The camera lens, which was in one hand, cost about $1,700; the camera body, in the other, cost a mere $500. So John hit him with the camera body and the assailant went down. “Hasselblad makes a sturdy camera,” says John, “but it still cost me about $200 in repairs.”
A former Marine photographer, whose assignments included photographing President Nixon, Conn studied at New York's School for the Visual Arts before landing a job as a senior photographer at Citibank. Citibank so admired John's work that they gave him an extra week of paid vacation. He used that time to travel to South Africa for three weeks, where he was fascinated by the striking visuals of apartheid's segregation. He stayed far longer than three weeks. When he finally returned to the U.S. three months later, he found himself without a job, and spent the next several months riding the subway, struck by the alien environment he found down there, just as he had in South Africa.