The Digital Journalist
Remembering Eddie Adams
October 2004

by Cliff Schiappa

I first met Eddie while working as a summer intern at the Providence (R.I.) Journal-Bulletin in 1980. Pro-Jo Photo Editor Chip Maury was a good friend of Eddie's, so when Chip invited me along for a weekend road trip to the farm in the Catskill Mountains, I couldn't turn down the offer.

We arrived in time to get a tour of the dilapidated barn that Eddie was in the process of converting to a grand destination for aspiring photojournalists. He was able to envision a wonderful meeting place while standing amid the remnants of what barns are normally used for. In the evening, we all gathered for dinner, and I was hearing wonderful stories and conversation about the craft I grew to love. Stories told by friends who had such respect for each other and their profession!

During the weekend we all went into nearby Fulton, N.Y., for an antique auction and sale where I bought an old Smith manual typewriter (one where you pulled the carriage across instead of pushing it) and a huge glass water bottle. Both souvenirs of my trip are still in my home, with the bottle brimming with pennies.

Years later, I had the honor of being on staff at Barnstorm VIII, where the AP provided students with new (at that time) digital cameras. Barnstorm was nothing less than a major event, with movie-set caterers and video production and, of course, all of Eddie's best friends from the industry. Students and teachers alike could only marvel at the generous spirit and enthusiasm displayed by Eddie and everyone else scattered around the farm.

In 2000, my path crossed with Eddie again, this time at the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. Eddie had set up a studio in the AP work area where he photographed celebrities. During part of that week, it was my job to edit Eddie's shoot. Intimidating isn't the right word, but it was certainly interesting to have Eddie Adams peering over my shoulder as I chose the right image and toned and cropped it for use on the wire.

We in the industry owe Eddie a great amount of thanks for his tireless efforts to make us better photojournalists. It was an honor to know him.

© Cliff Schiappa
Regional Photo Editor/Central
The Associated Press

Cliff Schiappa, a longtime AP photographer and former assistant chief of bureau/Kansas City, is now AP's Regional Photo Editor/Central, based in Kansas City.