Robert Lebeck 6
Between GEO and stern
The 1970’s were a time when photojournalist Robert Lebeck was a staff photographer at Stern Magazine. Despite being successful he left this position due to changes at the publishing house, but only a short time later to get the position back. How that came about and on which projects he work on until the late 1970’s we will learn from Lebeck in this 6th installment of the mini-series, Robert Lebeck and his life as a photographer.
Lebeck’s first work for the renowned Magazine GEO started in the 1970’s. His assignment was to photograph a woman of the Moluccan Islands (Spice Islands). He was sent a photo by telex, but he couldn’t quite make out the photo, but still he thought it was an assignment he could and did successfully complete.
At this time in his career Lebeck started work as the photo-editor of GEO, a new magazine. Rolf Gilhausen collected the best topics and kept them from everybody else until it was announced to Stern Magazine that Gilhausen would use these stories in GEO magazine. Gilhausen had to be careful that Henry Nunn did not find out the plans of Gilhausen because he was not to keen on the idea of having to compete with GEO. Lebeck was appointed photo-editor on a trial basis. He could pick out all the stories and control how the magazine was designed optically. He passed the trial period with amazing results, but he longed to be a photojournalist again. At 50 years old Lebeck thought at first his career was over due to the physical challenges that came along with being a photojournalist, but he soon longed to be a photojournalist again. During this film Lebeck talks about working for Stern Magazine, then GEO as photo-editor, then back to Stern with a high profile shooting: Khomeini and his trip to Tehran. Lebeck would be one of the first ever photojournalist to succeed with photographing Khomeini without his turban, having lost it after a wild greeting and rush from the people on the streets of Tehran.