The Beauty of Elizabeth Taylor

http://restaurantapplianceparts.com/product/4-piece-hook-pick-set-sku-721110/ Elizabeth Taylor was one of old hollywood’s biggest stars. She appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine’s cover a record 14 times, starting when she was just 15 years old, and over the following decades many of LIFE’s finest photographers — Paul Schutzer, Peter Stackpole, Allan Grant and George Silk among them — captured the quintessential movie star in love, at work and basking (with consummate grace) in the kind of international fame, comprised of equal parts respect and adulation, that most entertainers today can only dream about.

During a career that spanned six decades, the legendary beauty with lavender eyes won two Oscars and made more than 50 films, performing alongside such fabled leading men as Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando and Richard Burton, whom she married twice. She took her cues from a Who’s Who of directors, including George Cukor, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, George Stevens, Vincente Minnelli and Mike Nichols.

Long after she faded from the screen, she remained a mesmerizing figure, blessed and cursed by the extraordinary celebrity that molded her life through its many phases: She was a child star who bloomed gracefully into an ingenue; a femme fatale on the screen and in life; a canny peddler of high-priced perfume; a pioneering activist in the fight against AIDS.

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
Elizabeth Taylor

Some actresses, such as Katharine Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman, won more awards and critical plaudits, but none matched Taylor’s hold on the collective imagination. In the public’s mind, she was the dark goddess for whom playing Cleopatra as she did with such notoriety, required no great leap from reality.

Here is a celebration of an extraordinary women.

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Remembering Richard Avedon

RICHARD AVEDON Richard Avedon (1923–2004) was born to parents of Russian Jewish heritage in New York City. As a boy, he learned photography, joining the YMHA Camera Club at the age of twelve; later, he took up poetry, winning a citywide award for high school students during his senior year at DeWitt Clinton in the Bronx.

richard-avedon-1923-2004Avedon joined the armed forces in 1942 during World War II, serving as Photographer’s Mate Second Class in the Merchant Marine. Making identification portraits of the crewmen with his Rolleiflex twin lens camera—a gift from his father—Avedon advanced his technical knowledge of the medium and began to develop a dynamic style. After two years of service he left the Merchant Marine to work as a photographer, making fashion images and studying with art director Alexey Brodovitch at the Design Laboratory of the New School for Social Research.

In 1945, Avedon set up his own studio and worked as a freelance photographer for various magazines. He quickly became the preeminent photographer used by Harper’s Bazaar. There, under the tutelage of Brodovitch, his rise to the top of the profession was meteoric. Avedon developed an original approach to making fashion photographs. He showed the models full of expression: smiling, laughing, and often posed in action. Inspired by Hungarian photojournalist and fashion photographer Martin Munkácsi, Avedon photographed models and fashions on the streets, in nightclubs and circus arenas, and in other locations then uncommon.

From the beginning, Avedon made portraits for editorial publication as well: in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, in Theater Arts, and in Life and Look magazines. From the outset, he was fascinated by photography’s capacity for suggesting the personality and evoking the life of his subjects. Only rarely did he idealize people; instead, he presented the face as a kind of landscape, with total clarity. He registered poses, attitudes, hairstyles, clothing and accessories as vital, even revelatory elements of the personal image. “My photographs don’t go below the surface. I have great faith in surfaces. A good one is full of clues.”

“All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.”
–Richard Avedon

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The Daily Feed – 01.28.13….

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Sandrah Hellberg Smolders for Marciano

I say this alot.. but IMO there is no brand on the planet that does photography better then the folks at Guess. This past holiday campaign deserves to showcased again.

