Anton Corbijn

Anton Corbijn was born in 1955 in Strijen, Holland, the son of a Protestant minister. Corbijn began his career in Groningen, first using his father’s camera for photos in 1972 at an open-air concert of the pop group Solution on the Grote Markt (the central square in Groningen) and was hooked on photographing music immediately.

anton-corbijn-1024x768In 1974, he followed an eighteen-month course in photography at the intermediate technical college in The Hague, after which he worked as an assistant to Gijabert Hanekroot in Amsterdam. Stimulated by the prevailing punk attitude of the times, he decided to go independent in 1976, and was the chief photographer for the main Dutch pop-music magazine, OOR, for a considerable time.

In 1979, he moved to London to be closer to the music he liked (post punk, e.g. Joy Division, Magazine, PIL Ltd. etc.), working with the musical weekly New Musical Express. He associated with NME until 1985, meeting many of the people during this period that he has since become famous for photographing (U2, Depeche Mode, Captain Beefheart, etc.) For Anton, love of music became love of photography.

I don’t crop my images and I always shoot handheld. By doing that I build in a kind of imperfection and this helps to emphasize reality.

Complete generations have grown up with Corbijn’s pictures. Corbijn started making music-videos in 1983 and has concieved more than sixty videos and one hundred album covers with artists as diverse as Nirvana, Joni Mitchell, Front 242, Henry Rollins, Metallica, Naomi Campbell, Depeche Mode, Johnny Cash, U2, David Sylvian, Nick Cave etc.

The photographs of David Bowie, Miles Davis, and Captain Beefheart are known world-wide. He has been a major image-builder for U2 (due to his album covers for The Joshua Tree, Rattle&Hum, Achtung Baby, POP, for example, and also as a result of his video clips), and for Depeche Mode (with more than 15 video clips and 5 CD covers, and the designs for the stages for 2 world tours.)

After 1985, he’s still photographed people working in the arts, both for himself and for may magazines world-wide, including Rolling Stone, Elle, Esquire, W, and Stern; musicians, including CD-covers for U2, R.E.M., John Lee Hooker, Bryan Ferry, Rolling Stones, Nick Cave, and Depeche Mode; actors, special projects and has many exhibitions world-wide.

Corbijn is the most known portraitist of current artistic zone. He concentrates on portraits of celebrities almost from all artistic genres, shooting videoclips, walk-on videoprojections, and designing album covers. Besides Depeche Mode, his work includes portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Kate Moss, Steven Spielberg, Wim Wenders, Gerard Depardieu, Quentin Tarantino, William S. Burroughs, Dennis Hopper, Martin Scorsese, U2, David Bowie, Michael Stipe and hundreds of others.

I work using the Brian Eno school of thinking: limit your tools, focus on one thing and just make it work… You become very inventive with the restrictions you give yourself.

Corbijn also received two MTV awards for the Nirvana video of Heart-Shaped Box. In 1994, he made a short film, entitled ‘Some YOYO Stuff’ with Don van Viet, alias Captain Beefheart, for the BBC, and was the image-creator in the re-election campaign of Dutch Minister President Wim Kok in 1998, as well as doing his first advertising jobs for BMW and Tag Heuer.

Source: http://www.upl.cs.wisc.edu/~alyska/anton/bio.html

A great interview with Anton:
http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/asked-and-answered-anton-corbijn/

 

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Seeing With Robert Frank’s Eyes

