lunes, 25 de octubre de 2010

Stanley Kubrick: the youngest photographer to be called a "veteran" or how the world gave birth the first “visual poet”.

Self-portrait of Stanley Kubrick with a Leica III/ Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Stanley Kubrick for a long time was just a filmmaker for me. I’m pretty sure that to a lot of people he still is just “that”. But way back in my college years I found out that he wasn’t just the greatest filmmaker for me, he once was a boy wandering in New York City with a camera, and guess what? He was a freelance photojournalist.


Photographs taken by Stanley Kubrick / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.


But being a photojournalist ain´t exactly a walk in the park. Everyone can buy a camera and take pictures, that´s for sure, but to cross from amateur skills to the PRO status, well… that’s something everyone ain´t willing to do.

Stanley Kubrick was born on July 26, 1928 in New York City. His father brought him a camera when he was 13 years old and from that moment on he developed almost an obsession and fascination for still photography. Needless to say, once he learnt how to use his camera, he was the official photographer for his High School for a year.

Photographs taken by Stanley Kubrick / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

He also made some contacts and sold various photos to Look Magazine while he was trying to make some money playing chess in New York. But it wasn’t until 1946 that he became officially a photography apprentice at the Magazine and later a full time staff photographer. A remarkable achievement for such a young man.

Self-portrait of Stanley Kubrick / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

At some point Kubrick knew that cinema was somehow his truly passion. Photography was sort of like a vehicle to him to improve his technical perfectionism (which the audience was about to enjoy a few years later) but what I think Kubrick really understood right behind the camera, right there as a photojournalist, was basically how to make or find his own visual style and from there he started to work deeply in elements in photography that depends entirely on the photographer, such as the light or absence of it, composition and what I consider his recurrent theme, and most important; the search for a subject that truly matters to him and through that show a palette of human characteristic such as emotions, fears, frustration, bravery, hope, sadness and joy.

Photographs taken by Stanley Kubrick / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.
*This picture of a newspaper vendor reacting to Roosevelt's death was considered the one that turned the amateur photographer into pro. Kubrick sold it for 25$ to Look Magazine. Years later, according to some people, Kubrick said he staged the photo.

One of Kubrick´s heroes was "the eccentric tabloid" Arthur Fellig, known as "Weegee". Weegee usually often arrive at crime scenes before the NYPD. He was well known for his "shocking photos" but certainly he was a one of the greatest photographers at seizing the unguarded moment, which was awesome for a new photographer like Kubrick. It´s no surprise to know that this maybe was one of the first influences on Kubrick, who "emulated his patience and invisibility, spending hours on the subway surreptitiously photographing fellow passengers, or quietly capturing the apprehension of toothache sufferers in a dentist's waiting room".

First picture: Portrait of Photographer Weegee /second: Photograph taken by Weegee/ Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

His film career and how he started is a matter for a new post, but I tell you that once he felt the need to start making motion pictures, he began frequenting film screenings at the museum of modern art and of course, watching movies at the cinemas in New York.

Photographs taken by Stanley Kubrick / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Pretty much all his work as a photojournalist for Look Magazine has been published in the book Drama and Shadows released in 2005 by Phaidon Press. But also, if you are a Kubrick fan, you can check out some of the special features on the special edition on DVD of 2001: A space Odyssey, not only you´ll be purchasing a cult movie but also you´ll find out more about what I’m writing here.

Cover photo of book Drama and Shadows / Photographs taken by Stanley Kubrick / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Here are a few more samples of Stanley Kubrick´s work as a photojournalist for Look Magazine:


Photographs taken by Stanley Kubrick / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

And finally, if you like Charlie Rose and Stanley Kubrick, what better video than this? i let you a round table interview with Martin Scorsese, Christiane Kubrick, Stanley Kubrick´s widow, producer Jan Harlan and some clips of the documentary Stanley Kubrick: A life in pictures.




On my next post, i will talk about Arthur Fellig. Better known as Weegee... the famous street photography of crime scenes and emergencies, but he also made photographs of social events in New York, for those of you who don´t like that kind of stuff :-)

I hope you liked it! see you on the road amigos! take care of yourselves!

Bye!
Written by Jesus Rodriguez
Feel free to comment!
jrphotojournalist@gmail.com


jueves, 7 de octubre de 2010

My Multimedia projects are uploaded!

Screenshot /Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.
Hi fellas!

Usually, i don´t post here anything related to my own photojournalism work, but now that i joined Vimeo, a great site for videos, i let you know that i uploaded 3 multimedia projects i made a few months ago, and finally, yes finally!! are online!

i know this blog is a place where i share experiences and i talk about photography from a personal anecdotal point of view, but since this is my first upload in Vimeo, and ive never been posting my own work, i just thought it would be nice to share it with you friends!

These multimedia projects are very different from each other. one is about a dancer, a young dancer working and teaching tango lessons in Caracas.
The second project is about a street Preacher, an unique "teacher of god´s word" and the last one is a long term project i made with photographs i took from 2006 to 2010. Its basically a journal that shows part of the public life of the Venezuelan President Chavez.

You can click on the screenshot to check them out! or click here!

Well, i hope you enjoy those videos!

See you on the road Amigos!


Bye!
Written by Jesus Rodriguez
Feel free to comment!
jrphotojournalist@gmail.com