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I've watched Jane Bown and  Vivian Maier, on Sky, and recommend both. I may watch them again on Amazon just to educate their algorythmn ! 😀

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I still feel sick about the way Vivian Maier was exploited. You know that she was still alive in Chicago when her work was 'discovered.?

 

See the BBC documentary about the shameful way her work was sliced up, fought over in shady deals, and broken into parts to be monetised. 

 

And what was even more shameful was that most photographers couldn't have cared less - the same ones who would bang on day after day about their own precious copyright.

 

But she was ill, poor, foreign, old, female,  a former nanny, powerless. 

Edited by geogphotos
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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

But she was ill, poor, foreign, old, female,  a former nanny, powerless. 

Well I look forward to seeing the documentary but it was certainly very sad that she couldn't live to see her photographs more widely appreciated. Actually my, possibly ill-informed understanding was that she wasn't concerned with doing so and was a very private person. Perhaps the film show me that I'm wrong about that. Her vision and genius as a photographer went far beyond the nostalgic afterglow that inevitably imports images of fifties and sixties USA and is not down as far as I can see to judicious editing to suit current commercial imperatives. 

 

Saul Leiter was another private person and seemed to make very little effort to promote himself though he was 'discovered' in time to receive the praise that he deserved. He liked, or was possibly forced through lack of funds, to use expired colour film, Kodachrome and Ansachrome mainly. Fortunately his archive is in good hands and his flat and all his films slides and indeed cameras are preserved. They are working through the 40-50,000 slides that he left.

 

This is a very good interview with those closest to him, Margit Erb & Michael Parillo:

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/podcast-saul-leiter-and-the-saul-leiter-foundation

 

Incidentally at the end of the interview they mention in passing that they are scanning with a Nikon, a copying stand and a lightbox, 2 to 3 minutes for each slide including cataloguing. The Ansachromes have aged very badly, the Kodachromes are in the main fine I think. I think Kodachrome in those days was about 16 ASA, so about 4 stops slower than most digital cameras and so he will have tended to use his lenses wide open which will have contributed towards the look of his wonderful 'painterly' images. He was in any case a skilled painter, often painting over his prints. A true original, I can recommend the documentary "In No Great Hurry".

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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She was a very private person with a very low opinion of many aspects of American consumer society. 

 

My opinion is that the entire Maier collection should have ended up in the University of Chicago or a museum so that it could have been studied and nurtured. As it is it has been cut up, divided, argued over and only valued for what $$$ it can make. My view is that the total value of sum would have been far greater than the short term value of the parts.

 

At the time I was in email contact with several of the protaganists including Maloof and the guy, who set up a Fine Arts print picture ( both in the BBC documentary), but also with an academic at Chicago University who wanted to be able to study the sequences and timings of rolls of film in their time and context to build a real picture of the life and work of the photographer.

 

The argument that that Maloof somehow 'saved' this work from the trash can is risible. 

 

In a sense the way her archive has been treated is represents that ideological divide in US society between the individual opportunist making a buck and the interests of wider society/ the state.

 

I remember many of the photographers on forums at the time verged very much towards the libertarian small-state sort of thinking and almost, horrible to say, that her that being poor and her work ending up in an unpaid locker marked her a something of a loser who didn't deserve anything better.

 

Harry, have you seen the BBC Imagine 2013 documentary? 

 

"Vivian Maier: Who Took Nanny's Pictures?"

 

Vivian Maier: Who Took Nanny's Pictures?

 

Vivian Mai

Edited by geogphotos
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55 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Harry, have you seen the BBC Imagine 2013 documentary? 

 

"Vivian Maier: Who Took Nanny's Pictures?"

Well, it's some time ago but think I probably did. I know I went to an exhibition of her work at Kings Cross at around that time, which was excellent of course. Yes, a great shame that the Chicago University academic you were in touch with didn't get to study the archive in its entirety. I suppose the problem was that, unlike Saul Leiter, she had no-one to look after her interests. It seems that even he couldn't be persuaded to think about what would happen to his archive when he was gone but it's a happier ending for his work.

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

She was a very private person with a very low opinion of many aspects of American consumer society. 

 

My opinion is that the entire Maier collection should have ended up in the University of Chicago or a museum so that it could have been studied and nurtured. As it is it has been cut up, divided, argued over and only valued for what $$$ it can make. My view is that the total value of sum would have been far greater than the short term value of the parts.

 

At the time I was in email contact with several of the protaganists including Maloof and the guy, who set up a Fine Arts print picture ( both in the BBC documentary), but also with an academic at Chicago University who wanted to be able to study the sequences and timings of rolls of film in their time and context to build a real picture of the life and work of the photographer.

 

The argument that that Maloof somehow 'saved' this work from the trash can is risible. 

 

In a sense the way her archive has been treated is represents that ideological divide in US society between the individual opportunist making a buck and the interests of wider society/ the state.

 

I remember many of the photographers on forums at the time verged very much towards the libertarian small-state sort of thinking and almost, horrible to say, that her that being poor and her work ending up in an unpaid locker marked her a something of a loser who didn't deserve anything better.

 

Harry, have you seen the BBC Imagine 2013 documentary? 

 

"Vivian Maier: Who Took Nanny's Pictures?"

 

Vivian Maier: Who Took Nanny's Pictures?

