My fav photos, part 1

This is a break from my usual stuff, as this blog is for my own work.  But I’m getting bored of uploading my photoshoots, so here’s something different.  These, in no particular order, are my favourites in terms of photographers and photographs.  It was a series I thought of for my account on 365 project, because I wanted to take a break from uploading my own pictures, and I thought I’d do a little summary here.  There’s some great photos out there, and a rich history of photography and I study it whenever I can to try to compensate for not having any formal training in the medium.

1. Marine Captain near the Naktong River by David Douglas Duncan

This photo from the Korean war sums up how good Duncan is at getting under the skin of his photo-journalism.   Captain Fenton has just been notified that the reinforcements and ammunition he was expecting is not coming, and he will have to hold out against attacking forces without.  Duncan wanted to show people what it was like to actually fight for your country and he filled the pages of Life Magazine visiting Korea, Vietnam and Africa.

2.  Alexander Gardner was born before photography had even been discovered

He moved from Scotland to the US in his thirties interested in setting up farms and aiding Scottish immigrants who followed him.  This portrait is of one of the collaborators in the assassination of President Lincoln, taken in 1865.  The man Lewis Payne is in his cell awaiting execution, even after 150 years the photo is vivid and clear and well framed.  The photographer uses the wet plate collodian process which was famous for being difficult to master but for having superb detail and clarity.


Mark Sink is a photographer I only recently discovered.  Working now he uses the same wet plate process and a large format view camera (the kind with the guy crouched behind it with the black curtain over his head.  At £500 each on eBay it doesn’t look like I’ll be trying this process myself any time soon, but images taken in the last year or so suddenly appear as though they are centuries old. 

I asked Sink about the process and he likened it to baking a cake from scratch, after the first few times it becomes second nature.  The wet plate has to be painted with light sensitive chemical, placed in the camera and taken to the subject, then exposed and taken back to the darkroom and developed within 15 minutes before it dries.  Worth it I think for images like this.

4.  Jean Philippe Charbonnier, the recorder of French life.  He is one of my favourites, especially this beautiful picture called The Secret 1979.  Charbonnier used a Leica M3 and through the fifties and sixties took many street scenes and magazine photoshoots.  He always connected with the subject, and he photographs people, and especially children as well as anyone.





5. David Goldblatt recorded from the forties to the nineties the reality of apartheid in south Africa.  Never openly about racism or segregation his pictures were just about life.  Many of them just show people and the undercurrent of apartheid is imagined, but his large format photographs do well recording a period in history.  He only began experimenting with colour after the end of apartheid and has since taken photos around the world.

This one is called before the fight, 1979.

I think I will do another five later in the month, what’s your favourite photograph? Or photographer?

Some photos from my recent shoots will follow, thanks for comments and views!!


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