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  1. #1

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    What do you think of Annie Leibovitz's "A Photographer's Life"?

    I received the book a while ago as a present -- shipped all the way from America, hot of the press. I'm glad to have it. I have plenty of thoughts about it. Also, a documentary film came out recently about Leibovitz's life as a photographer. My wife saw it, and liked it a lot. But the book... What do you think about it? Maybe this would belong in the "book review" section but I'm hoping for some commentary on the composition and substance of her pictures. "C'mon, what's with composition looking at the Gubernator on skis in the Tyrol?!" "C'mon, what's with composition looking at Sontag, bored and tired, splayed over a bed in Venice?!" Well, plenty. Or?

  2. #2
    rusty71's Avatar
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    I have not seen the book, but I was never that impressed with Liebovitz's photography. She did some good editorial stuff for Rolling Stone, but with any other subjects her approach seems amateurish at best. No real depth in most of her images. Then again, I prefer the surrealist work of photographers like Bill Brandt, whom likely influenced Liebovitz and others.

  3. #3
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    Her work was discussed on apug rather recently, I believe.

    She typically works with a myriad of assistants who handle much of the lighting and such. She has a self-professed inability to connect with her subjects, which comes through very much and will likely always prevent me from liking her work.

    - CJ

  4. #4
    Dinesh's Avatar
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    Her older stuff is dynamite. I don't really dig her new stuff as much.
    Kick his ass, Sea Bass!

  5. #5

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    I'm too busy living my own life to spend any time with hers.

    I saw this book at a bookstore last week. I picked it up, thumbed quickly through, saw Sontag's death and her father's death, and put the book back on the shelf. I get the feeling her camera is actually a shield from the world instead participating in it.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  6. #6
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinesh View Post
    Her older stuff is dynamite. I don't really dig her new stuff as much.
    Just curious what older stuff you're referring to. Do you mean her early Rolling Stone work?

  7. #7
    Nicole's Avatar
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    I bought the book recently and thoroughly enjoy seeing her work. She's very clever and subtle if you take the time to study her work. You learn a lot about a person by seeing what they see.

  8. #8
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    Her work was discussed at length, here, but I can't find the thread to link. She's a very good commercial editorial photographer, and her stuff looks great in the pages of Vanity Fair. I've studied her group shots (in hopes of learning a thing or two about photographing large groups ) which I think she is very good at.

    She's far better in the commercial arena, it seems to me, than in the personal. With a few exceptions... I don't find her personal work with her family in the book very compelling. Shame really...

  9. #9
    Trask's Avatar
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    My son gave me the book a few months ago as a gift. While always happy to do whatever is necessary to encourage his interest in photography, including accepting photo books, I must say that I was not impressed with many of the images in the book. When I look at a book, frankly I want to learn something about how to make my photos as good as what I'm looking at, either by vision or technique. But many of the photos in this book seem to me to be nothing exceptional. OK, they're a record of her life and at least the title is honest, but where's the craft she's supposed to have? Many of the photos seem ordinary. I'm sure they serve as precious reminders to her of moments in her life, and if I were her they'd mean something to me, but I'm not so many have little value either emotionally or aesthetically.

  10. #10

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    A darling of the cognoscenti in NYC, famous ONLY because she has photographed so many celebrities -- it's the well known faces that have made her famous, not her ability as a photographer. What she seems to have is drive. Drive to do what she does. Radio talk show hosts do too. They may be intellectual lightweights but it was their relentless drive to be on the radio and get all that attention that got them where they are. Same with Ms. L. It will always be this way. It ain't what you know, it's who.
    Robert Hunt

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