D A V I D
H O R N B A C K

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S T R E E T
P H O T O G R A P H Y

David Hornback

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David Edward Hornback
Los Angeles, 1962

 

1977-1979

I took my first photography course in high school at age 15. Two successful exhibitions came out of these first years: 'Where the Hell is Wichita?' and 'Wichita High School East.' All photographs were made between the ages of 15 and 17. The exhibitions traveled in Europe and the United States   

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1980-1984

I went on to study photojournalism at the University of Kansas (Lawrence) where I was named College Photographer of the Year (National Press Photographers Association, 1983) and Southern Short Course Student Photographer of the Year (1984).

I shot my first assignment with National Geographic at age 20, Florida Panther, which became the cover of National Geographic's World magazine. 1983

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1986-1987

On the second day of a three-day trip to West Berlin, I was seduced by the romantic old city and decided to stay. I found an apartment, began to learn German and found enough freelance work to succeed for two years. In my last year I was invited to participate in a show in Berlin's Academy of Art of 50 years of photography in Berlin. (Berlin von Aussen)

1988-1990

I returned to the United States first to Tucson, Arizona, where I freelanced and later to San Jose, California, where the well-known San Jose Mercury News hired me. We, the staff of the Mercury News. won the Pulitzer Prize for our coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Three weeks after the earthquake, the Berlin Wall fell and I returned to the German city to cover it for the Mercury News and several news agencies.

1990-1994

In 1990 I returned to Europe and installed myself in Seville. I covered the 1992 World Expo for the news agency Reuters, as well as for Siemens and other clients.

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1994-2014

In 1994 I accepted an offer of an apartment by a photographer in Berlin and began living between Seville and Berlin.In 1997 I also began living in Bilbao, Spain, and during eight years I divided my time between the three European cities and the US.

In 2005, I left the apartment in Seville and since then spend most of my time between Bilbao, Berlin and Wichita.

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The Sunday cover of Deia, a Basque newspaper, September 9, 2012

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"...His photographic work has taken him around the planet. David Hornback (Los Angeles 1962) remembers those horrific scenes when an earthquake registering 6.9 on the Richter scale shook downtown San Francisco on October 17, 1989, killing 62 and leaving 3,756 injured and 12,000 homeless and millions of dollars in losses…"

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The San Francisco earthquake, October 1989

"...Hornback was then a young photojournalist who worked at the San Jose Mercury News in California and lived one of the most shocking moments of his career. 'When we flew over the city in a helicopter, fire was everywhere and there were constant aftershocks. San Francisco from the sky looked like a ghost town. The Mercury News staff worked intensively for three weeks day and night, meeting and talking to the victims ... We wanted to tell the personal stories of what happened to ordinary people after suffering such a dramatic experience.'

Coverage that earned David Hornback and his fellow San Jose Mercury News nothing less than the Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in the world of journalism..."

(Extract from the Basque newspaper Deia, 9 de Septiember 2012, by Maite Redondo)

 

The Berlin Wall, November 1989

Only three weeks later news came to California from Eastern Europe—the Berlin wall was trembling. I packed my bags, bought the last remaining air ticket from San Francisco to Berlin and disappeared at dawn from California. On a layover in New York I called Brian Moss, my boss at the Mercury News. I explained that I was heading to Berlin to cover the biggest event of the decade…and hoped I wouldn't be fired for leaving without permission.

Thirty seconds of total silence. And then Moss burst out laughing. "Don't worry. I've got your back. Just take good photographs!"

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