile office includes a Canon EOS 30D digital camera, a ZiO CameraMate Card Reader to store his shots from the camera, a Dane Electric zMate Golf Flash drive for his documents and a Sony VAIO laptop computer. The HP Photosmart C4180 All-in-One printer is in his office at Restoration Plaza. This printer also scans and copies.

His life in photography began in grammar school. For the fourth grade science fair, his project was “Photo Micrography.” Peterkin used a microscope and a manual Kodak Hawkeye camera. He shot photographs of such life form as amoeba and paramecium. He’s a proponent of citizen reporting in that he’s championed the reality of everyone owning a camera. Says Peterkin, “Everyone should have a camera. You don’t know what you’re going to see.” While cellphone cameras are making this possible, Peterkin prefers a stand-alone camera. He says, “cell phone cameras don’t have sufficient resolution for a quality picture. Adobe Photoshop or any other image editing software can’t enhance the sharpness.”

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