Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR: Frank James Johnson

It's the last day of the year and it's a day to express some gratitude.  There are a hundred people I'd like to talk about; today I'm going to focus on Frank.

If you've followed this blog, you know Frank's work.  Like Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath ("I’ll be ever’where- wherever you look . . . "), Frank is on street with his cameras any time there's a march or demonstration or action.  You've seen him in his flak jacket, his cameras strapped on, a dapper Errol-Flynn-meets-Dennis-Hopper-as-the-photographer-in-Apocalypse-Now.

A RARE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE
PHOTOGRAPHER
(Photo by Rev. Erik Christensen)
My hard drive is full of files with names like "Guantanamo demo - FJJ photos" and "NATO protest - FJJ photos" and "Occupy Palm Sunday - FJJ photos." Within hours of every event, I can expect an email in my inbox with dozens of beautiful photos attached, and a note in the subject line ("From this afternoon - had to shoot the big banner 5 times before I got it right.") With Frank's photos, the blog posts practically write themselves. In fact, you can hardly even say I "write" blog posts. Mostly I just post FJJ photos with a few words attached. And I know a lot of other beneficiaries of Frank's photos who feel the same way.

The best part of all, though, is hanging out with Frank. After all, how many other photographers do you know that can cover the street action while giving a running update on global affairs as gleaned from his reading in 5 languages?

2013 was great! (See the selection of photos below.)

I can't wait to see what 2014 brings!


December, 2011: the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
"Obama's Nobel Prize: REVOKED!"

December, 2011: Protesting Rahm Emanuel's
pre-NATO restrictions on speech and assembly

January, 2012: 10th Anniversary of Guantanamo Bay Detention Center
(Fell shortly after Barack Obama signed NDAA detention provisions into law.)

February, 2012: Occupy Chicago

March, 2012: 9th Anniversary of U.S. invasion of Iraq

March, 2012:  Chicago protests the murder of Trayvon Martin

April, 2012: "Occupy Palm Sunday" in Logan Square, Chicago

May, 2012:  Chicago protests against NATO

January, 2013: Guantanamo protest in Chicago

April, 2013: Protest against Boeing killer drone in front of Lyric Opera
"The drone strikes on my planet have killed at least 178 children!
Please join us in our fight to stop the next phantom ray!"

April, 2013: Good Friday performance of The Predator
May, 2013: Chicago protests as Guantanamo hunger strike passes Day 100.

May, 2013: Protest against Guantanamo detention

June, 2013: "I am Bradley Manning" demonstration

September, 2013: Rally against U.S. military intervention in Syria

October, 2013: March on Springfield for Marriage Equality

December, 2013: POSADA in support of affordable housing for Chicagoans

To be continued . . . .