In June 2013 a true legend of photography passed away after years in the industry.
Robert Gilka was a photojournalist and later director of photography at National Geographic, a position he held since the late 1950’s.
Mr Gilka had something of a reputation, often pumping fear into the heart of many photographers, setting standards unbelievably high and maintaining those standards throughout his career at National Geo.
“To rise above the great pack of people calling themselves photographers, one must develop seeing senses to the utmost”
He was adored and feared by photographers in equal measure, with much of the fear ground from the thought of disappointing the man they held upon the pedestal.
Perhaps one of the best known moments from photographers showing their books to Gilka, is when he would peruse through the pages, silently thumbing his way through image after image, then turning to the creator, he would say “Do you intend to make your living doing this?”
Photography was first introduced to the pages of National Geo in the early 1900’s, with some outstanding and historically amazing images used throughout the pages, but it was until the mid 50’s and the introduction of Robert Giilka to the title, did the image and thought process change for the better, introducing a style of image which became part of the story.