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Another Photog's passing - Gordon Parks
Old 03-08-2006   #1
wtl
 
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Another Photog's passing - Gordon Parks

Had to drop back to the site as I have just read his passing at age 94. I am sure many know he worked for Life Magazine and Vogue. And probably many remember this picture called "going to work at 4:30 PM"...
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Old 03-08-2006   #2
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Today washingtonpost.com features some pictures of and by him here.
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Old 03-08-2006   #3
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NY Times obit with photo links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/08/ar...ib&oref=slogin
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Old 03-08-2006   #4
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Another one of the greats leaves the scene . . .

I met him briefly many years ago. We were both photographing a Miles Davis performance in Detroit. Nice guy, very self contained. I have a pic of him in my archives but can't recall which camera he was using. May have been a Leica.

Had a very short conversation with Miles as well. Nothing like meeting two legendary artists in one night . . .

Miles was just the opposite of what I'd been led to expect. Relaxed, almost friendly. I shot a second concert with him about a year later in a different venue and he recognized me. At the end of the show, he and Al Foster waved to me and I managed to get a shot off while they did. Gotta dig up those slides and get 'em scanned!

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Old 03-08-2006   #5
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scottgee1,

Wow, what a great experience you have there.

I have never seen any pictures of Miles from him. But his pictures of Ingrid Bergman stayed in my mind forever, not to mention Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.

Didn't know what he used but a Leica would make sense...
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Old 03-08-2006   #6
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Another sad day in photography. The man was a fantastic photog who took some of the most striking pictures I've ever seen. He certainly had an eye to it -- it's sad to see him go! Then, I suppose, he's accomplished great things in art, and everyone attests that he was a great person, as well, so in the end, one can only give so much!
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Old 03-08-2006   #7
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Not many Renaissance men like this around anymore. And I love his quote at the end of the NY Times obituary.
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Old 03-08-2006   #8
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The Half Past Autumn exhibit came to the Dallas Museum of Art last year and I had the opportunity to see it six or seven times. I was amazed at how much greater the impact of his photos was when seeing the final prints vs. online images. He has one photo in particular of an old woman on her porch that really impacted me. The tones in her skin were unbelievable. I highly recommend seeing the exhibit if you ever have the chance.
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Old 03-08-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariya
I was amazed at how much greater the impact of his photos was when seeing the final prints vs. online images.
That should always serve as a reminder. Thanks for pointing it out.

Now, can we stop all that non-sense online display for lens testing?
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Old 03-08-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtl
scottgee1,

Wow, what a great experience you have there.

I have never seen any pictures of Miles from him. But his pictures of Ingrid Bergman stayed in my mind forever, not to mention Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.

Didn't know what he used but a Leica would make sense...
He was walking around in the wings of the theatre during the performance and I was shooting from the apron of the stage in the pit area when I grabbed a shot of him. Now I really want to find that slide!

He truly was an artist in broadest sense of the word. I agree that his portraits have a special quality. He seemed to really connect with his subjects rather than just photograph them and that brings additional resonance to those pix.

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Old 03-08-2006   #11
wtl
 
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scottgee1,

I for one would love to see that shot. Hopefully you can find it.

And you are right, engaging your subject is a much harder task to do than exposing the scene "correctly", whatever that means.
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Old 03-08-2006   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariya
The Half Past Autumn exhibit came to the Dallas Museum of Art last year and I had the opportunity to see it six or seven times. I was amazed at how much greater the impact of his photos was when seeing the final prints vs. online images. He has one photo in particular of an old woman on her porch that really impacted me. The tones in her skin were unbelievable. I highly recommend seeing the exhibit if you ever have the chance.
Seems to me that the impact of seeing original master prints has increased over the years. When done correctly, book reproduction is the next best thing but most people see such photos in magazines or, more recently, on a screen. The difference can be truly startling.

I saw an exhibit of Ansel Adam's work at The Art Institute of Chicago many years ago. Just inside the entrance was a very large print of 'Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941'. As many times as I had seen it printed in books, magazines, posters, etc. I simply wasn't prepared for the impact it had on me in person. The friend who went to the exhibit with me made it all the way around and came back to find me still staring at 'Moonrise'. Hard to explain, but an indelible memory.

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Old 03-08-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottgee1
The friend who went to the exhibit with me made it all the way around and came back to find me still staring at 'Moonrise'. Hard to explain, but an indelible memory.

ScottGee1
I know what you mean. On one of my visits I never made it past the photo of this woman. With a thousand words I could not describe this fantastic image. There is an indescribable combination of the darkest black and most intricate detail that are impossible to express in any other way than in that print. I think that it's easy to miss great photography. I look at lot of images, most on the web and mostly of average quality (as you would expect). It's important to go and see these prints when possible to remind myself of what it was that made me have to pick up a camera in the first place. It certainly wasn't to create a .jpeg for web display.
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