Leon Levinstein

Leon Levinstein 1910 – 1988

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Morris Engel

Morris Engel

Morris Engel

Morris Engel

Morris Engel :1918 – 2005

Engel is best known for his film work, Worked with Paul Strand in 1939. As a still photographer trained in the disciplines of The Photo League and trod the streets of New York. Contributed images to the newspaper PM and for a wide range of American magazines. In film work he won the Silver Lion at the 1953 Venice Film Festival and same year had an Academy Award Nomination. You can see more of his work here Morris Engel 

Revelations

If there was one book in my photography book collection that I would grab first in the event of a fire this would be it !

Diane Arbus – Revelations 

The Question of Belief by Sandra S Philips 

The following extracts are quoted in Diane Arbus – Revelations the Essay by Sandra S Philips. Some are quotes from Arbus’ own writings and some are quotes from the Author.

Arbus:  “For me the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture. And more complicated.” 

Arbus: There’s a kind of magic power thing about the camera. You’re carrying some slight magic which does something to (the subject). 

Sandra S Philips: On Winogrand and Friedlander  – “The street work of Winogrand and Friedlander is less obviously composed than her photography. Their photographs often play upon happenstance and the irony of finding what strange and marvellous conjunctions occur within the frame” 

Arbus: “Everybody has this thing where they need to look one way but they come out looking another way and that’s what people observe. You see someone on the street and essentially what you notice about them is the flaw. Our whole guise is like giving a sign to the world to think of us in a certain way, but there’s a point between what you want people to know about you and what you can’t help people knowing about you. And that has to do with what I’ve always called the gap between intention and effect” 

Arbus: ” A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know” 

 

Snowy – Don McCullin

Snowy – Don McCullin

I must have been about twelve. My Dad was on a business trip to Cambridge and he took Mum and me along for the day out. I remember it was a blisteringly hot day and I remember because we’d set off early we took a nap on the banks of the River Camb just opposite Kings College Cambridge as we watched folk punt up and down the river desperately trying not to fall in. Later roaming around the town I remember seeing Snowy. He would busk as a sort of one man band in the centre of the town and these white mice would run around the rim of his top hat. It’s always delighted me that I actually saw this man in Cambridge and this is one of the reasons it’s one of my very favourite images of all time. It’s a bloody good portrait  as well.

A few years later at eighteen when I got my first camera ( an OM10 ) and I started to get into photography Don McCullin’s images were frequently published in Amateur Photography, Practical Photography and others. It wasn’t so much his ‘war’ images that did it for me but his many images from his travels around England. For obvious reasons I could relate to these images and they’re still some of my favourite. McCullin was an early influence on me and my photography. Much much later when I did my MA in Photography and decided to do my thesis on being English, McCullin’s Autobiography Unreasonable Behaviour proved invaluable. As McCullin stated;

“So much of my war had involved watching national identities take shape that I began to ask myself who I was. What were the English and what did they represent ? What for that matter did I represent ? I decided to take to the road in my own country to find out.” 

“I immersed myself in the industrial communities of the North and soaked up the desolate beauty of cities like Bradford” 

” I went into the slums it was hard to believe still existed in England, where people brewed their children’s tea in old beer cans, where wallpaper hung in great furls from damp walls, where fungus grew around greasy stoves that occupied ( as in my childhood) the centre of impoverished homes that boasted of few other amenities and possessions” 

Bradford – Don McCullin