Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vivian Maier home page

[Thanks to Beth]

We've talked about the excellent Vivian Maier before. She now has (though she's dead) a home page with many of her photos, in good size too, which I appreciate, it's too rare.
Her compositions are so good, I almost wish she'd focus less on people. (It could be the editor of course.) My uncle once said: If you include people in your photos, then the viewers only look at the people. And there's definitely something to that. Most people are so interested in People to the degree that everything else is peripheral. A bio about Mozart will sell much better than a book about his music.


16 comments:

John D. Linn said...

Thanks for the link to this photographer.

It is interesting to note that most of her photos were taken with a twin-lens-reflex which means that they were shot pretty much at waist height rather than eye level. This creates a different point of view which I find appealing.

The "prints" are really nicely executed... I put "print" in quotes because they are not prints at all, but scans from her negatives. I wonder if she would have printed them to the same level of quality (apparently she did no darkroom work but relied on commercial processing).

John

Anonymous said...

And there's definitely something to that.

There's nothing to that, actually. That you believe it is possibly a clue to your total failure as a photographer.

Dave Nielsen said...

These snapshots of a living city wouldn't work without the people.

eolake said...

Maybe, maybe not. But most of the pics are of people rather than of the city.

Dave Nielsen said...

It is interesting to note that most of her photos were taken with a twin-lens-reflex

Do you know the make of the camera she used? Just curious, as she wasn't wealthy apparently.

Anonymous said...

She shot with a couple of different Rolleiflex cameras and 120 black and white Kodak film.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she would have printed them to the same level of quality (apparently she did no darkroom work but relied on commercial processing).

Getting them printed commercially today they would look awful, but back then they knew how to develop black and white so they probably would still have looked quite nice.

Dave Nielsen said...

Those cameras go for a lot of money these days on Ebay.

I was looking on vivianmaier.com and it says that when she moved to Chicago in '56 she did have a darkroom.

Dave Nielsen said...

I might pre-order the book. I admit I'm intrigued, both by her photos and by her.

eolake said...

Kewl. Report how you like it.

Dave Nielsen said...

I can do that. It doesn't come out till November though.

Seth Armstrong said...

Interesting website. It strikes me that any time I've seen modern day b&w pix they don't look quite as good, even when done by pros, as even amateur work from back in the day.

eolake said...

I'm sure you're not alone in thinking so.
I dunno, but it's clear that there is some sort of mental conflict in making BW in the digital age, it's strange.

Seth Armstrong said...

it's clear that there is some sort of mental conflict in making BW in the digital age

Even Maier - whom I hadn't heard of before I saw this blog entry - seems to have abandoned it once colour became widely available.

eolake said...

I think she didn't have a darkroom, and BW is no fun without one.

Dave Nielsen said...

She did have a darkroom at one point but most of her pictures went undeveloped especially her later color ones.