I used to process some of her film. She's not fun to work with
I would agree. I've seen a few shows of hers, and the work seems somehow lacking on a gallery wall. It's assigned for magazines or books, and made/shot with that use in mind, and at the end of the day, it's best viewed as reproduction in the pages of Vanity Fair or the occasional book.
Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
With all that said, the photographs I thought were the strongest in the book (and I only looked through briefly at a bookstore) were two different portraits of her own kids. Perhaps she had her own wall in mind for those.
I guess I just don't get it. Annie Leibovitz is regarded as a great photographer and many famous pictures are credited to her but I can't figure out what she actually does to make it so.
Does she own a famous studio? Does she hire the best sets designers, lighting technicians, make-up people, lab staff, Photoshop wranglers, and relentlessly schmoose celebrities into being photo-models? Does she do camera work or direct the activities of hired camera operators?
So many evocative pictures are credited to her that I would love to have a mental narrative, a mind's eye view of her at work, to heighten the appreciation. Without that insight I fall into a kind of skepticism that sees the obviously expensive production values of her pictures and imagine what would result if an Annie Leibovitz size budget was conferred on to an average skilled APUGer. Would the pictures be even better?
Or is it the case that the Annie Leibovitz oeuvre is a mark of genius that fame, money, and the best help just can't buy?
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
If you're talking about the ones that I liked it's the two that are of young Sarah, I believe. There is one that looks like she's sitting in a car seat and just brought into the studio and the other is a soft portrait (b&w) of the young girl. These two are just stunning!! I can't say enough about the eyes, the emotion in the face, the skin.
Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
I got the book as a gift for my birthday a few weeks ago. My mother gave me some money and I was going to blow it on some film or other camera gear. But I found myself in the bookstore looking at this book and so moved by those two portraits in particular but also overall that I had to buy the book. I brought it home and I had showed my wife the book and told her about it, she was in tears part way through. The photos are such a great mix of "snaps" and formal portraits. Gut wrenching emotion and shooting during extremely hard times for an individual. Well worth the $100CAD!!!
I think I can provide *some* insight. I used to proc film for Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, and just about everyone who did those B&W print ads in all the fashion mags back in the early 90's.
Originally Posted by Maris
Does she hire set designers, make up...yes. That's part of it. You get to have the best stylist around.
I remember one time, I was invited to a xmas party with the stylists that worked on those great Ralph Lauren ads. I walked into the loft and the place looked like a set from one of the shots. It literally looked like it came right out of Vanity Fair. Photographers take the photos, but you have a team of stylists, make up artists, carpenters, good lab, lots and lots of assistants.
But mostly, you also need to do a lot of schmoosing. Meisel wasn't that great technically, pretty straightforward shots, but all the stunning shots of Madonna back then, well, its because he partied all the time and knew the right people in the right places.
I've assisted tons of people and the best job I had was working at a B&W lab. I've seen thousands and thousands of very similar fashions shots. I've seen extremely good technical shots. The ones who get the job for someone usually are the ones that know someone else. That's how you differentiate yourself. I remember one female model turned photographer, not that great, pictures pretty decent, but she got lots of shows because of nature of her ex job. She knew everyone in the business.
I fall into a kind of skepticism that sees the obviously expensive production values of her pictures and imagine what would result if an Annie Leibovitz size budget was conferred on to an average skilled APUGer. Would the pictures be even better?
Last edited by eric; 12-12-2006 at 09:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: more krap
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Originally Posted by eric
I hope you will take this comment in a lighthearted vein:
I would venture to guess that the guy who mixed Michaelangelo's paints had similar feelings to yours.
I had a photographer friend who rented a studio space in the same building as hers. Similar stories all around NY.
Originally Posted by copake_ham
At least Michaelangelo was technical and he mixed his own egg yolks and clay. AL just pointed the camera.
Basically she works for Vanity Fair, and she does her own shooting.
there is a video about her that is very interesting. It goes into a lot of detail of what it took to do the photo of Demi Moore painted as a suit.
I dunno, seems this thread is just "ragging an icon" - perhaps a tad tinge of green envy is present here?
Somehow, I just don't think Annie is a four-flush phony who has managed to bamboozle the photographic world for 30+ years.
As to VF - yes, perhaps, and she got her start with Rolling Stone. So?
All I know is that the poster on the subway train this morning advertising the exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum showed a shot with such an interesting use of light that I wanted to skip work and go check it out!
Alas, wage slave that I am, I went to work.....