It was late afternoon, and a few of us were strolling along a street in the newer section of Istanbul. Reed suddenly turned to his right, raising his camera to his eye. He saw what eluded the rest of us: a boy and a girl, perhaps 10 years old, sitting side by side on a stair stoop, sucking on popsicles, a bright yellow bicycle leaning against their knees. This scene captured for me the essence of Reed Hoffmann: photojournalist. But in addition to capturing a moment, Reed taught me patience, sometimes watching and waiting for long minutes for the right light, or the right moment.
I’ve accompanied Reed on four international Treks — Turkey, Egypt, Botswana and China — and attended a couple of Nikon Schools he’s taught. He is not only a fount of knowledge of all things photographic, but is unfailingly patient with tyros like me. In the middle of a crowded street he has unerringly found the right menu on my stubborn camera, solved a mechanical problem or reframed an awkward pic into an acceptable photograph at a review session. During long drives into the Egyptian desert he roamed the aisle of the bus, asking and answering questions and dispensing photographic wisdom. Not only is he a master photographer and mentor, but his advice for travel, packing and having a successful trip are not to be missed.
Having shared meals and stories over several Mentor Treks, long bus trips, Range Rovers on bumpy roads and puddle-jumping airplanes, I also count him as a boon travel companion and friend. I can think of no better teacher and mentor.Ronald M. Weintraub, M.D.