Photo by: Barry Kornbluh (barrykornbluh.nl)
Photo by: Barry Kornbluh

Robert Frank (born November 9, 1924), born in Zürich, Switzerland, is an important figure in American photography and film. His most notable work, the 1958 photobook titled The Americans, was influential, and earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and skeptical outsider’s view of American society. Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with compositing and manipulating photographs.
“The Americans” was published in Paris. Robert Frank’s book of 83 black-and-white images, extracted from more than 28,000 individual shots taken on road trips between 1955 and 1957, did not reflect the apple-pie vistas of Eisenhower suburbia. The Swiss photographer took a novel, jaundiced view of the country, catching lonely, vagabond faces with unusual angles, jukeboxes alight in half-empty bars, lost highways, and short-order melancholy.
After the underground success of “The Americans” in the late ’50s, Mr. Frank began to concentrate on art films and videos, such as 1959’s beatnik reverie “Pull My Daisy.” He captured a society in flux, one making a jarring transition from contentment to discontentment, and he did so from uncommon perspectives. One oft-cited review deemed his work a “meaningless blur.” But as Jack Kerouac (who served as narrator on “Pull My Daisy”) wrote in his introduction to the Grove Press edition of “The Americans,” published in 1959, “Robert Frank. Swiss, unobtrusive, nice, with that little camera that he raises and snaps with one hand he sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film, taking rank among the great tragic poets of the world.”

What is most compelling about “The Americans” today is how what was once disturbing and revelatory gradually became iconic and even romantic: Looking back from the 21st century, these scenes are what come to mind when we think about what “America” is. This is not so much in a contemporary sense, as a lot of what fills Mr. Frank’s lens — the jukeboxes, the black-and-white televisions, the convertibles with their tail fins — looks like relics of an imaginary age. But maybe because of that, and because of so much chest-thumping campaign rhetoric about one candidate’s patriotism or another’s beer-and-a-shot authenticity, it’s an extremely useful book to look at right now. These photographs have never stopped resonating.

 

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The double photo of Robert Frank at the beginning of this post was taken by Barry Kornbluh (barrykornbluh.nl)

 

Oleksandriya This photo (below) I originally made a mistake on posting as Robert Frank’s. I love this image and the photographer that took it is a fellow Canadian: Rob Atkins.  Thanks Rob for the kind note and wicked photo!

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The Flood

Everyone has a story to tell. But it takes serious storytelling skill to create an emotional connection to an inanimate object. This video does it flawlessly.

After flooding the ice in Rossland for 40 years our beloved 1972 Ford 3000 tractor is being retired. This is his story.

Special Thanks /
Jim Fike, Ford 3000 care taker / operator.

Written and Directed by /
Scotty Carlson

Narrated by /
Rob Sulman

Narration Recorded by/
Graham Tracey @ High Lonesome Recording

Shot by /
Andre Nutini
Derek Frankowski
Rob Sulman
Dan Gaud

Edited by /
Rob Sulman
Andre Nutini
Dan Gaud

The darkroom

Artist Richard Nicholson has set out to capture these fast-disappearing spaces, photographing darkrooms – and the memories they hold – across London. View the video here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/video/2011/jan/14/photographing-death-darkroom-video

Richard Nicholson spent three years photographing commercial photographic darkrooms in London. When he began his project in 2006, there were more than 200 thriving darkrooms dotted around the city; when he completed it in 2009, there were 12.

“When I started as a young photographer about 10 years ago,” he says, “I’d go to Photofusion in Brixton or Joe’s Basement in Soho and these places would be bustling with young photographers. Often, you had to book days, sometimes weeks, in advance. Now the darkrooms that have survived are quiet and business is slow. The London labs where you could drop film off have all but disappeared – Joe’s Basement has gone and so have Primary [Colour], Metro Soho, Ceta, Sky and countless others. We are really witnessing the end of a photographic era.”

The coming of the digital camera has swept all before it, making the whole process of photography simpler, less labour-intensive, less costly and more technically creative. But as has been the case with music production, something has also been lost along the way, something intangible but powerful that the music writer Greg Milner called “presence”: the human element in the production of sound and images.

A small group exhibition, entitled Analog, opens at the Riflemaker gallery in London on 11 January. Its subtext is “presence”: the human ghost in the machine. The show includes Nicholson’s photographs of the last-surviving London darkrooms alongside an installation by Lewis Durham (of the young rockabilly group Kitty, Daisy & Lewis) in which he has recreated a reel-to-reel, multitracked tape studio, as well as works by interactive design duo Zigelbaum + Coelho and artist Clare Mitten, who has constructed laptop and mobile phone-like sculptures from packaging and stationery.

