Friday, 6 January 2012

Eve Arnold. April 21, 1912 – January 4, 2012

One of my goals for 2012 is to find out about the amazing photographers who have , and still do inspire me. I am pretty much a self taught photographer, I have done some courses but I am always a little envious of friends who have been to College or University to do Photography courses and have studied the history of photography. I planned to start next week but after hearing of the death of Eve Arnold this morning I thought I would start right here and now.

I first became aware of Eve Arnold after seeing a documentary on her work with Marilyn Monroe, she managed to produce the most amazingly sensitive images of Marilyn and her photography changed the view that I had of her. I had always thought of Marilyn Monroe as an icon, a brash blonde who seemed to crave publicity and fame, with only a modicum of talent - Eve showed her in a more gentle light, playful, dedicated to her work and keen to learn, she was often photographed reading classic novels. This was one of those moment in my life when I realised how powerful photography can be - it can depict a person in so many ways and it is the skill of the photographer to bring out the personality and the character of their subject.

Eve was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Russian immigrant parents. After working at a photo finishing plant she went on to study photography. She had been given a camera by her boyfriend and started to document the world around her including the Harlem Ghettos where she documented the rise of Malcolm X and the Black Power movement. She was one of the first women to join Magnum photos - ' a photographic cooperative of great diversity and distinction owned by its photographer members. With powerful vision, Magnum photographers chronicle the world and interpret its peoples, events, issues and personalities.'

I have been reading the obituaries of Eve this morning - looking at all the amazing work that she has produced , documenting the rich and famous but she was equally well known for documenting the lives of 'the poor, the old, and the underdog'. She was known for being calm, neat and soft spoken - and I wonder if it was these traits that allowed her to become part of the intimate lives of the people that she photographed. We all know that anyone can take a photograph, but some people just seem to have the ability to get beyond the obvious image , beyond the cheesy smile and stiff pose, to really see the person and Eve was one of the best. A quote from her appears on the Magnum website 

' If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera , that is the instrument.'

The Guardian -   This links you to a slideshow of Eve Arnolds most memorable images

Magnum Photos - be careful when you enter this site - you may lose hours and hours just looking at the amazing images !

Interview with Eve

I know that this is a different type of post for me - I have not included any images as the website that I have linked to are far better than anything I could post on here. I am really glad that I have started this little project and look forward to learning about more photographers this year, I am just a little sad that is the death of Eve that has made me start.

Best Blogger Tips
  • Share On Facebook
  • Digg This Post
  • Stumble This Post
  • Tweet This Post
  • