Friday, May 4, 2018
(Click on image to enlarge.)
On an entirely different note, the backstory to Ruth Orkin’s iconic photograph, “American Girl in Italy,” is told in this NY Times obituary about its principal subject, who died on Tuesday at the age of 90. I think those of you who are street photographers will particularly enjoy it. The article also includes a great picture of Orkin, hanging out her Central Park West window, with Nikon F in hand. (Amusingly enough, an almost identical shot was taken two years earlier.)
Fascinating….the photo is very familiar but I never knew anything about the backstory, and it is, well, almost confounding. But not. It just makes the whole thing more complex. I remember similar moments in the late 60’s – early 70’s NY, walking around, hearing, “Hey Twiggy!” yelled by construction men. Given all the very real misogyny that existed, and exists, if there was some humor there, there was also the awful objectification and lack of true respect. And that is certainly present in the photo.
Ninalee says she wouldn’t want to encourage them in one breath, and then says she was having fun. I think it was more complex than that, but I’m glad she felt in control, to a degree.
I like what’s said about Orkin at the end of the article – always thinking and looking, living to take pictures. Yes.
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Yes, it’s certainly not a black-and-white issue as you point out.
It’s also surprising to hear that this wasn’t a totally candid image, but rather one that was stage managed and directed to some degree. Not being a purist, it’s fine with me, but I doubt the photo journalism gods would approve.
Exactly – I was surprised about that too.
How long (weeks?) did you have to wait for that shadow to fall exactly right? You’ve got that great blue and orange thing going on again here. I agree with Lynn about the complexity in the famous photograph.
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To be honest, Linda, not very long at all — 10 seconds maybe, if that. Once I saw that the sun had come out at the end of an overcast day, I rushed outside with my camera and noticed my shadow almost perfectly positioned on the house next door :)
What I have been waiting for the last few days is another strong sunset that allows me to experiment with different positioning, e.g, my shadow in profile, which might be more interesting than the straight-on view.
Will either post again, or replace the image here, if that one is more successful.
Late this afternoon, I had another go at it but the results weren’t all that I hoped for. This first version then is what I’ll be sticking with.