Leslie B. Carlton — Perfection


Cameraman Les Carlton among some of subjects

The following editorial was published Jan. 30, 1963, in The Record (Pocono Record), the day after the death of one of its own.


Leslie B. Carlton — Perfection

“He was a perfectionist in his field of photography. In many ways this carried over in his life and dealings with people. It has to be right, it had to have reason integrity.

“That was Leslie B. Carlton. His fault, if any, was that he enforced these fine basic characteristics in blunt, succinct and unmistakable terms. At times this irritated some people. But they forgot that the soft voice, beguiling tongue and weaseling words are the insecurities of dealing with your fellowman, and indeed, with the whole mess this world now faces.

A portrait taken by Les Carlton while he was a photographer for The Record.

“His razor-sharp approach to the best in photography for this newspaper and those he photographed for this newspaper were underlined with these principles. As a result we always got the best in pictures and the best in reproduction of those pictures in this newspaper.

As he often said “The camera sees what it sees and records exactly the same way — from there on it is up to the skill and integrity of the man behind the camera. It can’t be changed”

“As a friend and companion, he was just that steadfast, reliable and sound. He had humor, loved people to the fullest and enjoyed life. His life, of course, was in the fullest sense dealing with people.

One of the many photos taken by lens-man Les Carlton during his career at The Record.




“He was a fine, generous gentleman, who nevertheless was steadfast against anything that he felt was phoney. And he said so when the occasion demanded.

“This is a newspaperman’s appraisal of a great newspaper photographer. May we suggest:

“His forthright approach to life should be guide to all.”

• • •

“Les” Carlton, as he was known to area residents, was the man synonymous with photography in Monroe County. In 1963, he was declared by columnist Bob Clark to be “the man who has taken more pictures of Pocono personalities than any other lens man.”

Carlton came to Stroudsburg in 1945 after working as a free-lancer photographer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Bulletin. In 1946, he became chief photographer of The Record.

But after a decade on the job, he suffered a heart attack as result of around-the-clock coverage of the infamous Flood of 1955. His illness led to “retirement.” However, he continued working for the newspaper on a part-time basis.

Carlton died Jan. 29, 1963, at the age of 72.

Carlton shot this photo of a beauty queen and her escorts in East Stroudsburg.

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