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Photogs / Photo Exhibits This is the place to discuss a particular Photographer (work, style, life, whatever), as well as to post Gallery and Museum Photo Exhibitions and your own impressions of them. As we march on in this new digital world, it is often too easy to forget about the visual importance of the photographic print, as well as their financial importance to the photographer. It is also interesting to remember that some guy named Gene Smith shot with lenses that many lens test reading "never had a picture published in their life" amateurs would turn up their their noses at, as being "unacceptable."

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James Ravilious - A very English Photographer
Old 06-16-2011   #1
peterm1
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James Ravilious - A very English Photographer

About once a year I have posted this link here for the benefit of new members who may not have seen it. James Ravilious was a photographer who spent most of his career documenting life in and around a small village (using Leicas incidentally).

He was the very talented son of Eric Ravilious a highly regarded water colourist. For those who have not seen it this is a very beautiful documentary about his work.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xh5...raphs_creation

And here it is on Youtube for those who prefer that location

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYg8m...embedded#at=15

Last edited by peterm1 : 06-16-2011 at 01:15.
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Old 06-16-2011   #2
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This is a wonderful video and so inspiring when you're searching for things in your life to photograph. James just photographed the people, the landscape and the lifestyle around him and did it with an open caring heart and a keen eye.

I never get sick of watching this ... thanks for posting the link once again Peter.
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Old 06-16-2011   #3
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More information about James Ravilious and the Beaford Archive here:

http://www.beaford-arts.org.uk/index.php?id=5

The books really are excellent.
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Old 06-16-2011   #4
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Probably my favourite photographer; to my mind he produced pictures that combined humour, sheer beauty and an obvious passion for his subject with an ability to really document the skills and way of life of those he photographed.

When so much documentary photography is similar in its vision and style I find James's work to be outstanding in its need to be beautiful. Perhaps not always the most "true" as is mentioned in the film, he avoided some of the more unpleasant aspects according to some of those interviewed in the film, but then he was also very open about his desire to show the beauty that he saw in the world; or at least that part of the world he photographed.

I have this on DVD and watch it quite regularly, inspiring and slightly depressing in as far as I wish I had his talent, ability and gentleness. His father's work just happens to be some of my favourite watercolours too....a very talented family.

Good idea to post this Peter. Maybe we should have a video section that we can link to for the benefit of all, I know very few well known photographers and always enjoy watching this type of thing.
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Old 06-16-2011   #5
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I've seen this so many times, and it's still amazing.

Anyone knows what sort of lenses he used? They talk about old lenses, uncoated etc.

http://youtu.be/TYg8mxvUgJE?t=9m50s <- right here.

And, he has taped up the lens hood to give it even more protection from flare and whatnot, anyone have any good idea as to how one would go about doing the same thing? It would be easy if I had a digital camera with M mount, you could just tape it up more and more and take picture and see when it starts to vignette but I don't have one :-) Specifically on a 5cm f1.5 summarit.

Last edited by Moriturii : 06-16-2011 at 01:36.
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Old 06-16-2011   #6
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Love the way he mentioned about the silver in his black and white pictures

My respect goes to this man!
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Old 06-16-2011   #7
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Thanks for this, far more interesting than anything on the TV round here
Though i did not understand a word from the pheasant plucker
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Old 06-16-2011   #8
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Quote:
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Though i did not understand a word from the pheasant plucker
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I don't think even us Brits understood most of what she said during the entire program!

His shot of her in her short dress coming out of the shed or outside loo sums his work up for me. Not just s great candid environmental portrait but laced with the exquisite timing to get three cows in a wonderful pattern included in the frame.

With regard to the lenshoods, it seems he experimented and made some very large hoods to enable him to shoot directly into the sun. Alot to learn from his approach
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Old 06-16-2011   #9
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Talking about lenses I have to say that old uncoated lenses can give great effects in black and white imagery and I can particularly see how Ravilious would have loved the effects he got from them. Some of the nicest mono images I have shot came from a simple uncoated prewar tessar lens on a Contax 2 with lovely soft gradations and no harsh tones.
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Old 06-16-2011   #10
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I don't think even us Brits understood most of what she said during the entire program!
I did but then I live just on the other side of the moor.
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Old 06-16-2011   #11
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The books have been reprinted and available by Amazon. Well worth the money.
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Old 06-16-2011   #12
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Wow Peter...it took me all day to finally get a chance to watch it. This guy was awesome!