 

Vivian Mai

 

I can't disagree with anything you said but, for selfish reasons, I am sure glad her wonderful photography has been made available for us to see.  I do think she will thought of as one of the greatest street photographers ever.  Her story is a sad and complex one and, you are right, her photos were not handled correctly, only adding more sadness and complexity to her story.  I saw a show of her photos in what might have been the first public showing, at the Chicago Cultural Center...I was completely blown away.  In that show, they had artifacts as well, such as her old Rollieflex, notes to and from the lab she used in Chicago etc...

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3 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

Saul Leiter was another private person and seemed to make very little effort to promote himself though he was 'discovered' in time to receive the praise that he deserved. He liked, or was possibly forced through lack of funds, to use expired colour film, Kodachrome and Ansachrome mainly. Fortunately his archive is in good hands and his flat and all his films slides and indeed cameras are preserved. They are working through the 40-50,000 slides that he left.

 

This is a very good interview with those closest to him, Margit Erb & Michael Parillo:

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/podcast-saul-leiter-and-the-saul-leiter-foundation

 

Incidentally at the end of the interview they mention in passing that they are scanning with a Nikon, a copying stand and a lightbox, 2 to 3 minutes for each slide including cataloguing. The Ansachromes have aged very badly, the Kodachromes are in the main fine I think. I think Kodachrome in those days was about 16 ASA, so about 4 stops slower than most digital cameras and so he will have tended to use his lenses wide open which will have contributed towards the look of his wonderful 'painterly' images. He was in any case a skilled painter, often painting over his prints. A true original, I can recommend the documentary "In No Great Hurry".

 

Just had a listen... I've loved Sauls work for years but didn't know much about him, so many thanks for the link!

He was an amazing artist.

Phil

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Her work is amazing. Saw the film at an arthouse theater with a group of photographer friends but haven't seen an exhibit of her work - wish I had.

 

Her story is a sad one, but I hope she found joy in the taking of those images. 

 

Thanks for the other movie suggestions. I've lately been watching a lot of old BBC police procedurals. Art would be a nice change. Less binging. 

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4 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

 

I can't disagree with anything you said but, for selfish reasons, I am sure glad her wonderful photography has been made available for us to see.  I do think she will thought of as one of the greatest street photographers ever.  Her story is a sad and complex one and, you are right, her photos were not handled correctly, only adding more sadness and complexity to her story.  I saw a show of her photos in what might have been the first public showing, at the Chicago Cultural Center...I was completely blown away.  In that show, they had artifacts as well, such as her old Rollieflex, notes to and from the lab she used in Chicago etc...

 

I feel much the same about many old Kodachromes I see but without copyright I don't use them. The real problem I have is that the tussle to get hold of her work was mired in greed and dubious dealings. Anyway, it has all happened, the damage has been done and the perpetrators have made their money and found fame. The American Dream.

 

Although we have been shown some highlights of her photography we have lost the chance to truly understand all of her work in the context of her life. That would have taken a longer time-span but been much more rewarding. The academic at the University of Chicago said how important it would have been to be able to work through roll by roll, day by day, to look at the sequence on each and every roll and how her work progressed over the decades. Where she started in the city, where she fired the shutter, what happened next. When she started using this technique or started doing XYZ etc

 

For some reason I am thinking of comparisons with metal detectorists who find a stash of Roman coins in a field. 

Edited by geogphotos
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9 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

This may be old news but I was pleased to see the following included on Amazon Prime:

 

Looking for Light: Jane Bown

 

Finding Vivian Maier

 

Finding Istanbul - The life and photographs of Ara Guler

 

John Szarkowski: A life in photography

 

Not watched any of them yet.

 

Not available in Spanish region Amazon Prime.

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On 29/03/2021 at 10:03, Harry Harrison said:

This may be old news but I was pleased to see the following included on Amazon Prime:

 

Looking for Light: Jane Bown

 

Finding Vivian Maier

 

Finding Istanbul - The life and photographs of Ara Guler

 

John Szarkowski: A life in photography

 

Not watched any of them yet.

Thanks for the list Harry. I have watched the first three now and Vivian Maier's one is fascinating and sad at the same time.  

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1 hour ago, Gnans said:

Thanks for the list Harry

Thanks Steve, I've not quite finished the Jane Bown documentary so I've some way to go yet. A lovely, quiet film though personally I didn't think they needed to include comments from the likes of Rankin, who clearly didn't know her. I suppose the director thought they needed a bit of celebrity interest. 

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On a tangent, the cover photo for this album has an interesting photographic story starting in 1881 and now connected to Alamy-

 

https://dynamichrome.com/casestudies/resistanceisfutile

 

I absolutely recommend listening to the whole album btw. Not only are "The Manics" truely excellent but this album explores grief and loss  while (in my experience at least) being uplifting and empowering rather than depressing. Highly relevant for our times even though it came out early 2018...

 

https://m.youtube.com/results?search_query=resistance+is+futile+manic+street+preachers

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A very young Jane Fonda introduced me to Saul. He had taken pictures of her shortly before. I was shooting a rehearsal for Strange Interlude, doing a story on Jose Quintero, the director. It was an all-star cast with Jane in a small part. Saul was very quiet, low key. He had a sweetness to him. That was 1963, I think.  

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7 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

A very young Jane Fonda introduced me to Saul. He had taken pictures of her shortly before. I was shooting a rehearsal for Strange Interlude, doing a story on Jose Quintero, the director. It was an all-star cast with Jane in a small part. Saul was very quiet, low key. He had a sweetness to him. That was 1963, I think.  

Thanks Ed. You walk the walk.

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