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Author Topic: The best Portrait Photographer?  (Read 17833 times)
michele
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« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2010, 06:18:01 AM »
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http://www.chrisbuck.com/

http://www.olafblecker.de/

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Arminw
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« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2010, 06:45:17 AM »
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Irving Penn truly a master ...
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You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus

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« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2010, 07:03:02 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Abdulrahman

You are really pushing the boat out here: nearly all the current portrait people I can think of are associated with fashion/celebrity shooting. If you seek older generation ones - then you could do worse than look at Cecil Beaton who, of course, also did fashion and theatre.

If you like Classic-era photography such as the work of Cecil Beaton, you owe it to yourself to check out Horst as well... http://www.horstphorst.com/. As usual, the website doesn't do him much justice- I went to an exhibition of his prints a few years ago which really impressed me.

Cheers, Hywel
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 07:03:53 AM by Hywel » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2010, 11:45:45 AM »
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Quote from: feppe
You're definitely missing something if the Monroe picture doesn't speak to you. It's not me, either, as that photo is one of the best-known portraits of Marilyn - and there are literally thousands of those out there. For example, it's in the top 10 of google image search for her.

The photo to me is more of Norma Jeane Mortenson than Marilyn Monroe. Avedon explained background to the photo in some documentary they were showing at one of his recent exhibitions: she spent the day in his studio acting like Marilyn Monroe in front of the camera. After the shoot was over, she was sitting alone in a corner, with the facade gone. Avedon approached her with a camera, and she allowed him to take a photo of her in that state. And that's what's clearly captured. He explicitly said he wouldn't have even taken the photo if she didn't acknowledge his presence beforehand.

That should also put rest to Rob's critique about Avedon's alleged cruelty.



I have also read a similar expression of disquiet attributed to one of the supermodels - I think it was one of the girls in the last Pirelli that he did - but as I have no real idea where the quotation actually lies now, I can't give a link to it. It could perhaps have been in one of my French PHOTO mags, but as I have been weeding them out over the past few months I am no longer sure I still have the issue in question, although I may have, and if I do I shall return to the thread and speak the name.

Anyway, my personal opinion isn't really from reading anybody else's views - it's from looking at the series he did across the States of all those various unfortunates up against white backgrounds, guns and snakes and unfortunate physical problems all to the fore. If that wasn't cruelty, then what the hell was it? Reminds me of other snappers playing what I perceive as the same voyeuristic game up in the Appalacians and calling it art because the cabins also show lots of wood detail; sure, art, with a capital E for exploitation. Why does Arbus spring to my mind, other than she was yet another one of us to take herself out?

As for Avedon's shot of Marilyn - I tend not to put too much weight on soundtracks. But it sure does speak to me - the picture; the problem is what it says to me about Avedon. Perhaps a gentleman wouldn't have shot it in the first place? My idea has always been that if you photograph women, you do it to make them look as good as you can unless they are playing a rôle in some dramatic work that demands the opposite; they are open to enough slings and arrows as it is - old Papa Time ain't no pal to most of them, nor to many of the males, either, when I consider the lies from my mirror. That that particular frame is so well known is not because she looks good in it... But then, others have also photographed the fading Marilyn with little sensitivity or grace; part of the press game of building you up so that they can later burn you down. Even when you are dead. Plus ça change.

Ciao

Rob C

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Camdavidson
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« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2010, 06:27:15 PM »
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Reuven Afanador http://www.art-dept.com/artists/afanador/
Mark Tucker  http://www.marktucker.com
Gustavo Marx http://www.gusmarx.com
Danny Turner http://www.danman.com/
Mark Seliger http://www.markseliger.com/
Mark Anderson http://www.markandersonphoto.com/
Stephen Kennedy http://www.stephenkennedy.com
 



Karsh
Penn
Avedon
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 09:56:58 AM by Camdavidson » Logged
HarryHoffman
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« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2010, 07:16:37 PM »
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Andrew MacPherson
http://www.macfly.com/
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2010, 11:35:09 PM »
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Today: Irving Penn
Yesterday: Richard Avedon
Tomorrow: ??
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TMARK
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« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2010, 12:32:43 AM »
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In my view In the American West is an empathetic work, not exploitative at all.  Same with Arbus.  I think they are treating their subjects with dignity and an empathy which may not translate well across cultures, even one as close as our English cousins.  

