Posted by: Admin | October 22, 2010

Learning from the Masters (and Mistresses!)

They say that the past informs the future and that is as true for photography as anything else. I am a digital photographer through and through. Purists would say that means I’m not a “real” photographer, and I would say: bollocks. For me, photography is about creating interesting images, the means by which it is done are irrelevant.

I do, however, love to study the great photographers of the 20th century and I have started to try to recreate some of their iconic images as a means by which to “see” things through their eyes.  I say “recreate”, what I really mean is “reinterpret” for I don’t think for a moment that I could emulate the greats. It’s fun trying though!

Below is one of the images of Marilyn Monroe created by Cecil Beaton in 1956 (source: National Portrait Gallery)


© Cecil Beaton Archive, Sotheby's

This is one of a series of photographs taken by Beaton in a hotel bedroom. I didn’t want to copy the shot, but to capture the softness, sensuality and playfulness that comes across. I used similar props and processed my shots in black and white to echo the original, but it was this very modern cross-processed colour way that, for me, was the best reinterpretation:

My Modern Marilyn

I love the way the cold tone of these bleached colours and the graininess of the shot, combined with her expression, gives my model a dreamy, other-worldly, look. So, that’s how I’ve been (mis)spending my time this week. How about you? 😉

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