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Irving Penn at work with his Rolleiflex in Morocco (video)
Old 09-30-2019   #1
Abbazz
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Irving Penn at work with his Rolleiflex in Morocco (video)

I thought you might be interested in this video from The Met's website. It was shot in 1971 by Irving Penn's wife on 8mm film:

https://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/v...n-morocco-1971

Cheers!

Abbazz
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Old 10-01-2019   #2
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Thanks for the link, it's an interesting video and the colours from the 8mm film are nice.
There are other interesting video related to photography in the video section of the MET.Worthwhile to watch.
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Old 10-01-2019   #3
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This video was on display during the large Irving Penn retrospective at the Grand Palais (Paris) two years ago. It's good to watch it again. It shows that simple lighting conditions under natural light without any sophisticated movie-like setup can lead to beautiful pictures.
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Old 10-01-2019   #4
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A degree of weirdness about this clip...the white man comes to Morocco to shoot pics of the exotic natives. I don't think a shoot like this would be possible today.
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Old 10-01-2019   #5
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Thanks for that, Abbaz.
The Kodachrome still looks so good!
The only trouble with having Lisa Fonssagrives as cinematographer is we don't get to see Lisa Fonssagrives.
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Today?
Old 10-01-2019   #6
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Today?

I do not know about being able to do this today, but i would not rule it out. The subjects were not casual. This folks were dressed in their best garb so lined up in advance and willing to be staged (within reason). They were being paid, as you can see an assistant paying off the first group of subjects early in the film. An assistant to handle the subjects, and another to do the technicals, light metering, etc. Not a hard working day for Penn. Street photography this isn't. "Environmental" portraits like this were Penn's trademark, and no one ever did it better.
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Old 10-01-2019   #7
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Thanks for sharing that, very interesting how his portable studio worked. Looks like they were setting it up in a sandstorm.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 10-01-2019   #8
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I do not know about being able to do this today, but i would not rule it out.
I doubt you've been in that part of the world in recent years.
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Old 10-01-2019   #9
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Originally Posted by Out to Lunch View Post
A degree of weirdness about this clip...the white man comes to Morocco to shoot pics of the exotic natives. I don't think a shoot like this would be possible today.
On the contrary ..IMO this is the story with 'Adventure photography' workshops all over the world....
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Old 10-01-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
It shows that simple lighting conditions under natural light without any sophisticated movie-like setup can lead to beautiful pictures.
By any chance, have you noticed portable studio setup?
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Old 10-01-2019   #11
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By any chance, have you noticed portable studio setup?
I have noticed a tent to protect the portrayed subjects and the photographer from the strong wind (by any chance, do you know that there is a bit of sand in such a place ). This tent has two open sides and three windows at one of its closed sides to allow some lateral daylight to get in. The Rolleiflex is not plugged to any artificial light device.

I doubt you've seen what is a "portable studio setup" in recent years (huge light floods, big metallic reflectors, power generators, video monitors, wires and consoles everywhere, and sunglasses-fitted MIB speaking to their cufflinks)...
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Old 10-01-2019   #12
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"portraits like this were Penn's trademark, and no one ever did it better."....

Fine portraits, but arguably he was neck-in-neck with Richard Avedon, whose "In The American West" was a tour-de-force.
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Old 10-01-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
I have noticed a tent to protect the portrayed subjects and the photographer from the strong wind (by any chance, do you know that there is a bit of sand in such a place ). This tent has two open sides and three windows at one of its closed sides to allow some lateral daylight to get in. The Rolleiflex is not plugged to any artificial light device.

I doubt you've seen what is a "portable studio setup" in recent years (huge light floods, big metallic reflectors, power generators, video monitors, wires and consoles everywhere, and sunglasses-fitted MIB speaking to their cufflinks)...
It isn't shelter. It is portable studio. Remember Disfarmer? He also has studio without artificial light, but it was modified natural light. Just like in this portable studio. It is quite common method to modify and control the natural light. Close to north window light.
https://aphotoeditor.com/2011/07/27/...erview-part-1/
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Old 10-01-2019   #14
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Thank you, Kostya, interesting.
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Old 10-01-2019   #15
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And interesting interview with Kurt Markus, thanks for the link !
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Old 10-01-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
Thanks for the link, it's an interesting video and the colours from the 8mm film are nice.
There are other interesting video related to photography in the video section of the MET.Worthwhile to watch.
You're welcome, Robert. I love to see photographers at work, the way they handle the camera, how they make contact with their subject (or not)...

Cheers!

Abbazz
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Old 10-01-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyongazer View Post
Thanks for that, Abbaz.
The Kodachrome still looks so good!
The only trouble with having Lisa Fonssagrives as cinematographer is we don't get to see Lisa Fonssagrives.
Your're welcome, Canyongazer.

Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn was an artist as much as a model. This film shows her skills at handling a 8mm camera from the early 70s.

Cheers!

Abbazz
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Old 10-01-2019   #18
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Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Thanks for sharing that, very interesting how his portable studio worked. Looks like they were setting it up in a sandstorm.
You're welcome, Tim.
The portable studio is great. I love the fact that he only uses natural lighting that originates from the sun reflected on a huge white reflector visible in front of the studio:



We can also see his legendary Hasselblad chimney loupe finder attached to the Rolleiflex with lots of gaffer tape:



Cheers!

Abbazz
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Old 10-01-2019   #19
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Originally Posted by Out to Lunch View Post
A degree of weirdness about this clip...the white man comes to Morocco to shoot pics of the exotic natives. I don't think a shoot like this would be possible today.
This was apparently staged, supported and maybe sponsorized by the Government of Morocco, as it appears from the sign on the side of this van (it reads: Ministry of Information - National Cinematographic Center - Cinematographic Caravans):



Cheers!

Abbazz
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Old 10-01-2019   #20
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I doubt you've been in that part of the world in recent years.
I've been to every corner of the globe, I don't see how this isn't possible today.
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Old 10-01-2019   #21
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Originally Posted by Abbazz View Post
I thought you might be interested in this video from The Met's website. It was shot in 1971 by Irving Penn's wife on 8mm film:

Abbazz
I was fortunate to see that show at The Met. Blockbuster for me. Thanks for the memories!
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Old 10-01-2019   #22
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Very cool. And also reminds me to break out my Tilt-All which I sort of forgot I had.
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Old 10-01-2019   #23
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Very cool. And also reminds me to break out my Tilt-All which I sort of forgot I had.
Tiltall and Rolleiflex: can't go wrong with that!

Cheers!

Abbazz
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