Enjoy Very Long Exposures With Will Cheung And MPB

Contrasts and styles


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Contrasts and styles

25 Sep 2020 8:20AM   Views : 498 Unique : 328


A few days ago, I posted a blog about Bob Carlos Clarke, and Colin (nellacphoto) added one of his pictures of Jilly Johnson signing a Carlos Clarke print, and shared a link to YouTube with JJ being photographed by BCC, and also by Patrick Lichfield, Beverley Goodway, Jo Spence, and Jane Bown.

Jane Bown probably ought to be better known than she is: she won’t tick all the boxes for most, right down to the way she held her camera… But she was a brilliant and self-effacing portraitist – finished in 18 minutes, though this might exclude the time JJ spent removing her makeup.

Lichfield went for classy high glamour, Goodway shot his standard sort of Page 3 image. Jo Spence (a feminist, whose worked tended to be political) shot her in the kitchen, wearing ordinary clothes, almost deglamourised. And followed up with a still life of groceries with plastic boobs… ‘In advertising they’ve become a commodity’ explained Spence. ‘It’s just not my thing’ said Johnson.

Carlos Clarke put her – literally – on a pedestal, with a bow and arrow, posing on one leg. She tended to fall off… BCC’s explanation of what he was going to do in the darkroom followed: amazingly complex work, even in Photoshop, and he had to make ‘25 or 30’ prints to get the effect he wanted – you can see the result (upside down, as Johnson signed it) in my blog ‘BCC’ a few days ago.

It’s always an interesting exercise to view one person or place as pictured by different artists: maybe if you follow the link Colin provided the other day, you can work out for yourself whether anyone penetrated the Page 3 mask to find the real Jilly Johnson. The illustration is a striking marcher at Make Poverty History, as I've never had the pleasure of meeting and photogrpahing JJ...

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pablophotographer Avatar
pablophotographer 12 2.2k 451
25 Sep 2020 9:21PM
Hi dudler.
I can relate this to Italo Calvino's lovely book called "Palomar", chapter titled "The naked bosom".
Robert51 Avatar
Robert51 15 14 147 United Kingdom
25 Sep 2020 9:22PM
I think photography follows life here as we all see people in different ways. There is also two side we present to each other which is our work side and the social side. These are also sub divided into daughter, mother and wife and the other from the other side of the coin.
So trying to capture a real person can only reflect that moment, like a look or the way they hold their head which everyone can recognize. This doesn't stop people producing great images no matter which hat their subject wore.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2064 England
26 Sep 2020 6:53AM
Thoughtful, both.

Robert, it intrigues me that a hat can conceal or reveal - sometimes both at the same time...
lemmy Avatar
lemmy 16 2.9k United Kingdom
26 Sep 2020 6:32PM
In my days working for The Sun and News of the Word among others, I worked with Jilly a few times She had a great sense of humour, lots of fun and was very bright. I normally used Holborn Studios, off Farringdon Road and after a morning shoot she had an hour to spare so went for a drink and a bite in the pub opposite. We went in the pub and and sat down and I said I'd go and get some drinks.

She was going on to another job and was dressed to kill, trademark short skirt and so on. As always, sexy and glamorous but not obvious. She said, no, she'd go and duly went off to the bar to order. Naturally, every male pair of eyes in the bar was on her as she came back with drinks, put them down on the table and gave me a kiss before sitting down nestled right up close to me. I cottoned on to what she was doing, having a bit of fun and knowing that every bloke in the bar was looking at me and thinking the same thing....you lucky b******. It was always good working with people who didn't take themselves too seriously.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2064 England
26 Sep 2020 9:32PM
I have no stories to top that one. Just none.


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