S. Heiner fine art photography
"Eternal Recurrence". [Composite Photo] 2019.
Inkjet print, approx 8"x10".
Of the O. Winston Link photographs I had seen, it was only the "Hotshot Eastbound" that ever struck me as spectacular, both in the capture and in what all must have gone into taking it. It's that photo of a locomotive and a young couple in a convertible at the drive-in with an airplane on the big screen. I'd read that in today's money, Link had spent over $100,000 on his train portfolio alone-- but "Hotshot Eastound," at least to my mind, stood head and shoulders above the others. For years I'd thought about that photograph: modern transportation neatly captured at one dynamic and, yes, transporting moment.
I've since discovered that the "Hotshot Eastbound" I've been thinking about all these years is a composite.
It used to be that when people would ask me how I could stand in one place, day after day, waiting for the possibility of this or that to happen, I sometimes would tell them about Link's photo. I'd tell them about how photography often isn't about luck but more about vision and how persistence and risk and know-how can coalesce at one click of the shutter to produce something truly extraordinary. And then I'd tell them that if Link had done nothing else with his life, taking that one photo was enough, enough to inspire aspiring photographers like me to do what it takes to get the photo we envision because Link showed us the heights of what's possible. But now that I know Hotshot Eastbound is a composite, I mostly just think that it might have been cooler if he had inserted an airliner rather than a fighter plane on the screen...and maybe a ship in the distance on the horizon.