Thanks so much for posting it again. I don't know how I missed it before.
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Old 06-16-2011   #13
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So many people seem to aspire to be the next HCB ... me, I'd be happy to be the next James Ravilious.
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Old 06-16-2011   #14
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So many people seem to aspire to be the next HCB ... me, I'd be happy to be the next James Ravilious.

You seem to be doing fine being yourself!
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Old 06-16-2011   #15
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I have just noticed that there are some other good videos on Youtube

My personal hero - Robert Capa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlnI3...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMeXO...eature=related

As my Hungarian dad might have said when he was alive .... "My boy dat Capa - vot an mahn"
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Old 06-16-2011   #16
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Thanks for sharing. I'll have to watch the 2nd half tomorrow.
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Old 06-16-2011   #17
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When you posted this a few years ago I watched the video and visited his site. But since then I have watched the video many times. And still
go back to his site. So thanks very much. James had a really simple talent, something I wish I could achieve. Of all the photographers galleries and sites I visited I am still drawn to him the most. He died too young and as that friend said in the video 'oh James.'
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Old 06-16-2011   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benlees View Post
You seem to be doing fine being yourself!


Thanks benlees.

What I was implying was that a lot of people want to seem to be street photographers and HCB, Winogrand etc, seem to be icons for them ... whereas in reality there's a whole world of photographic opportunities out there that don't actually need to have a label put on them. It's just life and it's constantly happening all around us ... Ravilious exemplifies this IMO.

Admittedly he did live in a very beautiful (IMO) part of the world ... but he still had to see it and want to document it in the way he saw it.
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Old 06-18-2011   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriturii View Post
I've seen this so many times, and it's still amazing.

Anyone knows what sort of lenses he used? They talk about old lenses, uncoated etc.

http://youtu.be/TYg8mxvUgJE?t=9m50s <- right here.

And, he has taped up the lens hood to give it even more protection from flare and whatnot, anyone have any good idea as to how one would go about doing the same thing? It would be easy if I had a digital camera with M mount, you could just tape it up more and more and take picture and see when it starts to vignette but I don't have one :-) Specifically on a 5cm f1.5 summarit.
According to the book, "An English Eye", he used 35 and 50 mm Elmars and a 28 mm Hektor (all uncoated), with a light yellow filter on a Leica M3. He also worked with a VIOOH viewfinder permanently on the camera. Film was either Tri-X or HP5 and in later years, he used Tri-X rated at 200 ASA, developed in Perceptol (diluted 1:2 with water).
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Old 06-18-2011   #20
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Spiegel im Spiegel is a perfectly fitting tune for this docu. I'll have to check my docu archive to see if I've recorded it when it aired on BBC Four.

Thanks for the reminder Peter.
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Old 06-18-2011   #21
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Quote:
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Spiegel im Spiegel is a perfectly fitting tune for this docu. I'll have to check my docu archive to see if I've recorded it when it aired on BBC Four.

Thanks for the reminder Peter.
There are plenty of recordings of this on Youtube. its beautiful. While you are at it you could try more of Arvo Part's compositions - many of which are equally engaging and lovely.
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Old 06-18-2011   #22
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Thank you - a most interesting and absorbing video.

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Old 06-18-2011   #23
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Thank you so very much for posting this wonderful video. I had never herd of James Ravilious before, but he has instantly become one of my favorite photographers.
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Old 06-18-2011   #24
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Watching this video some months ago made me buy the book "An English Eye". Mr. Ravilious is undoubtedly a great photographer unfortunately not widely known as he had never encountered with photojournalism or the magazine world. His unique signature is above every praise, for so few photographers were able to express their subjects shot in 35mm format but with such a soft and long gradations. His style was a perfect fit for his detailed, true-to-life but in a way warm and gentle vision to depict the British rural life some eyes would find even depressing. I wish I had known him far before.


