photographer

Laura Pannack: documentary photographer by Nigel Rumsey

https://vimeo.com/84293993 This Rave Late video features Documentary and Editorial Photographer Laura Pannack talking about her experiences working on both commissions and personal projects.

It's interesting to hear about how she instigates projects, preferring to concentrate on subjects she feels passionate about rather than those which may be more obviously commercial. She also talks about how she tries not to go into a project with a particular outcome in mind. The work could end up being an exhibition, a book, or maybe it'll never see the light of day. I think this is an important lesson, if you're so focussed on your predetermined outcome it can't but influence the work and the way that you shoot it. You need to let the outcome be determined by the work, not the other way around.

As someone who often struggles to find ways into a project I was hoping she'd discuss a little more about the very early stages of a project. How she made an initial approach, how she got the subject to believe in the project as much as she did, that wasn't really covered, never-the-less it makes very interesting viewing.

https://vimeo.com/84295803

I just came across this second video. It's a one-to-one interview, where Laura Pannack talks about her experiences starting as an assistant, then her first commission as photographer and what she looks for in a good assistant - useful viewing for any students out there. Look at the lighting on this one, there's a wonderful moment where all you can see are her head and hands.

Saul Leiter: The Art of Photography by Nigel Rumsey

I finally got around to watching Tomas Leach's documentary about Saul Leiter I mentioned last week. He's such an inspiring photographer, I love his use of minimalist composition and those amazing flashes of colour. I also watched the Art of Photography episode about Saul. Ted Forbes gives a great introduction to Saul's work, he explains what inspires him in the images. If you haven't seen the documentary this is a great introduction to the work.

In No Great Hurry: 13 lessons in life with Saul Leiter by Nigel Rumsey

I've been a fan of Saul Leiter's work for some time so when I finally got the opportunity to go to NYC over Easter last year I spent ten days walking around Manhattan sure that at any moment I was going to bump into the great man. You won't be surprised to hear I didn't. Since then In No Great Hurry a film, by Tomas Leach, about Saul's life has been released to great critical success and on 26 November last year Saul sadly passed away.

There have only been a couple of screenings here in the UK, neither of which I've managed to get to so I was pleased to see that the fim has now been released on DVD and download. I've downloaded my copy for the princely sum of $10 and the quality looks great.

If you're in the USA there more screenings scheduled, you can find the listing on the web site. I hope at some point it'll be shown again in the UK.

Saul's obituary in the New York Times.

Which way is the frontline from here? - The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington by Nigel Rumsey

Which way is the frontline from here?, is a film by journalist Sebastian Junger about his RESTREPO co-director British photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington. Hetherington was sadly killed in Libya in 2011. I, unfortunately, only became aware of Tim's work following his death. He had a particular interest in portraying those affected by war, both soldiers and civilians, away from the action. The documentary should be a fascinating, if sad, portrayal.

Despite my best Google technique I can't find any cinemas currently showing this film in the UK. I would suggest you follow the film's Facebook page.

Jim Mortram: Documentary photographer by Nigel Rumsey

Good documentary photography is a mixed blessing. Yes, it enlightens, it inspires, but for much of the time it shows the vast majority of us how lucky we are and what tough lives some of us live. This is particularly true for the work of Jim Mortram. I've always been drawn to documentary photography, and photojournalism, but of late I've become increasingly interested and have spent time researching photographers online. Somewhow this brought me to Jim's website: Small Town Inertia. Not long ago I would have known where I saw it because I could have only read it in either a book or a magazine. Now with the miriad of websites, blogs, tweets etc. we consume each day I have no idea, but I'm glad that it did.

Small Town Inertia is a series of stories from, what imagine is, a small town somewhere in the middle of the country. I don't know because as far as I can see Jim doesn't say. To be honest it doesn't matter, I'm sure these stories, or something like them, are repeated in every village, town and city across the country. They speak of hard times, of misfortune, of hope and disappointment, of misery and joy, but most of all they speak of how f**king tough getting through the day can be for some people.

These stories are important, we shouldn't shy away from them because they're not about us our family or friends. This is the world we live in, I don't know if it's possible to change it, but it makes me feel we should bloody well try.

Gregory Heisler: A Master of his Art by Nigel Rumsey

gregory_heisler_the_two_bushesIf you have an interest in photographic portraiture, whether you've known it or not, you will probably be familiar with the work of Gregory Heisler. Among other achievements he has 69 Time Magazine covers to his name. He became renown in 1991 for the stunning in-camera double exposure of George HW Bush (above) for the cover of Time Magazine, a shot which caused him to loose his White House photographer privileges, in my opinion it was probably worth it.

I've recently stumbled across a series of YouTube videos produced by Profoto USA where Heiser explains the methodology behind some of his most iconic shots. From the videos Heisler appears to be incredibly relaxed even laid-back. But that obviously doesn't mean he's relaxed about his work, in his preparation he's incredibly meticulous. It's fascinating to see the level of planning and experimentation that goes into each of these shots.

Whatever your level of experience you're going to gain something from watching these videos even if it's just respect for this master of his art.