Friday, July 17, 2009

Lillian Bassman

Lillian Bassman is a fashion photographer from NYC whose work from the 40s to the early ’60s was published in Harper’s Bazaar. From the NYT article called Femininity, Salvaged:

Five years ago, at 87, Ms. Bassman discovered the glories of Photoshop and so began a new chapter in digital photography. She works every day in her studio, toying and reconfiguring from about 11 in the morning until dinnertime, and claims a proud proficiency with her computer. It is a skill however that does not extend to the use of e-mail or Google. “I’m not interested,” she said, “in any of that.”

NYT slideshow

Lillian Bassman, Then and Now exhibition at Staley Wise in NYC.

The book, Lillian Bassman, from 1997 is out of print but a new book will be published in the fall.

© Lillian Bassman

© Lillian Bassman, 1951

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kodachrome Retired

Kodak announced on June 22, 2009 that Kodachrome film will be retired after 74 years.
Read A Tribute to KODACHROME: A Photography Icon in Kodak's Blog A Thousand Words. Don't miss the Kodachrome slideshow.

Elsewhere, Forture magazine editors pick their favorite Kodachrome picks in the Kodachrome Gallery. Three of these photos by W.Eugene Smith, Robert Doisneau, and Jeff Jacobson are exceptional. For me, these all have what critic Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography called punctum. The punctum is subjective. A photo has that detail, that special quality, that something that grabs you by the throat or it does not.

From Fortune magazine.

W. Eugene Smith, renowned for his photo essays for Life magazine, notably "The Country Doctor," typically chronicled working-class American life. He also typically never worked in color, but Fortune persuaded him to do so. This private moment in the headquarters of Connecticut General Life Insurance in Hartford, Conn., did not make it into the September 1957 issue of the magazine, for which Smith shot photographs to accompany an article on the company's "dramatic new office building."

© W. Eugene Smith

Robert Doisneau, the celebrated French photographer and creator of the iconic 1950 photograph, "The Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville," was another photographer who rarely experimented with color.
Here Doisneau pictures a man reading in a lounge chair in Palm Springs, Calif., a photo that appeared in the magazine's February 1961 issue.

© Robert Doisneau

Fortune's editors chose this Jeff Jacobson photograph of a Shanghai billboard for their "2002: The Year in Pictures" photo gallery to symbolize the need to keep an "eye on China.""For centuries, China was Asia's sleeping dragon. Now fully awake, it is the region's most vibrant economy -- and most feared competitor," the photo's caption explained.

© Jeff Jacobson