This issue contains a rich and fairly complex variety of major stories—a look at pro football's young quarterbacks (page 20), an analysis of the upcoming World Series (page 26), our quadrennial preview of the Olympic Games (page 44) and an on-the-scene report from Kenya on that emerging nation's sometimes successful but somewhat troubled athletic progress (page 90). The photographs accompanying the stories, 29 of them in color, are the culmination of months of planning and execution by Picture Editor George Bloodgood and his deputy, Tom Vanderschmidt.
The Olympic section, for example, began to take shape last spring. Photographer Jerry Cooke was sent to Europe and Walter Iooss Jr. to Latin America to shoot outstanding athletes from the so-called Third Force in world sport. In July, James Drake went with John Underwood to Kenya for the pictures that accompany Underwood's story (one shot, of Kipchoge Keino, also made the cover). Late in the summer, when various U.S. Olympic Trials were taking place, Photographers Rich Clarkson, Neil Leifer and the team of Jack Sheedy and George Long were there, taking pictures of swimers, gymnasts, rowers and runners.
Meanwhile, the World Series situation had clarified early, and Blood-good and his staff went back over the season's take of baseball photographs, sifting and selecting until they had the pictures they wanted of the Cardinals and the Tigers. Finally, for the pro football lead story, six photographers were assigned on the same weekend to capture in action the quarterbacks Tex Maule would be writing about.
The complex logistics involved in all this are airily dismissed by George Bloodgood. "The main thing required of a picture editor is knowing the right people to send out on an assignment," he says. "Fortunately, we have excellent photographers available to us, and that makes my job easier."
September 29, 1968
Bloodgood admits that knowing the right people to assign is not all there is to it. "We deal primarily with freelance photographers, and they are intensely competitive. They all have to be kept happy, which isn't always easy, since many of them combine supreme self-confidence with a deep need for reassurance." What George really means is that fine photographers tend to be just as temperamental as fine artists, writers or actors.
Besides orchestrating his complicated cast of principals, Bloodgood must solve a formidable array of logistic problems. These include obtaining press credentials, arranging for appointments with difficult or elusive subjects, making plane and hotel reservations, shipping the film back to our laboratories and then getting negatives and prints in time to meet our deadlines. Fortunately, Bloodgood is not fazed by these demands. Born in Brooklyn (a confident town) in 1929, he came to Time Inc. in 1946 at 17. He worked for both LIFE and SI before becoming our assistant picture editor in 1960. When he was named head of the department last April, he drafted Vanderschmidt from our art department to become his aide. Bloodgood also gets some training at home that probably helps him in handling—soothing, urging, praising, scolding—his moody, talented photographers. George is the father of six children.