It was fall of 1966 when I first developed film in a darkroom. Those two rolls of film held photographs of a friend who was (and still is) an artist. Since then I’ve photographed a lot of people in the arts, and this is a selection of favorites.

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These photographs jump around a bit (in content) but they are selected from my book about the Vietnam War era as it seemed to me, being a person in their teens and early twenties. A slice of time now quite far behind, but all too familiar. More information about the book here and how to purchase it.

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Iceland is now well known as a photographer’s paradise, and it deserves its reputation.  The landscape has the raw, biting quality of geologically recent birth. There is something different about Iceland. For me it has to do with the tenuous hold that we humans have on its surface and how the natural forces there are so huge as to dwarf us. Iceland puts me back on my heels, and makes me consider my place on Earth.

We were lucky when we lived in Vermont to have as neighbors two Icelanders. We were day-to-day friends for six years and during this time they increased from two to three with the birth of their daughter. They then returned to their real lives in Iceland. We have stayed close friends, and our trips to their country carry special weight for us because it’s their home.

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These pictures come from a dark period, when it seemed to me like nothing could get any worse. It was 1991 and the United States was just on the brink of the first war with Iraq. We had gone to London in the winter, thinking we’d get away from the US politics for a while. There was no “getting away”. In retrospect what was worse was that we had no concept of how much evil the future could actually hold.

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Rome projects a self-confident persona. It’s a city that made its deal with power and wealth a long time ago, and this is reflected in its people and buildings. All roads don’t lead to Rome any more, but while they did the Romans certainly made hay!

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How Many Roads? is a book of photographs by Jonathan Sa'adah, available for order, offering an unglossy but deeply human view of the period from 1968 to 1975 in richly detailed, observant images that have poignant resonance with the present. Ninety-one sepia photographs reproduced with an introduction by Teju Cole, essays by Beth Adams, Hoyt Alverson, and Steven Tozer, and a preface by the photographer.
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All material © 2016 Jonathan Sa'adah no use without written permission