Speaking of treating subjects with respect and a gentle hand:  Alec Soth's Niagra:  http://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation...FTOKEN=91978820.  I'm not sure if these small book previews do the portraits justice, but the portraits are really tender when tney could have been exploitative.  So I nominate Soth top the list.

Quote from: Rob C
I have also read a similar expression of disquiet attributed to one of the supermodels - I think it was one of the girls in the last Pirelli that he did - but as I have no real idea where the quotation actually lies now, I can't give a link to it. It could perhaps have been in one of my French PHOTO mags, but as I have been weeding them out over the past few months I am no longer sure I still have the issue in question, although I may have, and if I do I shall return to the thread and speak the name.

Anyway, my personal opinion isn't really from reading anybody else's views - it's from looking at the series he did across the States of all those various unfortunates up against white backgrounds, guns and snakes and unfortunate physical problems all to the fore. If that wasn't cruelty, then what the hell was it? Reminds me of other snappers playing what I perceive as the same voyeuristic game up in the Appalacians and calling it art because the cabins also show lots of wood detail; sure, art, with a capital E for exploitation. Why does Arbus spring to my mind, other than she was yet another one of us to take herself out?

As for Avedon's shot of Marilyn - I tend not to put too much weight on soundtracks. But it sure does speak to me - the picture; the problem is what it says to me about Avedon. Perhaps a gentleman wouldn't have shot it in the first place? My idea has always been that if you photograph women, you do it to make them look as good as you can unless they are playing a rôle in some dramatic work that demands the opposite; they are open to enough slings and arrows as it is - old Papa Time ain't no pal to most of them, nor to many of the males, either, when I consider the lies from my mirror. That that particular frame is so well known is not because she looks good in it... But then, others have also photographed the fading Marilyn with little sensitivity or grace; part of the press game of building you up so that they can later burn you down. Even when you are dead. Plus ça change.

Ciao

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2010, 09:23:13 AM »
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Quote from: TMARK
In my view In the American West is an empathetic work, not exploitative at all.  Same with Arbus.  I think they are treating their subjects with dignity and an empathy which may not translate well across cultures, even one as close as our English cousins.



I see no reason to doubt your opinion as genuine - you might even be right about taste travelling well or not. But I'm afraid that I can't see beyond what's on the paper and what's there doesn't make me a happy guy.

On the other hand, I don't see Sally M. as exploitative; I see her as able to do happy snaps with the ability to take them to an entirely different level altogether from that usually understood by the term. As records of a growing up - wonderful.

Jane Bown was ever a British favourite and Annie L. is certainly gifted too, though I'm not so sure about the book: I bought it a couple of days ago and have got about two-thirds of the way through and, so far, it doesn't pull my string as did the tv show on her life, which was what prompted me to buy the book. It may turn out that the last third has much more interesting material (in my view) but I can only take so much of her parents, sisters, kids and Susan Sontag, both subjects being of limited interest outwith the actual family circle. In fact, some of the Sontag shots in Venice don't even say anything good about her photographic technique - they are just shots that look as if they had to be taken for personal reasons but were never really considered shots in a sense of high photographic quality. Neither did I get any sense of why it was necessary to put in nudes of both Sontag and Annie herself.

Speaking of portraitists, what about good old Eve Arnold, who seems to have been overlooked? Boy, has she made some moving and definitive shots!

