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Author Topic: Blow Up  (Read 2356 times)
BenjaminKanarek
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« on: February 14, 2010, 04:13:29 AM »
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Blow Up was a film loosely based on the life of David Bailey and was one of the first films I ever saw relating to the Fashion Biz. In fact, it was the first time I was ever exposed to fashion from the vantage point of a photographer. It was a real eye opener for me in many respects and may have subconsciously effected how I perceived myself within the BIZ. Things have certainly changed however. If I treated models the way David Hemmings did, the chances of my getting models in the future would be severely diminished and I would probably get a swift kick in the Balls! I really love the set designs, the clothing and the make-up & hair. Some serious experimentation was going on here and the creative spirit of the 60s time frame is so well expressed throughout the film. Also, check out the music, tantalizingly tacky with a scene of the Yardbirds doing a gig at a club in London. Both Sarah Miles and Vanessa Redgrave are absolutely wonderful in this cult film. There is also an appearance with model Burshuka.

So many of todays photographers have been influenced by the simplicity and sparseness of the 60s. Steven Meisel comes to mind when seeing this, but he recreated the ambiance 40 years later. I consider this epoch as once of the most creative in Fashion Photography. But from a Sociological perspective, we have come a long way. None the less Blow Up stands as one of the most important films of the century, as it so well ensconces the paradigm of that time frame from almost all of the disciplinary vantage points; Music, Fashion, Photography, Architecture, Psychology, Philosophy and Sociology.

Hope you enjoy these videos as much as I do and perhaps they might spark your creative juices.

http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/t2j
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2010, 04:35:15 PM »
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Even more amazing - sadly - to think I was doing it at the same time as the film was being made.

Did you manage to see the docu. on The September Issue which is a take on Anna Wintour and the production of the September Issue of American Vogue? In it you also see much of Grace Coddington, who was a model at the time of which you are thinking, went on to become editor at UK Vogue where she worked for twenty years and then beside Wintour at American for the past twenty. She makes a remark at one point where she nails the whole thing dead, and I paraphrase somewhat loosely: ' I love soft, muted shots; unfortunately, today they like everything so crisp... a shame, really.' Guess she is a film girl at heart. ;-)  I loved her mind.

Rob C

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bill t.
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2010, 06:26:38 PM »
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Puh LEEZ!  All that 1960's fuzzy, gravely, ISO 500 pushed to ISO 2000 stuff was just a fleeting aberration!  You had to shoot minimalist because anything smaller than a soccer ball couldn't be distinguished from the film grain!

Fashion photography was perfectly crisp before then as it is now, and that is how it should be.  IMHO.

Now HERE's some real fashion photography...



http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01...dward-steichen/

But think a special dispensation can be granted to Rob, whom I am sure was a cut above those ordinary 60's granulators.

So Rob, what actually were you up to back then?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 06:28:02 PM by bill t. » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 03:30:31 PM »
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What was I up to? Well, I guess the same as most everybody else: trying to keep working.

I don't agree at all that it was all grain in the 60s; we had all sorts of formats at work at the time and when you consider that 500Cs were the main horse for the course, no reason why there should have been too much. In fact, apart from some editorial shooters, most of us doing work for commercial clients had to be pretty careful to provide high quality results. You have to consider that the greater part of fashion photography (mine at least) was for manufacturers and chain stores. Those people were into selling a garment and not a photographer's ego. In fact, the sad reality was though much of my work came via my then book, I was seldom allowed to shoot in that free manner and detail and texture were highly regarded as essential; blur and grain  were no-noes and the province of some magazines and/or portfolios. As for 500 ASA - Sarah Moon had a handle on that one and she used it to great effect on the '72 Pirelli, my personal favourite but, apparently, the least successful one; maybe a case of pearls before swine?

The trouble was, you had to be a star to get away wth those things. Also, it wasn't easy to be sure that you and your client were speaking the same language. I remember once that I had landed a shoot in France for a beer company client and the head honcho told me we should consider doing it in a painterly manner. I was delighted and rushed back to his office with the Moon Pirelli as an example of what could be construed to be a painterly manner and he almost choked! We ended up shooting Kodachrome 64 as usual. So much for painterly.

Cacharel was one brand that made great use of it with Sarah Moon, as did L'Air du Temps with David Hamilton, except that he was more into breathing onto his lens than hugely fast film...

Wonderful, if frustrating, days.

Rob C
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 10:56:19 PM »
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I think I watched the first ten minutes of this film.  Then Gloria Steinem called and threatened me and I turned it off.
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Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 04:39:55 AM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
I think I watched the first ten minutes of this film.  Then Gloria Steinem called and threatened me and I turned it off.



If I remember correctly, she was also one of the people chatting on the Annie L programme (Life through a Lens) who maintained, as did another speaker as well as Miss A herslf, that protraits do NOT capture the essence of character which is forever hidden, masked, or otherwise presented as the sitter deems suitable for the needs of the moment.

Regarding Blow Up, it was great at the time but didn't time-travel well. I have seen it perhaps three times at least and it gets progressively more dated on each occasion. However, La Dolce Vita seems timeless to me, perhaps because of many personal  triggers it sets off. What I would say about the latter film is that it could have done with some editing of the 'miracle' scenario which was just too long to hold repeated interest.

Rob C
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 04:40:22 AM by Rob C » Logged

DarkPenguin
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 08:11:06 PM »
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http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.d...NTARY/100219983
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2010, 03:13:59 AM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin





I think the writer is pretty close to the truth, but can I be sure?

Rob C
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