Many times I had only a few minutes with a "portraitee". I took this portrait in a corridor at his publishers as people milled about us. With only those few minutes I chose the corridor for the very simple contribution that the stairs could give: Chomsky is, in part, a thinker, and with little else to play with, I took some close-up and some with the stairs behind him, where they just (very) vaguely suggest somewhere where his thoughts could go! For City Limits.
Marilyn Crispell is a great pianist and a very warm person. This shoot was for a cover feature for The Wire. I think the magazine wasn't happy with the shoot – it made the cover, but not the feature – though then-editor Richard Cook said it was one of their most "human" covers. This was a nice compliment – and reflects Marilyn's personality – but also meant I probably hadn't met the stylised demands of The Wire's artwork at the time! Nevertheless, from that cover shoot this other shot appeared inside the magazine in a later issue, and there was some surprise as to how much they liked it when printed up: possibly old-style contact sheets hadn't revealed enough of the overall impact of the full-size image. Marilyn was staying in a friend's house in Woodstock, with her keyboard and cats, and this was taken in the garden of the house. Update: now scanned from original negative, and the Wire cover shot found and scanned below:
For more on these portraits, see here, and the Portraits tag at right.