Sandrah Hellberg travels to the desert for Guess by Marciano’s holiday 2012 campaign. The brunette sizzles in glamorous images lensed by photography duo Hunter & Gatti. Stylist Martina Nilsson dresses Sandrah in a mix of sequined tops, black gowns and gold accessories. / Hair by Paco Garrigues, Makeup by Francesca Tolot

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Alfred Hitchcock

The acknowledged master of the thriller genre he virtually invented, director Alfred Hitchcock was also a brilliant technician who deftly blended sex, suspense and humor while creating a number of motifs and devices – most famously the MacGuffin – to advance his intricate plots. Hitchcock went through four distinct periods throughout his career, starting with his silent period where he made “The Lodger” (1926) and a handful of others before entering the sound era and properly beginning his so-called British period. During the 1930s, he honed his master of suspense chops with a number of acclaimed espionage films like “The 39 Steps” (1935), “The Secret Agent” (1936) and “Sabotage” (1936). He attracted the attention of Hollywood with “The Lady Vanishes” (1938) and embarked on the third phase of his career, starting with “Rebecca” (1940), “Foreign Correspondent” (1940), “Suspicion” (1941) and “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943). After “Spellbound” (1945), Hitchcock directed “Notorious” (1946), his most emotionally mature film at the time. Fond of ordinary men accused of crimes they did not commit and icy blondes in despair, Hitchcock entered the most artistically fruitful part of his career, directing “Strangers on a Train” (1951), “To Catch a Thief” (1955) and “The Wrong Man” (1956) alongside masterpieces like “Rear Window” (1954), “Vertigo” (1958), “North by Northwest” (1959) and “Psycho” (1960). Though he faltered after “The Birds” (1963), Hitchcock remained a highly influential director whose life and career retained a high level of interest decades after his death.

Born on Aug. 13, 1899 in Leytonstone, England, Hitchcock was raised one of three children by his father, William, a poultry dealer and fruit importer, and his mother, Emma. Hitchcock had a rather lonely childhood due in part to his obesity, which left him sheltered and isolated. His parents had unusual methods of discipline; his father sent him to the local jail with instructions for the police to lock him in a cell for 10 minutes for misbehaving, and his mother often forced him to stand at the foot of her bad for hours after explaining to her his indiscretions. Both experiences found their way thematically into Hitchcock’s later work, particularly the idea of a wrongfully accused man being punished. When he was 14 years old, Hitchcock’s father died, which was also the same time that he left St. Ignatius College in London to study engineering at the School of Engineering and Navigation. Following his graduation, Hitchcock became a draftsman and designer for W.T. Henley’s Telegraph Works Company. It was there that he first delved into creative endeavors when he began publishing short stories like “Gas” (1919) and “The History of Pea Eating” (1920) for the San Fernando de Henares Henley Telegraph, the company’s in-house magazine.

Hitchcock began his filmmaking career in 1920 when he began working as a title card illustrator on silent films for Paramount Picture’s Famous Players-Lasky studio in London. While there, he learned scripting, editing and art direction, and soon rose to become head of the title department. In 1922, he was made an assistant director when Famous Players was taken over by Michael Balcon’s production company and was given his first chance at directing the short film, “No. 13/Mrs. Peabody” (1922), which was left unfinished. After making his first film as assistant director, art director and sole writer on “Woman to Woman” (1923), Hitchcock directed his first feature, “The Pleasure Garden” (1925), a tale of adultery and murder that he made on an extremely limited budget and showed flashes of his future brilliance. He next directed the rather silly comedy, “The Mountain Eagle/Fear o’ God” (1925), which inaccurately portrayed life in Kentucky where the film was set, but nonetheless became a hit and allowed Hitchcock to choose his next picture.

