TIM PAGE left England at 17 to travel across Europe, the Middle East and to India and Nepal. He found himself in Laos at the time of the civil war and ended up working as a stringer for United Press International. From there he moved on to Saigon where he covered the Vietnam War for the next five years working largely on assignment for TIME-LIFE, UPI, PARIS MATCH and ASSOCIATED PRESS. He also found time to cover the Six Day War in the Middle East in 1967. The role of war-photographer suited Page's craving for danger and excitement. He became an iconic photographer of the Vietnam War and his pictures were the visual inspiration for many films of the period. The photojournalist in 'Apocalypse Now', played by Dennis Hopper was based on Page.
The Vietnam War was the first and last war where there was no censorship, the military actively encouraged press involvement and Page went everywhere, covering everything. He was wounded four times, once by 'friendly fire' and the last time was when he jumped out of a helicopter to help load the wounded and the person in front of him stepped on a landmine. He was pronounced DOA at the hospital. He required extensive neuro-surgery and spent most of the seventies in recovery.
It was while he was recovering in hospital in spring 1970 that he learnt that his best friend, housemate and fellow photographer Sean Flynn, son of Hollywood actor Errol, had gone missing in Cambodia. Throughout the 70's and 80's Page's mission was to discover the fate and final resting place of his friend and to erect a memorial to all those in the media that were either killed or went missing in the war.
This led him to found the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation and was the genesis for the book 'REQUIEM'. With his friend Horst Faas, photo editor for Associated Press and double Pulitzer Prize winner, they co-edited the book and commemorated the work of all the dead and the missing, from all nations, who were lost in the thirty-year struggle for liberation. Tim was awarded the 'Cultural Hero of the Revolution Medal' by the Vietnamese government and 'REQUIEM' the exhibition was put on permanent display at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
Tim Page is the subject of many documentaries, two films and the author of nine books. Recently he was listed as one of the '100 Most Influential Photographers of All Time'. He spent 5 months in 2009 as the Photographic Peace Ambassador for the UN in Afghanistan. He is the recipient of many awards and no longer covers wars. His interest and passion now is covering the aftermath of war and bringing the world's attention to the plight of the innocent victims – the bystanders. He returns every year to Viet Nam to document the effects of Agent Orange and is a patron of MAG (Mine Action Group). Presently he is working in Cambodia for the Finnish government documenting the handing back of land taken by the Khmer Rouge. Since arriving in Australia in 2002 Tim has also covered East Timor and The Solomon Islands. He is a co-founder of the photographic collective 'Degree South' and an adjunct professor at Griffith University. He now lives peacefully in Brisbane.
As Henri Cartier Bresson said about being a photographer; 'our aim is to be invisible' and Robert Capa said 'if it's not good enough, you're not close enough'. My penchant for my prime lens is a 21mm - the perfect 90 --- vision. Enter the solution to all of the above - the FUJI X-PRO 1 with a 14mm lens.
No longer heavy kilos hanging around my neck. I can wear the X-PRO 1 all day long, get in close and wide and be mostly invisible except to those wanting to know what camera it is exactly. The menu gives me film type and speed equivalents. I lock it on to the chrome of Velvia and it is a joy to fall back into the retro style of my 21mm aspheric on my old M6 and the other joy of not waiting for the film to come back from the lab. Fuji have really ramped up the colour quality and sharpness on the X1 and the new sensor wins out over bigger DSLR's.
In Cambodia the conditions were rugged, it was either dusty, hot & dry or hot & wet. After 4 heavy impacts and 18 months my X1 was still producing immaculate frames. It's also so quiet that I could shoot in a temple, a Wat or a church. I could shoot at a press conference off the screen and then in low light there are film speeds of previously unthinkable ISO with little pixilation.
It's an awesome piece of kit. It looks great, feels and takes great frames.