Bob Gomel : Eyewitness - When history was made, he was there
May 26, 2020 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography
Bob Gomel and David Scarbrough share a love of storytelling through photography.
During the past decade, the two men and their spouses, Sandy Gomel and Mary Scarbrough, became friends. Bob's shot of The Beatles in poolside lounge chairs hangs in the Scarbroughs' home. It was Mary's birthday gift to David for his 60th birthday.
David said, "The history Bob witnessed is important. So are the effort and creativity necessary to make extraordinary images of these historic moments. Many of the images are made even more powerful by Bob's perspective on how they were created."
David convinced Bob to reflect on his work for LIFE magazine in the 1960s and his subsequent career. Over dinner one evening, the Scarbroughs proposed making a documentary of Bob's career. Bob said, "David offered a compelling idea to consider. After a few days, I said, 'Let's do it.'"
The documentary project came together quickly. A small studio was set up in Scarbrough's retail computer electronics shop in Houston. Sessions were shot on Sundays when the shop was closed and outside noise was minimal. As many filmmakers do now, David chose to record the videos in 4K on two iPhones in a two-shot setup. A MacBook Pro and Adobe Premier Pro would be used to edit the video.
The recordings began with a discussion of the Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston fights. The project quickly gained momentum, as David executed his vision for the project, and the stories of more of the epic photos came to life.
"The challenge was to balance Bob's unique ability to talk about the images and history, and to ensure the viewer remained immersed in the image itself," David said. "I hope the viewer can briefly live in the moment of the images."
Bob said, "The decade of the 1960s was historically powerful. We witnessed so much — from the terrific to the terrible. I'm grateful that David remains interested in the history of the 1960s and that his documentary helped share my perspective on the extraordinary events of the decade and on my life as a photographer."
Ray Macland, the LIFE Picture Editor in 1960, hired a group of young photographers he dubbed "The Young Lions". There were 5 of us -
Farrell Grehan, Ken Hyman, Bill Ray, John Loengard & myself.
"With John Loengard's passing on May 24, 2020, that leaves just me."