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07-24-2009, 07:37 AM   #106
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Hi, have you done much photo work since leaving Nam? What types of things do you like to photograph now and with what camera set up? Thanks for sharing the memories. It's like we're all getting live DVD commentary on a "photographers of Nam" documentary!

One technical question. Were you provided with any filters for the lenses, for better protection of the glass?

07-24-2009, 08:43 AM - 1 Like   #107
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I guess our rating is a "Cool Thing"! Who rates them?
07-24-2009, 09:04 AM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by hillerby Quote
I guess our rating is a "Cool Thing"! Who rates them?
we do. at the top of the page there is a drop down menu, for selecting a rating. first time I have ever personally rated a thread. 5 stars by the way.
07-24-2009, 09:08 AM   #109
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All of "us"....
Each forum member (registered) has an option to rate every thread.

Keep the stories and pictures coming ....
I'd rather read your stories (and everyone elses contribution to this thread) than the rants and raves about equipment.

AF? try MF or hyperfocal
Autoexposure and wide open not sharp enough? try f8 and be there
Not enough fps? try fast thumbs
Weather sealing?

Brings us all back down to earth.

Thank You Sir!!!

07-24-2009, 09:54 AM   #110
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I will take credit for rating this a 5 star thread several days ago.
07-24-2009, 01:15 PM   #111
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A few questions answered

I've got a little time on my hands today to address a few questions and comments that have been posted since I was last here.

1.One poster asked "how often the NVA used elephants?" I really don't know the answer to that. I only observed it on one occasion, but the Marines we were photographing at the time told us that it wasn't all that uncommon. As an aside, it is "a shame about the poor elephants, we never did anything to them"... their hide does however make a great pair of cowboy boots!
2. "Did you ever spend any time with the montagnards". Yes, a fair amount of time was spent w/them. Every mission I was on with the Special Forces was in a montagnard camp. The SF guys absolutely loved em'. They were extremely loyal to the U.S. ... more so than most of the Vietnamese. The average Vietnamese who lived out in the rural areas would support whoever they thought was winning at the time. The "yards" were generally considered "2nd class citizens" (at best) by the native Vietnamese and generally neither group liked the other. The "yards" though were very loyal and would fight to the last man for the Americans.
3. One question was asked as to whether or not I'd done any photography since leaving Nam'. Photography was a hobby for many years and I continued shooting Loooong after I got out of the Army. At one time I shot a lot of weddings, little league pictures, and a few portraits. I quit shooting altogether a few years ago and have just recently gotten "back in the saddle" after several years out. I'm planning on getting into a DSLR pretty soon, which was what brought into this forum. I had a number of questions about the various models, differences from shooting film, etc. One responder to one of those early posts, suggested I start this thread. After giving it some thought, I decided to do so. The rest, as they say, "is history". When I'm shooting for "myself" I like to shoot flowers, scenics/landscapes and still life. Which camera I use depends on what I'm shooting. I'm currently down to a Pentax SF1 w/a couple of kit lenses for 35 and my "old warhorse" 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 Speed Graphic w/105 Zeiss Lens. If I'm shooting something that I know I'll want to get LARGE prints made, it's always the Graphic .... even the K7 can't approach the image quality I can get with that 6x9 film! If I'm shooting Rodeos, Cutting Horse competitions, ball games, etc. I'll use the SF!. I've located a couple of K10's that can be had worth the money and am giving that a serious look.
I'll try and get a few shots up this weekend and am thinking about posting a little bit about the training we got at the "Army Photo School" and how it related to the "real" world of a Combat Photographer. As a little "teaser", I can tell you that our training wasn't like what you'd see in the average CommunitY College, or even University level. We didn't deal with "art"!
07-24-2009, 01:33 PM   #112
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Well first of all I have to say thank you for your service Bob! It's mind blowing to think about the conditions you boys were in over there. Just read through the thread and I really enjoy your stories and informaton.

-Javin
07-24-2009, 02:58 PM   #113
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This thread is great. Love the images. Thanks for your service. (30+ years late)

07-25-2009, 09:47 AM   #114
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Haunting Ghosts from the past!!!!

