Photos of Iran, 1970's
By Tina Manley
May 21, 2001
These photos are selections from hundreds I took when I lived in Iran
in the 1970's. I have traveled all over the world since then, but Iran and
the Iranian people remain in my memories as the most beautiful and welcoming
in the world. It is my dream to one day return to Iran and find the people
and places that I remember so vividly. Photos
I first became interested in photography when I started taking pictures
of my own four children. Working in the darkroom and attending workshops
and seminars increased my interest and photography soon became too expensive
to remain a hobby. I set up my own business and began marketing my photographs
to textbooks and magazines. The first photograph I sold, two of my children
on a swing, was used on the cover of a book and I have been selling photographs
since then to buy more film to make more photographs!
In 1989 I was asked to go as photographer to Honduras and Guatemala with
a mission group. That trip was a major turning point in my life and in my
photography. I became a mission consultant for the Presbyterian Church and
have returned to Honduras and Guatemala every summer since then. I lead
a mission group of doctors and lay people who visit remote communities to
hold clinics and get to know the people.
I usually live with a local family for the two to three weeks that I
am in Central America and document their lives through photography. The
photographs are then used in slide shows, calendars, brochures, and posters
to raise money for self-development programs to aid the communities. The
people are willing to put up with me and my cameras because they know I
am there to help. I visit some of the same families each year and can see
the differences that the self-development programs are making in their lives.
Staying with the families has been an invaluable education in priorities
I have traveled to more than 34 countries photographing people. I hope
that the importance of personal relationships is communicated through my
photographs. Photography is the language I use to translate others cultures
that may seem foreign to us. I try to capture an emotion or instance of
everyday life that can be universally understood to show that the people
of the world are all more alike than we are different.
My cameras are Leica rangefinders and I prefer to use black and white
film. The cameras are unobtrusive, quiet, durable, and wonderful for low-light
photography. The black and white film portrays people and light without
the distraction of color. The photographers whose work I admire are those
who have used their photography to make a difference - from Dorothea Lange
in the 1930's and 40's to Sebastio Salgado and Stan Grossfeld today.