Saturday 7 January 2012

The Photographer Is The Instrument…

…not the camera.


So said Eve Arnold, the legendary photojournalist who died this week at the age of 99. According to Beeban Kidron, in Thursday’s Guardian, her name is never printed without the prefix ‘legendary’. BK has a great article about this woman.

There’s a gallery of some of her iconic photos here – she took some amazing pictures of film stars- but of unknown people too [a retired Chinese woman, Nazis at a rally…]I confess to being mesmerised by some of her pictures of Marilyn Monroe. She could achieve stunning pictures not only in a studio – but also in a London pub [see Burton and Taylor below] And she said some interesting things about her craft and her subjects…

burton taylor

“A studio session ... provides the greatest chance for control. [But] even though there is total freedom, I still dislike studio photography and the contrived images that usually stem from this genre.”

dietrichchinese woman

“You can’t make a great musician or a great photographer if the magic isn’t there.”

eve arnold nazis

"If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument."

eve arnold and mmnewman

“I never knew anyone who even came close to Marilyn in natural ability to use both photographer and still camera. She was special in this, and for me there has been no one like her before or after. She has remained the measuring rod by which I have — unconsciously — judged other subjects.”


I definitely need more practice [but still find Picasa a most useful – and free - tool to make my efforts presentable]

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