I am this morning going to post only a single photo. I am still in a "state of SHOCK" regarding events that occurred yesterday at approx. 17:15 hrs. (that's 5:15 pm civilian time).
I'll apologize up front because this will likely be a rather LONG read, but I've got to get this off my chest!
First, a little background. I live and work in a medium sized rural area (Sherman Texas) that lies approx. 75 miles north of Dallas. Sherman is a small country town that has grown over the years to a small city.
In February of this year, the local newspaper got hold of the fact that I've been a Combat Photographer and wanted to "do a piece on me" and asked if they could interview me. I rather reluctantly agreed and told them I didn't really think that what I did was "all that important in the overall scheme of things", but I'd do it. OK, so the article is published (FULL PAGE w/a few photographs that I'd taken while there. Now that sets the stage for what took place yesterday (25 July 09').
Like I said, it's 5:15, and I'm trying to get out of our print/photography shop on a Friday afternoon. Phone rings, I look at the "caller ID screen" and it indicates "unknown caller". My initial reaction is to let the voice mail pick it up, but I thought; business has been terribly slow and I need the work, so I answer. "Hillerby Printing, this is Bob; how may I help you?" The female voice on the other end very hesitantly says, "I NEED to speak w/Bob Hillerby. I patiently responded, "this IS Bob, how may I help you?" She then asks if I'm the SAME Mr. Hillerby about whom the newspaper article on the Vietnam War was written?" "Yes maam, that was about me, I replied."
She then starts to try and describe a particular photograph that appeared as part of this same article. "Yes maam", I think I know the shot you're referring to." "You aren't going to believe this", she replied, but there's a picture of my brother in that shot. She then very emotionally describes that he's the one in the center of the three guys in the photo and how he'd died a couple of years ago.
"Do you have a copy of that picture", she asked. Yes maam, I TOOK the picture, I have the original here," I responded.
She then told me that they had almost no pictures of this brother and wanted to know If I'd make her a copy. I of course, told her I'd be happy to do so.
During the conversation, I explained that the shot had been made at a 1st Infantry Division Field Hospital at Lai Khe. She said he'd been hospitalized on 3 different occasions while in Vietnam and mentioned he was in the Marine Corps. I told her there must be some mistake, that the three men in this shot were all US Army Personell at a US Army Field Hospital. She insists that she'd recognize her brother in a photograph and I responded that I certainly didn't doubt that she would.
The fact that her brother was in the Marines and the men pictured are clearly wearing Army uniforms and insignia (which I can easily recognize on the original slide) presents a dillema in my mind becasue Lai Khe was well south of the nearest Marine Corps A.O. Then again, the Marines could have had him evacuated to the nearest big hospital facility for treatment .... don't know! At any rate the woman is supposed to come in a couple of weeks at which time I'll have her look at the prints I've made to see if she can positively identify this man as her brother. At this point, this event will haunt me for a few days.
I mean, what are the odds that something like this could happen in a small community like this? I mean, Hell if every single photograph I took over there were published and distributed in New York, what are the odds someone would call and say, "You've got a picture of my brother, husband, father, ... whatever? I'd have to say this is truly a "One in a million experience", and has given me pause to say the least.
In closing, I'd like to say that I've spent over 40 years thinking that my whole tour in Nam' was rather routine and "nothing really special". In some ways, I've always felt that I didn't accomplish "anything special" during my tour, when there were so many guys who displayed courage and incredible bravery during their time there. I was never involved in any of the large battles of Vietnam only because I wasn't there! The Battle of the Ia Drang Valley (before I got there), Hamburger Hill, Battle of Hue City, Tet Offensive of 68' (all occured after I'd returned home.) Of course, there were'nt very many battle of that magnitude. Most of the actions stopped almost as suddenly as they began and lasted no more than a few minutes of hour at most. In my case, when we came into an ambush we'd secure out position as best we could and call in the Gunbirds which would supress enemy fire to the point that we could maneuver on them and end the fight as quickly as possible. The enemy (when I was there) made no attempt to engage us in force because an Air Cav unit has too many assets availbe to them immediately. The only time they'd try to prolong the fight was IF they thought they could wipe us out immediately and most of the time they "thought wrong" because of our aggression in the fight and the air assets we bring to bear.
My experience simply proves my theory that all of the great war photographs are, for the most part a matter of chance, not design. In almost every case I can think of, the most acclaimed war photos were a matter of the photographer being in the right place at the right time.
Again, I have to apologize for this rather long read. I just had to get this strange event off my chest so I can try to figure it all out. All in all, it was just a really bizarre feeling when that woman told me I had a photograph of her brother (now deceased) that was taken over 40 years ago!
In closing, I'll let ya'll know that I've located another 40 or 50 shots that I'll be trying to get scanned and posted as early as possible.
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07-25-2009, 10:26 AM   #115
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Crazy story. I don't know whether it's better for her to be wrong or to be right...
07-25-2009, 11:18 AM   #116
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that is one heck of a story Bob! I couldn't imagine trying to wrap my head around that one. please do keep us updated on the turnout of the meeting, as Im sure wed all like to know. man how I wish I was still in Fort Worth! id love a chance to meet the 'local hero'. we have a large number of Vietnam Vets here in Savannah, and at work (at night) every time I see a vet (usually a hat or a pin gives them away) I stop what im doing to shake their hand. its something that never gets tiring, to see the smile on their face.
07-25-2009, 11:56 AM   #117
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See, the odds against any *particular* thing happening may be pretty astronomical, but the odds that *something* extraordinary will happen over time are pretty good.

Gotta keep your negs. Never know what'll be important later.
07-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #118
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Bob, I had a family living opposite me in Brisbane, Australia, who were "boat people" (refugees) who escaped to Australia after the fall of the Saigon. He was a doctor and had to study to re-qualify & resit his exams to be recognised by the Australian Medical Association.

I used to do odd jobs for the family and the wife would made me meals. I remember lots of fresh coriander (I don't like this herb much), "sticky" rice, salty/sweet/sour fish sauce. These days, I eat at Vietnamese restaurants, but with Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino & Thai (as well as heaps of Chinese) restaurants nearby, I don't eat Vietnamese cuisine very often.

Bob, did you like the Vietnamese food and do you eat it or other SE Asian cuisine occasionally today?

Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 07-25-2009 at 03:08 PM.
07-26-2009, 09:17 AM   #119
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Probably will not respond to this thread again. But I wanted to add my two cents in...I am very proud of my "big brother" and wanted him to know...He is a wonderful guy and I too thank him for his service as well as those others who have served....keep it up
07-26-2009, 10:02 AM   #120
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This has been an enjoyable thread to follow. Thanks for posting.
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