Having just purchased my first DSLR I bumped into a random guy at work and found myself engrossed in conversation with him. As he left he said he ought to let me know who he was, so he reached into his bag, pulling out this flyer with an image of Muhammed Ali. He then introduced himself as Flip Schulke, photojournalist. In a very modest manner, he went on to say; ‘I made that.’
Over the next few weeks his regular visits allowed me to skive out of hours of work while we chatted away, him telling me about the time he spent photographing John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, the space race, and even how he pioneered the underwater SLR housing with his home made designs to capture the first underwater image of a killer whale, and this series of images which kick started the legendary career of Mohammed Ali, or Cassius Clay as he was then known. Clay claimed to practice his punches underwater due to the increased resistance, but after the shoot, Clay later admitted he had made it all up and could barely swim.
Flip brought along copies of his latest books which he signed for me, one of which was his personal copy of ‘Underwater photography for everyone’, which goes into underwater photography in great detail even offering designs and tips on building your own underwater housing, something I have never been brave enough to try! Flip passed away four years ago today, on the 15th of May 2009, unfortunately before I got around to telling him what a difference those lunch time chats made, and just how realistic and achievable he made his awesome career sound at a time when I thought I was heading nowhere. Since then it’s been one hell of a bumpy ride with plenty of highs and lows but I don’t regret it for a second, you definitely gave me a nudge in the right direction and yeah I’ll keep on fighting.Thanks Flip.
Why not have a look through the defining moments of the last century that Flip witnessed through his lens, in his extensive online archives…