In Black and White

San Geronimo Mission in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, built in 1850

San Geronimo Mission in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, built in 1850

I was one of those who mourned the emergence of color in the pages of The New York Times. End of an era, gaudy intrusion, said I, never one to embrace change. Give me the stark beauty of a black and white photo any day. Think the Depression-era portraits of Dorothea Lange or Ansel Adams’s iconic views of Yosemite.

So, when I asked my pal and former Women’s Wear Daily editor, Mort, if I could showcase one of his photographs I naturally zeroed in on this black and white study.

In retirement, Mort has continued his interest in photography with a vengeance – journeying from one photo-taking excursion to the next.

One of Mort’s talents at WWD was making my stomach turn as 4 p.m.  approached. That was the dreaded deadline time when Mort would scrutinize my copy for WWD’s “Eye” pages, home to gossipy snippets and party coverage. I thought of Mort as I read John McPhee’s piece in The New Yorker that praised the role of that publication’s copy editors who “attend the flow of prose and watch for leaks.” Whenever I treaded water at deadline time. It was Mort who kept me afloat.

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