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A lifetime of impressions translated to film

by Gary Friedman

When Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez and I paid a recent visit to 99-year-old Morrie Markoff and his lovely wife, Betty, never did I expect to find out how much of an accomplished amateur photographer Morrie had been through the years.

Nor did I expect to find his deep love of photography.

But there it was, staring at me through eight photo books on his bookshelves filled with sepia-style photographs taken by Morrie from two separate trips they made during 1959 and 1960 to Asia and many countries throughout Europe. With his trusted twin lens Rolleiflex, Morrie captured moments in each photograph and a deep feeling of connection with his subjects.

His love of photography began in 1941 after the birth of his daughter when he picked up an old Kodak camera and began taking pictures. He also built a primitive darkroom.

“We all start out with an empty brain and we fill it as we go along, with impressions with what you learn,” Morrie said, “and it develops what your thinking is, how you look at the world, how you look at people and this is what life is.”

Morrie doesn’t take too many photographs these days as he’s about to turn 100 in January (as well as celebrating 75 years of marriage with Betty).

His advice to others: “If you love photography, keep shooting pictures.”


  1. November 5, 2013, 4:01 pm

    Ridiculously Inspiring!

    By: Erick
  2. November 6, 2013, 1:04 am

    Great man, good advice …

    By: Holger
  3. November 6, 2013, 6:24 pm

    Beautiful Gary!-Bruce Gilbert

    By: bruce
  4. November 8, 2013, 1:27 pm

    wow. love it.

    By: Ben
  5. November 12, 2013, 5:30 am

    He knows what passion means, everyone should take his advice!
    sweet man 🙂

    By: NJNeneh

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