That turned out to be “The Lodger” (1926), Hitchcock’s breakthrough film and one that became the template of the classic Hitchcock-esque plot: an innocent protagonist falsely accused of a crime who becomes involved in a web of intrigue. The protagonist in this case was Jonathon Drew (Ivor Novello), a boarding house lodger who finds himself accused of being Jack the Ripper and goes on the run to prove his innocence. He directed a number of sub-part films for the remainder of his silent period; “Downhill” (1927), “Easy Virtue” (1927) and “Champagne” (1928) were all forgettable entries in the Hitchcock canon. Hitchcock displayed early technical virtuosity with his creation of subjective sound for “Blackmail” (1929), his first talkie. In this story of a woman (Joan Barry) who stabs an artist to death when he tries to seduce her, Hitchcock emphasized the young woman’s anxiety by gradually distorting all but one word – “knife” – of a neighbor’s dialogue the morning after the killing. He further expounded on the themes of sex and violence in “Murder” (1930), which featured the groundbreaking technique of recording a character’s thoughts onto the soundtrack.

 

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Kodachrome – A History and Tribute

It wasn’t easy being green. Or yellow or red or blue, for that matter. While color photography had been around in one form or another since the 1860s, until the Eastman Kodak Company came out with its Kodachrome film in 1935, those wishing to capture a color image had to deal with heavy glass plates, tripods, long exposures and an exacting development procedure, all of which resulted in less than satisfactory pictures — dull, tinted images that were far from true to life. So while Kodak’s discontinuation of the iconic color film will affect only the most devoted photo buffs — sales of Kodachrome account for less than 1% of the company’s revenue — the June 22 announcement breaks one of the largest remaining ties to the era of pre-digital photography. It also ends a legacy that includes some of the most enduring images of 20th century America.

(See photos by Richard Avedon.)
The Kodachrome process — in which three emulsions, each sensitive to a primary color, are coated on a single film base — was the brainchild of Leopold Godowsky Jr. and Leopold Mannes, two musicians turned scientists who worked at Kodak’s research facility in Rochester, N.Y. Disappointed by the poor quality of a “color” movie they saw in 1916, the two Leopolds spent years perfecting their technique, which Kodak first utilized in 1935 in 16-mm movie film. The next year, they tried out the process on film for still cameras, although the procedure was not for the hobbyist: the earliest 35-mm Kodachrome went for $3.50 a roll, or about $54 in today’s dollars.

While all color films have dyes printed directly onto the film stock, Kodachrome’s dye isn’t added until the development process. “The film itself is basically black and white,” says Grant Steinle, vice president of operations at Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kans., the only photo-processing center still equipped to develop Kodachrome film. Steinle says that although all dyes will fade over time, if Kodachrome is stored properly it can be good for up to 100 years. The film’s archival abilities, coupled with its comparative ease of use, made it the dominant film for both professionals and amateurs for most of the 20th century. Kodachrome captured a color version of the Hindenburg’s fireball explosion in 1936. It accompanied Edmund Hillary to the top of Mount Everest in 1953. Abraham Zapruder was filming with 8-mm Kodachrome in Dallas when he accidentally captured President Kennedy’s assassination. National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry used it to capture the haunting green-gray eyes of an Afghan refugee girl in 1985 in what is still the magazine’s most enduring cover image.

For 20 years, anyone wishing to develop Kodachrome film had to send it to a Kodak laboratory, which controlled all processing. In 1954, the Department of Justice declared Kodachrome-processing a monopoly, and the company agreed to allow other finishing plants to develop the film; the price of a roll of film — which previously had the processing cost added into it — fell roughly 43%.

Kodachrome’s popularity peaked in the 1960s and ’70s, when Americans’ urge to catalog every single holiday, family vacation and birthday celebration hit its stride. Kodachrome II, a faster, more versatile version of the film, came out in 1961, making it even more appealing to the point-and-shoot generation. Super 8, a low-speed fine-grain Kodachrome movie film, was released in 1965 — and was used to film seemingly every wedding, beach holiday and backyard barbecue for the next decade. (Aficionados can check out the opening credits of the ’80s coming-of-age drama The Wonder Years for a quick hit of nostalgia.) When Paul Simon sang, “Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away” in 1973, Kodak was still expanding its Kodachrome line, and it was hard to believe that it would ever disappear. But by the mid-1980s, video camcorders and more easily processed color film from companies like Fuji and Polaroid encroached on Kodachrome’s market share, and the film fell into disfavor. Compared to the newer technology, Kodachrome was a pain to develop. It required a large processing machine and several different chemicals and over a dozen processing steps. The film would never, ever be able to make the “one-hour photo” deadline that customers increasingly came to expect. Finally in the early 2000s came the digital-photography revolution; digital sales today account for more than 70% of Kodak’s revenue.