Rob C
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« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2010, 10:03:35 AM »
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Nigel Shafran

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gwhitf
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« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2010, 06:54:37 PM »
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I know this might seem like heresy, but I think that Scott Schuman has a great style going, with The Sartorialist. I think he's the modern version of a portrait photographer -- mobile camera; fast on his feet; in tune with culture; making connections all day long. When i look back at those very early pictures of Avedon, in the white shirt and the skinny black ties, it sorta feels like the vibe of this Schuman guy. Imagine how many people that he's come into contact with over the years. I'm not saying he's making deeply soulful portraits, but I think he does make nice (yet brief) connections with people. You can see it in their eyes. He reminds me of a young Bill Cunningham.

http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/

And trust me, read the Comments of his posts. Sometimes, each one numbers over a hundred. And nobody's sitting there obsessing about pixels. They're looking at CONTENT. I think Schuman's got it going on.

(And imagine his line item for Studio Rental and Permits and 7b Rentals and Catering: ZERO! Find some great light, get five minutes with someone, shoot RAW, and be gone. Brilliant!)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 07:00:28 PM by gwhitf » Logged
lisa_r
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« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2010, 08:51:06 PM »
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Annie Leibovitz

Robert Maxwell (!)
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Tim Lüdin
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« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2010, 01:13:02 AM »
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Quote from: lisa_r
Annie Leibovitz

Robert Maxwell (!)


Yes, she is the greatest.
Ok, she's got the crazy budgets. But her work is always outstanding.
She has some good ideas too.

Some that are very very close:

Norman Jean Roy
Art Streiber
Marco Grob
Mark Seliger
Rankin


Tim
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Alex MacPherson
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« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2010, 03:15:55 AM »
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I like Gregory Heisler.

Great photographer and funny guy. He tells good stories.

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Alex MacPherson

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tesfoto
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« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2010, 03:26:00 AM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
I know this might seem like heresy, but I think that Scott Schuman has a great style going, with The Sartorialist. I think he's the modern version of a portrait photographer -- mobile camera; fast on his feet; in tune with culture; making connections all day long. When i look back at those very early pictures of Avedon, in the white shirt and the skinny black ties, it sorta feels like the vibe of this Schuman guy. Imagine how many people that he's come into contact with over the years. I'm not saying he's making deeply soulful portraits, but I think he does make nice (yet brief) connections with people. You can see it in their eyes. He reminds me of a young Bill Cunningham.

http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/

And trust me, read the Comments of his posts. Sometimes, each one numbers over a hundred. And nobody's sitting there obsessing about pixels. They're looking at CONTENT. I think Schuman's got it going on.

(And imagine his line item for Studio Rental and Permits and 7b Rentals and Catering: ZERO! Find some great light, get five minutes with someone, shoot RAW, and be gone. Brilliant!)


Excellent, you are absolutly spot on. Great portraiture not pretending to be artist and still is. I see him as a kind of modern August Sander.
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tesfoto
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« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2010, 03:35:22 AM »
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Quote from: Tim Lüdin
Yes, she is the greatest.
Ok, she's got the crazy budgets. But her work is always outstanding.
She has some good ideas too.

Some that are very very close:

Norman Jean Roy
Art Streiber
Mark Seliger
Rankin


Tim



Some of these photographers could also be on my other list: Worst Portrait Photographer...... crap but still successfull, you could also add photographers like Michael Grecco etc.


Cheers


TES



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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2010, 03:51:11 AM »
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Quote from: Chairman Bill
Jane Brown. Superb portrait 'tog.

clicky

Jane BOWN

Has always bemused me  -a few snaps of famous people generally out of focus, in a bad way - no comprende why she is considered good

Generally arrogant about other press photographers - 'rushing off and not taking their time'

that the difference between working for a daily paper rather than a weekly one

I like her snap of Cilla Black however, because it required speed of observation..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gal...cture=354266995

S
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 03:53:38 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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blansky
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« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2010, 10:48:39 AM »
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Here's my take on so called "portrait photographers" who photograph celebrities. A portrait should tell a story about a person, sort of define a part of what makes them tick. My problem with photographers who photograph actors is that generally all we are getting, is actors doing what they do best. Acting. Very few if any photographs of actors are the least bit revealing of anything and the only reason we even look is because we "know" them. Much like if we saw a picture of someone we knew or were acquainted with, we would be more drawn to look at it because we already have some sort of relationship with them. Some people confuse that with being a good portrait.