BTW, a talented forum member here, "rodt16s" is not only an admirer of James Ravilious but his style also reflects many merits of the famous photographer.

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Old 06-18-2011   #25
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Thank you OP for expanding my mind...

Interesting how the folks tell his and their story...you know here in Oklahoma where I live it wasn't so very long ago that similiar rhythms of life were still strong but unfortunately they are pretty much gone now. For many years in the early seventies I played with a pair of turkeys all summer when visiting my great grandmother only to dine on them in November! Drank goat's milk that I obtained with my own hands and ate a lot of homegrown rabbit too...made balloons out of pig bladders...but I could never bring myself to eat raw squirrel brains for breakfast and neither could my grandmother - that deal died out with her generation...LOL My children don't believe me...all they really know is WalMart.

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Old 01-11-2017   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurManInTangier View Post
Probably my favourite photographer; to my mind he produced pictures that combined humour, sheer beauty and an obvious passion for his subject with an ability to really document the skills and way of life of those he photographed.

When so much documentary photography is similar in it's vision and style I find James's work to be outstanding in it's need to be beautiful. Perhaps not always the most "true" as is mentioned in the film, he avoided some of the more unpleasant aspects according to some of those interviewed in the film, but then he was also very open about his desire to show the beauty that he saw in the world; or at least that part of the world he photographed.

I have this on DVD and watch it quite regularly, inspiring and slightly depressing in as far as I wish I had his talent, ability and gentleness. His father's work just happens to be some of my favourite watercolours too....a very talented family.

Good idea to post this Peter. Maybe we should have a video section that we can link to for the benefit of all, I know very few well known photographers and always enjoy watching this type of thing.
There still is something very calm and serene in James's photographs. Some of it comes with his treatment of film that lets all the tones flow, no harshness, and the major part is his feeling of closeness to the community he is working with.
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Old 01-11-2017   #27
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Unfortunately the original 25 minute video on James' life seems not to be available on the internet anymore. Only this short 2 minute intro to his work (an extract from the full video).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq2iZmEmF8A

But this alternate video is also available

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-DlRQ6xFp4

Somehow Alan Bennett's narration seems to match the mood of the original video perfectly. (Incidentally if you have not seen it, watch the movie "Lady in a Van" which was written by Bennett about his odd, engaging and sadly funny experience of an old lady who parked her van in his driveway and stayed on for 15 years until she passed away. Bennett claims he was always too polite to ask her to leave.)
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Old 01-11-2017   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Unfortunately the original 25 minute video on James' life seems not to be available on the internet anymore. Only this short 2 minute intro to his work (an extract from the full video).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq2iZmEmF8A

But this alternate video is also available

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-DlRQ6xFp4

Somehow Alan Bennett's narration seems to match the mood of the original video perfectly. (Incidentally if you have not seen it, watch the movie "Lady in a Van" which was written by Bennett about his odd, engaging and sadly funny experience of an old lady who parked her van in his driveway and stayed on for 15 years until she passed away. Bennett claims he was always too polite to ask her to leave.)
I saw that movie written and starred with him (Bennett's): great. I know; I have seen the video too bad it is gone now. I guess art experts could find a meaning for James' work, but to me he was a pure photographer. He photographed with no agenda other than a love for his friends and his Devon.
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Old 01-12-2017   #29
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DVD's of the original film shown on British TV are available still.
The PAL version is £10 + postage.
The NTSC version is £15 + postage.
See:-
http://shop.banyak.co.uk/product/james-ravilious-dvd/
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Old 01-12-2017   #30
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I get it but it doesn't work on USA video players.
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Old 01-12-2017   #31
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I thought the NTSC version was for the US video players ?

See:-
http://www.rehabtool.com/help/videoformat.html

For DVD's the US can use Region 1 and 9, I believe so I am surprised if the DVD - for NTSC regions is not a region 1 or 9 version.You would have to contact banyak.co.uk to find out what DVD region standard is on what they call NTSC. DVD.
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