Kodak quit the film-processing business in 1988 and slowly began to disengage from film-manufacturing. Super 8 went by the wayside in 2007. By 2008 Kodak was producing only one Kodachrome film run — a mile-long sheet cut into 20,000 rolls — a year, and the number of centers able to process it had declined precipitously. Today, Steinle’s Kansas store processes all of Kodak’s Kodachrome film — if you drop a roll off at your local Wal-Mart, it will be developed at Dwayne’s Photo — and though it is the only center left in the world, the company processes only a few hundred rolls a day.

Kodachrome 64 slide film, discontinued on June 22, was the last type of true Kodachrome available — although the company expects existing stocks to last well into the fall. Kodak plans to donate the last remaining rolls of Kodachrome film to the George Eastman House’s photography museum. One of them will be symbolically shot by McCurry — although the famed photographer gave up the format long ago. In fact, McCurry’s photographic career perfectly traces the rise and fall of Kodak film. He shot his iconic Afghan-girl portrait on Kodachrome and returned 17 years later to photograph the same woman with Kodak’s easier-to-develop Ektachrome. Now, he relies on digital.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1906503,00.html#ixzz2IRUPYIvR

 

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Photo copyright: DJ Florek
http://dave-florek.artistwebsites.com/index.html

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Ellen von Unwerth

Todays feature is Ellen von Unwerth, I grew up looking at her work and it moved me. She was daring and took risks and it paid off. I would definitely put her down as someone that influenced my own work. (+ continues to do so)

From the moment Ellen von Unwerth picked up a camera in the mid-1980s, she has held the fashion world captive with a style that is at once elegant, evocative, and erotic. A former model, she began by snapping photos of her model friends, but soon after, von Unwerth emerged as a rising fashion star, shooting for Vogue and, by 1989, the edgy campaigns for Guess that made Claudia Schiffer a household name – an ad campaign that von Unwerth continues photographing to this day. Her riotous and seductive images have filled four books (one forthcoming) and appeared inside and on the covers of almost two decades’ worth of fashion and celebrity magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, I-D and V. The German – born mother of one will no doubt go down in fashion history as a pioneering female photographer, but it is her almost preternatural sense of what is sexy that separates her from all the rest.

Ellen von Unwerth’s work offers a distinctly sexual and playful version of fashion and beauty photography. In addition to her career as fashion photographer, film-maker, and video director, her work has been collected in numerous books and two photo-novellas. Von Unwerth’s first book, Snaps, was published in 1994 followed by Wicked (1998), and Couples (1999). Her photo-novella Revenge was published in 2003 accompanied by exhibitions in New York, Paris, Amsterdam, and Hamburg. Her photographs have been widely exhibited internationally including in Archaeology of Elegence (2001-2), and Fashioning Fiction exhibited at MoMA/Queens in 2004.

After a decade as a fashion model, von Unwerth brought a first-hand knowledge of the kinetic energy of fashion photo shoots to the creation of her own photographs. Her sensual campaigns for Guess in the early 1990s launched von Unwerth’s commercial career, and subsequently she has created campaigns for Baccardi, Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, Diesel, Chanel, Miu Miu, Blumarine as well as a series of publicity advertisements for HBO’s Sex and the City. Von Unwerth has also ventured into directing short films for Azzedine Alaïa and Katherine Hamnett, music videos for artists such as Duran Duran and commercials for Baccardi and Clinique.

(source:photoslaves.com)

Check out her Vimeo channel and her Facebook page

Now the best part, looking at her images:

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