Discussing a Fay Godwin photograph
This thread has been dead for a while now, and since it's for my education and I don't know anything about her work, I'll even let YOU pick the image you discuss. Thanks.
I really like the ones with animals in her Landmarks Gallery because they are humerous and the one I chose, I like because of the lines of the fences and gracefullness of the dog. It's called Leaping Lurcher
Prints available in the APUG GAllery
There are so many I like. This is a very well known one, and justifiably.
What I like most about her landscapes is the way she captures the 'spirit' of the land, and the sense of it's ancient history. I like her other documentary and portrait work too - simple and effective. Lots of work available on the website.
I first became aware of her work after seeing a portfolio presented in Lenswork a couple of years ago. I then found her book, The Edge of the Land at a used bookstore and became a fan.
She had a great interest in showing the interface between man and nature, especially the encroachment of developers on rural lands. In that regard a protion of her later work is similar to Robert Adams. The difference between the two is Adams hits you over the head with mans impact on nature, where as Godwin emphasizes the beauty that will soon be gone, only showing a hint of what is to come.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
Interesting way to put it, Jim.
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Jim & Cate have shown some insite into Fay's work.
Like many British landscape photographers influences are drawn from photographers like Caponigro, Minor White, John Blake more etc. Many influential photographers began gaving workshops at the Photographers Place, run by Paul Hill in Derbyshire.
Fay Godwin attended one such workshop herself retrning later to run workshops there (and elsewhere) herself.
Somewhere around 1990 I had the privelige to attend one of her workshops, and spent 5 days and she was a fascinating person
I've seen a two exhibitions of original prints and this is one that really grabbed me in the flesh so to speak. Doesn't look like much on the monitor bu the print jumped off the wall. The long line of sheep all staring intently at the camera was both humourous and captivating.
Half your luck Ian!
Ian, would you care to comment on her working habits? The formats in these pictures vary from 2:3 to square, so I presume that she used 35mm and Rollei or Hassel. Did she work from a tripod or always hand-held? Did she do her own printing, or have assistants or professional printers? Etc? Thanks.
On the basis of 5 days' acquaintance with FG, as I recall she used 35 mm at first, progressing to 6x6, mainly Hasselblad I think. She used ISO 400 film to avoid the need for a tripod, even so, being extremely slight in build, she suffered considerable physical wear and tear from hiking with cameras. At the time I met her (1995), she was printing herself, obviously extra-large exhibition prints would have been entrusted to a lab, as far as I know she did not employ a regular assistant.
Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
As others have remarked, FG's outstanding quality was the way she seemed to be in tune with the British landscape. Her work did not appear to have made her rich, at the drop of a hat she would recite a catalog of woes describing how her work had been mishandled by various galleries and agents. I was surprised and gently tried to suggest she should find a better agent who could maximise the income from her considerable archive (which she did in at least one memorable instance, when file shots of sheep were used in an ad campaign by the Wool Marketing Board, if memory serves me correctly).
By 1998 her knees would no longer allow her to undertake lengthy walks, she turned to abstract color work, eventually published in "Glassworks and Secret Lives" - she was not able to get a publishing deal on this, had to self-publish and mail out every copy herself!
Bill, I too was fortunate enough to spend a week with Fay at a workshop at Duckspool, whatever became of those by the way anyone, as far as I can recall she pretty much used whatever got the job done.
Her latter colour work of closeups of vegetation were hand held 35mm, I'm pretty sure.
For many years Peter Cattrell was her B&W printer. He is a landscape photographer here in the UK, he is a contemporary of Micheal Kenna's, he teaches at the LCP among other gigs and has done a lot of work on the first world war battle fields particularly in france.
Mind you if you got off on the wrong foot with her you could be in for a rocky workshop as one guy found out, but that's a nother story
her work is fab, both B&W and Colour