National Geographic : 1982 Apr
On Assignment A soldier suddenly pointed a gun into his face and screamed "No!" Fleming backed away. Another excited guard fired his pistol into the air, creating the danger of ricochet from the grandstand roof. "I would make a picture, put the camera be hind my back, and move on," he remembers. "Because I had on a coat and tie and was carry ing only two cameras," he says, "I looked like everybody else in the reviewing stand." This shot of a wounded ambassador, along with the rest of his film, was immediately released by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC for pub lication. Fleming's photographs appeared in Newsweek and some 15 other magazines around the world; for his coverage he has been named 1981 runner-up Magazine Pho tographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association. On a previous GEOGRAPHIC assignment, Fleming was smuggled by Somali guerrillas into the Ogaden over a road often mined by the Ethiopians. "One thing I have learned," he says: "Don't go with a preconceived idea. Try to keep calm. Let things happen." In Cairo, Egypt, they did and, unlike some others, he kept his cool. HARVEYARDEN(ABOVE) ANDKEVIN FLEMING HISTORY CROSSED PATHS with free lance photographer Kevin Fleming while he was covering the Sinai Peninsula for this month's issue. On only his second foreign as signment, the 28-year-old Delaware farm boy was eyewitness to the assassination of Egypt's President Anwar Sadat. And, he later learned, if the attack in Cairo had not taken place, the assassins may have intended to try at Mount Sinai, where Sadat was scheduled to attend a ceremony a day later-the next stop also for Fleming and author Harvey Arden. Fleming was only 25 yards from Sadat when the attack started. Was he hearing fireworks or gunshots? A grenade exploded. He knew. "I told myself: 'Kevin, you have to hold the camera still,' " he recalls. "It was chaotic. Bul lets came from everywhere. People tumbled over chairs as they dived for cover. I saw Sadat's photographer take his last breath."