How’s this for ‘Blogger solipsism? Two people whose work I admire have died this week. Henri Cartier-Bresson is the second. Check out the retrospective at Magnum. (While I’m on the subject, have a look at this very un-H C-B Photo of the Week at photo.net). The way things are going, Aretha Franklin had better remember to take her heart medication over the next few days.
05Aug04 — 2
HCB, Capa, Rodger, Chim… their work drew me to photography in the first place. I hadn’t heard Damian. Now I feel really sad. We’ve lost a beautiful “way of seeing” in HCB. I hope he had his beloved champagne before he went.
Sorry, folks, but I really don’t get it with photography, or perhaps I should be more specific and call it ‘art’ photography. I wasted an hour of my time walking round the recent Cecil Beaton exhibition, and at the end of it I could only ask myself, “What is it for?”
I grant you that on occasions certain photographic images may strike you as vivid, but the fact that they are usually accidental and reproduced via a machine with no creativity or skill from the
operator, reduces the experience to the mundane. Indeed, the mechanical nature of the product is never more obvious than when a photographer conscioulsy attempts an ‘artistic’ shot. They invariably leave me cold!
Oddly enough, I recently attended the Vermeer and Dutch masters
exhibition, and found myself admiring but un-moved. It was only later that I discovered that they used the ‘camera obscura’ technique to achieve their remarkable accuracy with perspective, and the end result for me was to flatten and deaden the emotional effect.
Sorry and all that, but I am happy for you to re-educate me.