So to me, a real portrait photographer or at least a good one can take a picture of someone we DON"T know and make it memorable or breathtaking. Naturally, Migrant mother comes to mind as well as the Afghan lady with the incredibly haunting eyes. To me these are portraits. They move you and draw you in. A human empathy thing is stirred in us.
When was the last time you were stirred by a celebrity "portrait".  It's mostly just unremarkable and usually as banal as the people in the photograph. Having your work on the cover of a magazine, or a book out at Christmas doesn't make you a portrait photographer just a photographer who shoots celebrities.


The freak show aspect of so called "portraits" also at times may be interesting, like going into a UFO and looking around, but not necessarily too revealing about the subject. Avedon's, western stuff is like that, as well as some native American stuff and some of Penn's work. Interesting, photojournalistic to be sure, but not really a portrait.

I find that fashion photographers trying portraiture often have plastic look to their work much like their fashion work. There is an unaccessibility to it, it's often technically good but very stand off-ish. Quite the opposite of what portraiture should be.

So my take on it is, it has to move you, transport you, and hit the empathy spot in you, then it has a chance to be a good portrait.

I'm sure on this forum, your mileage will vary.



Michael
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BJNY
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« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2010, 11:14:09 AM »
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Quote from: blansky
Here's my take on so called "portrait photographers" who photograph celebrities. A portrait should tell a story about a person, sort of define a part of what makes them tick. My problem with photographers who photograph actors is that generally all we are getting, is actors doing what they do best. Acting. Very few if any photographs of actors are the least bit revealing of anything and the only reason we even look is because we "know" them. Much like if we saw a picture of someone we knew or were acquainted with, we would be more drawn to look at it because we already have some sort of relationship with them. Some people confuse that with being a good portrait.

So to me, a real portrait photographer or at least a good one can take a picture of someone we DON"T know and make it memorable or breathtaking. Naturally, Migrant mother comes to mind as well as the Afghan lady with the incredibly haunting eyes. To me these are portraits. They move you and draw you in. A human empathy thing is stirred in us.
When was the last time you were stirred by a celebrity "portrait".  It's mostly just unremarkable and usually as banal as the people in the photograph. Having your work on the cover of a magazine, or a book out at Christmas doesn't make you a portrait photographer just a photographer who shoots celebrities.


The freak show aspect of so called "portraits" also at times may be interesting, like going into a UFO and looking around, but not necessarily too revealing about the subject. Avedon's, western stuff is like that, as well as some native American stuff and some of Penn's work. Interesting, photojournalistic to be sure, but not really a portrait.

I find that fashion photographers trying portraiture often have plastic look to their work much like their fashion work. There is an unaccessibility to it, it's often technically good but very stand off-ish. Quite the opposite of what portraiture should be.

So my take on it is, it has to move you, transport you, and hit the empathy spot in you, then it has a chance to be a good portrait.

I'm sure on this forum, your mileage will vary.

Michael

My thoughts as well
each of us having a different definition of what a portrait is.

It's sad that a celebrity subject validates a photo, and many a photographer's career.
So very few of their images are memorable, let alone belong in a book or on a wall.
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Guillermo
tesfoto
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« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2010, 11:35:09 AM »
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Quote from: blansky
So my take on it is, it has to move you, transport you, and hit the empathy spot in you, then it has a chance to be a good portrait.


I agree with a lot of what you are writing.

You should have a look at Fazal Sheikh a portrait photographer with empathy his books Moksha and Ladli are masterpieces, real stories not faking celeb or fasion.

http://www.fazalsheikh.org/11_ladli/online...on_en/start.php

http://www.fazalsheikh.org/10_moksha/onlin...on_en/start.php


Cheers

TES
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