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Thread: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

  1. #1

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    On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    The New Yorker has a nice piece on what it was like to be photographed by Richard Avedon.


    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/ph...richard-avedon

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    Very good story teller.

    I like her statement, "A photograph is a collaboration between the artist and the subject. A photographer, no matter how great, is limited by his material."
    sin eater

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    Re: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    "The photo arrived a month or so later. I remember feeling momentarily let down that it was neither trademark Avedon glamorous nor provocative but instead depicted the goofy, slightly awkward person that is indisputably me. I didn’t see the contact sheet, so I’ll never know what the other options were. I can only assume that Avedon chose the least embarrassing one. A photograph is a collaboration between the artist and the subject. A photographer, no matter how great, is limited by his material."


    One of the things learned over the course of portrait and humanity image making over the decades, if the photographer-artist is any good they can capture some of what is some of the essence of an individual or group. Some individuals have no problems with exposing their honest bare humanity to the camera, to be preserved on an print. other individuals flat refuse to reveal themselves to be memorialized in a print. Then there are those with such strong and intense projection of their humanity that their print glows with their sense of humanity.

    While there are photographic tools such as soft focus lenses, controlled focus areas of the individual being photographed, out of focus rendition, color or monochrome, diffused or hard-hot lighting, or .... these tools, methods and processes are best applied to enhance the innate personality of the individual or group being photographed.



    Bernice

  4. #4

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    Re: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wasserman View Post
    The New Yorker has a nice piece on what it was like to be photographed by Richard Avedon.


    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/ph...richard-avedon
    Thank you to share this article .

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    Re: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    Way back when Avedon was doing these images his studio assistant was a fellow named Gabriel.
    Avedon used a Rollei 3.5F as well as larger format for most, if not all, of these high key portraits.
    Gabriel was shooting with a Mamiya TLR at that time.

    One day Richard called that they were having a flare problem with the Rollei and asked me to come to a shooting to see what the problem was.

    They lit the scene against a white cyc wall with two banks of floor to ceiling strobes on either edge of the background and with a huge white umbrella in front and over the camera and the subject.

    Sure enough, when they shot B&W test rolls with both the Rollei and the Mamiya the Rollei had flare along the left edge of the scene and the Mamiya did not. Gabriel was trying his best to convince Richard that he should just switch to the Mamiya.

    When looking at the background lighting it became obvious that a couple of the lamp heads that were supposed to be directed at the wall were not quite positioned correctly and were throwing light back towards the camera. That was creating the flare on the Rollei!

    Why on the Rollei and not the Mamiya? The 3.5F had a 75mm lens, the Mamiya an 80mm lens.

    Once the heads were repositioned and another test was done the flare was gone!

    Richard was laughing through the entire visit!

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    Re: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    I like that story Bob!
    sin eater

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    Re: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    I like that story Bob!
    Worst part is I spent all day there and never asked him for an autograph!

  8. #8

    Re: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    From reading the piece what strikes me is how kind he was to this person who did this sitting with him. Even long after the fact. Very admirable.
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

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    Re: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    Yes I enjoyed that New Yorker article also.

    Those curious about Avedon may enjoy the biography "Something Personal" by his long time studio manager, we see a little of Avedon with the curtain pulled back.

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    Re: On Being Photographed by Richard Avedon

    Being Photographed by Richard Avedon could include having several elephants in the back

    Is Dovima With Elephants one the greatets fashion photographs ever ?

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