Wynn Bullock in Lenswork

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by matt miller, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    I just received my copy of Lenswork yesterday. I was floored by the Wynn Bullock portfolio and can't get it out of my mind. The print on the back cover, titled "Taillights", is simply amazing. I have seen his nude work in the past & it never really connected with me; but the images in this Lenswork portfolio are incredible. His use of light, texture, & lines is masterful. WOW!
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Matt,
    I just got my copy yesterday and I agree. I believe the price for each individual print is $99, but you can buy the entire 10 print portfolio for $195. I wish I had the extra cash to splurge, but if I did I would probably be shopping at the Contact Print Ebay Store first!
     
  3. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Wynn Bullock is my single favorite photographer. Lenswork did a nice job, particularly in its choice of some of the lesser know Bullock pictures. Given the quality of the reproduction, though, I wish Brooks had included "Erosion" in the issue. It's long been one of my favorites.

    The nudes from the era have always seemed a little incongruous to me. e.g., Why exactly is the naked girl sitting in the window? Why is the naked girl lying on the tree?

    I think Peter Gowland summed it up best, "Decide whether you're going to take a picture of the girl or the beach. If you try to include both, you'll do justice to neither."
     
  4. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    Tom,
    "Erosion" is one of my favorites too. Several years ago while visiting a friend in Carmel, he took me around and showed me where Wynn made a few of his images. "Erosion" was one of the images, I would have drove right past it. A good lesson for me, slow down and look.
     
  5. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Matt -

    I can't agree with you more. My copy sat on the desk for about a week until I finally sat down last Sunday to read it seriously - and in looking at Bullock's images I was amazed at his ability to see great pictures in the most mundane things.
     
  6. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    WOW indeed, Matt.

    I have had this very image on my top ten list for a great many years now and it is nowhere near ready to loose its place as one of my all time fovorites. What an incredible image it is. I also find his "typewriter" to have qualities that are rarely found in photographs. His vision and technique were just astonishing. A true Master of the camera he was.
     
  7. wdemere

    wdemere Member

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    My all-time favorite picture (for the last year anyway) is the rattlesnake in a tin can. One of his later pictures too.

    Does anyone know what paper/developer and film/developer he used? I know he had an Ansco 8x10 early on, but I've never seen any discussion of his equipment. I think he had a patent on controlling solarization from before he met Weston, so he obviously had spent some time in the darkroom.

    Thanks,

    William
     
  8. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    In my case , Wynn Bullock was a classic case of stereotyping. I had only ever seen the nudes series with the models in the forest. This portfolio has opened my eyes to his 'other' work.

    The taillight is exceptional, as is the whole portfolio


    Phill
     
  9. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    For those new to Wynn Bullock, recommend the Phaidon 55 book on him. It's only about $8 or so, I think.
     
  10. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Wynn Bullock was one of the first photographers whose work simply awed me. His pictures of sea palms, the old pier, the empty canneries and most of the nudes still leave me feeling unworthy. "Navigation Without Numbers" is probably my favorite but there are so many others I admire, it's hard to really pin down one as a favorite.

    I am arguing with myself about ordering the set of photos from Lenswork. I really, really, really want to buy those photographs.
     
  11. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    I'm pretty sure Bullock used a lot of Kodak Polycontrast but not sure of developer. He did a lot of experimental work with light, like defractracting thru large chunks of glass. Edna Bullock showed me his studio when I was there visiting and pointed out a large chunk of glass he used. It was a fragment of a lense from a large telescope from an observatory. He held several pattens I believe having to do with solorization.
     
  12. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Following on from the Lenswork portfolio , I looked up the man at the local library and borrowed the Apeture - Masters of Photography book on Wynn.
    I have even more respect for the mans vision, especially his abstracts and his printing interpretaions. I could do without the 'child in forest' type work but the rest is awesome. Favourite in the book is driftwood,1951 which shows exceptional light. Limpet is also exceptional.

    Phill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2004
  13. Andrew Forrester

    Andrew Forrester Member

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    I was fortunate to see several of Wynns contact prints some years ago & they were awesome. In the book "Darkroom" by Lustrum Press, Wynn discusses his darkroom technique, & he states that he used Kodak Polycontrast, along with Agfa Brovira in grades 5 & 6, developed in Amidol.

    Andy
     
  14. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I have always found his work to be tremendous. But I think the most inspring thing about him for me is that he did not even start photography seriously untill in his 40s.
     
  15. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    I believe the image "Driftwood,1951" was the first Wynn Bullock image I ever saw and was really impressed. It was reproduced in a book titled Light Years published by The Friends Of Photography in 1987. I purchased a video tape titled "The Roots of California Photography" narrated by Jack Lemmon which has a nice piece on Wynn Bullock and Edna Bullock. Others include the Westons of course as well as Ansel Adams and more. I purchased my copy from the Monterey Museum of Art last year. Great film
     
  16. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Lenswork has a nice interview about him done with his wife before she died. very nice. It is on a DVD, with a companion disc for audio only. A very good buy, as is Lenswork.
     
  17. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I've seen some Bullock prints before receiving the latest Lenswork issue, but the latter motivated me to get one of his books - Wynn Bullock: The Enchanted Landscape - which includes some images that intrigue me technically. Many of the seascape images from 50s - 60s appear to use multiple exposures to achieve a misty/foggy appearance. He was intrigued by the quality of light thru fog/mist ( as well as chunks of glass).

    Multiple exposure technique probably has been around since the results of 1st accidental double exposure encouraged someone to try more; but I haven't seen the technique used by Master photographers on seascapes before Bullock. Since reading Les McLean's book, I've tried the technique with only fair results. Does seem to require a prominent subject that kinda' rises above the mist, ie rocky outcroppings.
     
  18. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I am absolutely in awe of this guy. I had taken out the Enchanted Landscape just prior to the Lenswork edition and fell in love with his work. I just can't put the Lenswork down, his images are magnificant.
     
  19. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Lens Work Current issue - Mario DiGiroLamo

    I know we are all talking about Wynn Bullock (and I've purchased one of the Lens Work prints by Bullock) in this thread but I would like to mention that my good friend here in Atlanta, Mario DiGiroLamo, has a portfolio published in Lens Work this month. And for those of you in Atlanta you can go by the Fay Gold Gallery and see some of his work first hand. It will be worth your time!

    Don Bryant