Analog is a kind of elegy for the pre-digital era of sound and photographic production and Nicholson’s prints are the most elegiac components in the mix. He has photographed each darkroom on large format film, working in total darkness with a flashgun. The result might have been what Nicholson calls “a detached typology of modernist industrial design” in which the enlarger stands at the centre, strangely human in its form. Except that these darkrooms are also human dens, full of the clutter of human endeavour – Post-it notes, piles of prints, boxes of paper, toys, rulers, marker pens and batches of photographs pinned to boards.

“I had a few epiphanies while doing this project,” says Nicholson, a soft-spoken, thin, bespectacled, ex-philosophy graduate, “and one was the realisation that the world of work, particularly a craft like darkroom printing, has becoming utterly homogenised in the digital era. Even just a few years ago, every profession had its own machinery, its tools, its language; now all we have are computers.”

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/dec/26/analog-photography-gunmakers-review?intcmp=239

Below is a gallery of darkroom that bring back some great memories. (Not all of these are photographs are Richard’s)

 

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William Klein – The anti-photographer’s photographer

As an artist using photography, he set out to re-invent the photographic document. His photos, often blurred or out of focus, his high-contrast prints (his negatives were often severely over-exposed), his use of high-grain film and wide angles shocked the established order of the photography world and he earned a reputation as an anti-photographer’s photographer.

william_klienFrom 1955 to 1965 William Klein worked for Vogue. He preferred to photograph his models out in the street or on location. he was not particularly interested in clothes or fashion, and used this opportunity to reasearch the picture making process by introducing new techniques to fashion photography, including the use of wide-angle and long-focus lenses, long exposures combined with flash and multiple exposures -making fashion an area of innovation in photography.

From 1965 to the early 80s, he abandoned photography and primarily concentrated on film, making various documentaries: ‘broadway by light’ (1958), ‘who are you polly maggoo?’ (1966) ‘mr. freedom’, ‘muhammad ali the greatest’, ‘the little richard story’ (1979), ‘the messiah'(1999).

Klein returned to still photography in the 1980s due to a renewed interest in his early work.his photographs of this period are characterized by his use of close-ups and wide angle lenses.

During the 90s he continued to create mixed media works using painting and photography. He received the hasselblad prize and various retrospectives of his films were organized in new york and japan. he was awarded the agfa-bayer/hugo erfurt prize and created in & out of fashion, a mixed media project including drawings, photographs and film, which was published simultaneously with shows in London, Paris and New York. In 1997 he rephotographed new york and had shows in barcellona and paris. In 1999 he was awarded the ‘medal of the century’ by the royal photographic society’ in London.

(http://www.designboom.com/portrait/klein_bio.html)

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Elliott Erwitt – the master of the ‘indecisive moment’

Born in Paris on 26th July of 1928 to Russian-Jewish parents, Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan, then emigrated to the US, via France, with his family in 1939. As a teenager living in Hollywood, he developed an interest in photography and worked in a commercial darkroom before experimenting with photography at Los Angeles City College. In 1948 he moved to New York and exchanged janitorial work for film classes at the New School for Social Research.

Erwitt traveled in France and Italy in 1949 with his trusty Rolleiflex camera. In 1951 he was drafted for military service and undertook various photographic duties while serving in a unit of the Army Signal Corps in Germany and France.

profilerWhile in New York, Erwitt met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker, the former head of the Farm Security Administration. Stryker initially hired Erwitt to work for the Standard Oil Company, where he was building up a photographic library for the company, and subsequently commissioned him to undertake a project documenting the city of Pittsburgh.

Good photography is just about seeing. You either see, or you don’t see. The rest is academic. Photography is simply a function of noticing things. Nothing more

In 1953 Erwitt joined Magnum Photos and worked as a freelance photographer for Collier’s, Look, Life, Holiday and other luminaries in that golden period for illustrated magazines. To this day he is for hire and continues to work for a variety of journalistic and commercial outfits.

In the late 1960s Erwitt served as Magnum’s president for three years. He then turned to film: in the 1970s he produced several noted documentaries and in the 1980s eighteen comedy films for Home Box Office. Erwitt became known for benevolent irony, for his black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings – the master of the ‘indecisive moment’ and for a humanistic sensibility traditional to the spirit of Magnum.

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