Former San Francisco Examiner photographer Paul Glines, 71, died suddenly Thursday morning of a heart attack while driving near his home in Matawan, New Jersey. In the turbulent 1960s, Glines headed west to California, where he was hired as a staff photographer for the San Francisco Examiner.
Glines landed his first job as a photographer for the Union-Leader in Manchester, N.H. ''He got a book at the library on how to take pictures and develop film, and he went to the newspaper and said he could be a photographer," Glines' wife, Sara Glines said. It worked, and he was off and running on a career that would span five decades.
He became an accomplished photojournalist who strove to elevate the profession, said Eric Meskauskas, the Examiner's former director of photography. "He tried to make photographers more than just cameramen, He tried hard to show that photographers had as much to contribute to journalism as writers. The thing about Glines was that he was a very disciplined photographer. As a result, he would come up with some amazing photographs. He would set up portraits with backdrops. He would bring lights in the days when everybody was using flashes, so he would end up with something much more interesting than a snapshot," Meskauskas said.
His wife said a highlight of her husband's career at the Examiner was shooting a spread of photographs atop a cable of the San Francisco Bay Bridge for the 50th anniversary of the span in 1986. ''He loved that," she said. "That was his favorite assignment."
He left the newspaper in 1989, and the couple moved to Aberdeen, Wash., where he opened his own photography studio. The ill-fated venture was felled after four years, however, by a bird and the demise of the logging industry on which the area's economy depended. ''The spotted owl became an endangered species, and they closed the timber forests," his wife said. "Nobody could afford pictures. It was really poor timing on our part."
The couple came back East to Connecticut, where Glines became director of photography for Score baseball cards, assigning photographers to take pictures of rookie players.
In 1996, the couple moved to Matawan, where Glines was working on his final photographic initiative when he died. His wife said he set out to photograph a series of ordinary people "who make New Jersey special" - people like a single mother who worked on a bomb squad and a woman who ran a hotdog stand at the Jersey Shore for generations. ''This was just his own project and his hope was that when he got 50 of them, he would exhibit them in public spaces," she said.
In a memoir he was writing, the love Glines had for photojournalism shines through. ''Life from behind a camera allowed for an opportunity to participate in people's lives," he wrote. "I shared in their joy as well as their sorrows, silently up close and somewhat vicariously."