This page is dedicated to favorite photographs from the masters. I will add a bit of commentary to each image, and add an image a week. The purpose of doing this is to develop my ability to relate to, talk about, and learn from the work of others. By spending time with an image and writing about I hope to get a deeper connection with the work. I don’t know yet how I will select the images but stay tuned and share your comments too!
I love this image of Irving Penn, as I love most of his work, which I have been discovering via his books. I recently read two, Platinum Prints, and also his nudes book. This image above represents Irving’ style of using rough studo props and objects, together with wonderful light, mostly natural, and a very compelling way to show people. I do not get tired of looking at the image above!
I just love the energy and dynamism of the images - the frozen movement allows us to see what we cannot see in reality - the photograph creates a moment in the process of capturing it. What is interesting about Lois’ approach is that she brought the dancers to the studio, as opposed to capture them on stage, and carefully orchestrated their movements for the camera. The dancers are performing for the camera, and not for an audience. This degree of control creates astonishing beautiful images. You can see more images of Lois and read about her work here:
The Art of Lois Greenfield By Jason Miletsky and Kim Robinson, article on Digital Output.
I recently bought a book about Arnold Newman, the great American portrait photographer. His style was new and fresh at the time, and continues to be an inspiration for many photographers. I selected one of the images from the book, his portrait of Goedel, an austere image that pefectly captures the contribution of Goedel to modern mathematics. The image is remarkable because it show the mathematician in front of a big empty black board, like an enormous black hole. Like the huge black hole that Godel found in mathematics - what’s called the Incompleteness Theorem - it shows that any mathematical system contains theorems that can be proved neither true nor false. Philosophically this means that mathematics is ‘imperfect’ - this was a devastating blow to thinkers that relied on math as the flawless vehichel which which to model physics and science in general. I love how Newman saw this and gave this black hole the central place in this image, with Godel humbly supporting the weight of it on his shoulders.