Street photography with an old Rolleiflex

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dpurdy, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    http://vivianmaier.blogspot.com/

    This vintage Vivian Maier stuff is worth looking at. She just died this year and her work was discovered in an estate sale.

    I am posting this in the Medium format section because street photography with various MF cameras is often a topic.
    Dennis
     
  2. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Excellant work. I really love it!

    Jeff
     
  3. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    Yes, the work is very good, I agree. And the Rolleiflex wasn't old for some of the time she was using it <?>.
     
  4. Shaggysk8

    Shaggysk8 Member

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    I am glad someone found them. I really enjoyed looking at them.
     
  5. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

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    This is some very strong work. All those negatives still left to develop! I wouldn't be surprised to see her become a well-known and respected photographer--posthumously unfortunately.
     
  6. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Many years ago a mentor of mine swore by Rolleis and C220 / 330's for street shooting. He's turn himself at right angles to the subject and turn the camera 90 degrees to the right. The subjects rarely caught on and he said he was able to grab true candids with more time for composition. "Considered Grab Shots" he called them.

    Vivian Maier's work is really wonderful stuff. Apart from great documentation of an age there are some great pieces of art there. It's always struck me as a crying shame that the arts pay so little, resulting in some amazing talent, whether it's painting, musicians..whatever, that don't attain the audience it deserves. Here's a case in point.

    Bob H
     
  7. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    this is great, well done for posting.
     
  8. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    Read the story in the text on the right as well. It is very interesting. I can't imagine the impact this could have on your life. 600 rolls still to process
     
  9. Stefan Findel

    Stefan Findel Member

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    Fun to look at. Interesting story. Thanks for posting.
     
  10. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    Very interesting and some wonderful pictures in there. Thanks for sharing :smile:
     
  11. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Restricted Access

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  12. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    What a wonderful collection of photos. She had a real knack.
     
  13. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Great work. I would love to come across some amazing photography at an estate sale.
     
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  15. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Nice stuff. The lower viewpoint and square format differentiate this from the more-common 35mm rangefinder view of the city street.
     
  16. Gerry M

    Gerry M Subscriber

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    Thanks for this post, Dennis. I really enjoyed seeing some of her work. As said previously, it's a shame discovery came so late.
    Gerry
     
  17. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    and definitely utilized the square format well.
     
  18. Brac

    Brac Member

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    It's fortunate these fascinating negatives were purchased by someone who cared; they could so easily have been thrown away. A selection of them would make a wonderful book.
     
  19. Lars Daniel

    Lars Daniel Member

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  20. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Truly wonderful work. In a day when every hack with a digital camera is a "street photographer", her work shows the skilled hands and trained eye of a true artist. From reading what little is known of her, I suspect she would take a dim view of all this fuss.
     
  21. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Amazing. It's not just the strength of the pictures, but the courage and strength of will it took to amass such a trove of pictures. Imagine, a petite woman running around the streets of Chicago with a camera and traveling the world alone to make pictures. She must have been a force to contend with. Thanks for the link, Dennis. It's truly inspiring.

    Peter Gomena
     
  22. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member

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  23. Andrew Horodysky

    Andrew Horodysky Member

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    Thanks for sharing the article.

    I find it a fascinating detective story. I hope Maloof and his Columbia College friend actually get their documentary produced (they probably need to pitch the right writers/filmmakers for this, and not try to do it all themselves). As for Colin Westerbeck, I completely agree that his quick judgmental assessment of Maier -- as a mere "participant" in her photography -- is without full merit. Her entire archive is yet to be studied and assessed historically, culturally, and aesthetically, within the social arena of the medium. This does, in the end, present itself as the ideal, turn-key doctoral dissertation... and monograph.
     
  24. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I can't help but wonder what made her so aloof, what drove her to such a solitary existence.

    There's nothing wrong with that, of course. And maybe it's almost a prerequisite to producing truly stellar work on a whole other level. I just can't shake the vague feeling she used photography as a way to distance herself from other human beings, somehow.

    I also think her work, even the small amount examined thus far, is going to prove itself easily over the coming years. She'll be right up there, or should be.
     
  25. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    From what I have read I don't think there is any reason to think she held herself aloof. I think more likely she was shy, though in her obituary written before her discovery she was referred to as a photographer extrordinare. Also I would say that the photos she made don't look like those of a distanced person. Also consider there was some 600 rolls un processed. This along with her job as a nanny would indicate she was pretty impoverished. It just seems to me that she was very gifted in sight and technique.
    Dennis
     
  26. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    My grandfather was an early adapter of the Rollei TLR. Some of his photos appeared in the 1930's Rollei magazine. My father, also professional, bought a Tessar Rollei in the early 50's. I have it, and it still works well. I don't use it much but I just sorta love the now archaic format.

    As sort of noted, press photographers would often lift the camera overhead and look up into the ground glass screen.

    I love TLR's!