13th. September 2021 – Chris Bigg – “Image Icons (3)”

This evening’s speaker was reflective in talking about having taken photographs for over 60 years and then, achieving considerable success in his own right. This is a study of exponents of our art over a period in excess of 100 years and revealing his findings.
A most interesting evening the preparation for achieving it must have taken hours. Naturally his background in the aircraft industry permeated through in rather unexpected ways.
Yannis Behrakis – An interesting photographer having worked for the news agency, Reuters, reporting visually on wars which, of its very nature, must reveal some harrowing images, of death and destruction, displaced people and the detritus of war.
Martin Parr – A very tongue in cheek professional (SYPC keynote speaker some years ago). Very ordinary, yet extraordinary shots by the seaside, unusual angles involving street photography and no small dash of humour.
Charles Dodgson – specialised in photographing young children and some family groups, falling foul of dodgy accusations. A polymath and exceptional writer as Lewis Carroll.
Chris Jackson – a young up and coming specialist with access to the Royal family and hence has become enormously popular, particularly with Prince William and his young family. A distinctive style in bringing out the very best in his important subjects.
Michael Orton – achieved great fame for the “Orton Effect” as he was an early exponent of overlapping images involving railways, trees, car wrecks and the modern trend for long exposures with moving water.
Sally Mann – A controversial photographer taking very informal images of her own children, some landscapes and occasional scenes of misery. A publisher of several books on photography. Mainly using large format camera giving striking prints.
George Crewdson – Large format (10 X 8) photographer who often went to enormous lengths to set up a single scene to photograph it. Images often of dull, mundane ordinary life, might lead us to wonder what was really going on in his head.
Tom Heaton – A meteoric rise to fame, Blackpool born professional with an eye for landscapes, areas like Hadrian’s wall, mountainous regions with striking foregrounds. Images involving water, volcanoes and, occasionally isolated trees.
William Eggleston – Similar to Martin Parr for taking mundane images, partial segments hinting at bigger pictures – went to three universities but never gained a degree, made colour photography popular in the 1960’s, became friendly with Andy Warhol but did not seek to emulate his style.
Carolyn Cole – engaged with images of conflict and encouraged disharmony in order to photograph it, hence occasionally in trouble with the law! Shot illegal immigrants on Mexican border, African faces etched with anguish seeking food handouts, American soldiers in Afghanistan, frightened children, gun action in Sierra Leone, atmospheric pictures in Mosques of the faithful at prayer, generally controversial.
John Rankin Waddell – popularly known as RANKIN, much seen on television, access to celebrities. Some extreme images e.g., nude in supermarket trolley – his photos are never ordinary.
Andre Kertesz – well known for images containing geometric elements often triangular, roof tops, stairways, shadows silhouettes, wavy mirror distorted images a clever observer of architecture.
Terry O’Neil – stumbled into photography but has built up an enormous reputation. Wonderful pictures of Jean Shrimpton, a rare jolly picture of HM, The Queen and the D Of E with corgi dog, The Rolling Stones, Elton when young, Cindy Crawford, Roger Moore and Bond girls. Regrettably now suffering from macular degeneration.
Howard Hollem – A medium format photographer (7 X 5), contracted to create a series of images to encourage women to work, during the war, in factories. The result showed this kind of work as clean and clinical, rather different that the real world.
Ernst Hass – images of tension and movement to inspire action, well known work was the bullfight, anything involving galloping horses, often rich in intense colour Ernst spent some time in in a labour camp but grew in stature to work for TIME magazine and became a Magnum photographer. Often viewed things from very different points, particularly engineering items.
David Bailey – probably the most famous name in photography and a personality who represented the Swingin’ Sixties. A distinctive style often chopping off the top of his subjects’ heads. Associated with all of the celebrities of that era, including the less reputable like the Krays.
Albert Khan – a wealthy individual who, in 1909, decided to take colour pictures of the entire world (a catalogue comprising some 72000 shots) all film (Autochrome). An amazing outcome which includes WW1.
Bernice Abbott – Most renowned as a street photographer creating large format images. Enjoyed high buildings and often captured people during travel.
Bence Mate – A fabulous wildlife photographer with all of the equipment and the skills to capture the extraordinary in its native habitat – often took from unusual angles to see creatures in another way, still very much in demand – known as the invisible photographer.
Helene Binet – a Swiss-French architectural photographer based in London, who is also one of the leading architectural photographers in the world. She is most known for her work with architects Daniel Libeskind, Peter Zumthor and Zaha Hadid, and has published books on works of several architects.
Darren Heath – motorsport photographer specialising in Formula One motor racing known for his creative and artistic coverage of the sport. Covering every Grand Prix, Heath, works with both editorial and commercial clients worldwide.
Joel Hermeyerwitz – American street, portrait and landscape photographer. He began photographing in colour in 1962 and was an early advocate of the use of colour during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of colour photography as serious art.
Eugene Smith – American photojournalist. He has been described as “perhaps the single most important American photographer in the development of the editorial photo essay.” As a war photographer he went Island hopping in the Pacific became wounded and was removed from war zones. He had a lifetime love of jazz and his work involved this musical genre, he too became a Magnum photographer and hence was much in demand. The “family of Man” exhibition retained one of his images as its last piece, overwork caused him to die young.

Chris’s presentation finished with this saying. A very inspiring evening which might well provide food for thought in many directions.

Chris Bigg is always a welcome and entertaining presenter at SYPC, thank you for another excellent evening Chris. We are already looking forward to arranging your next visit.

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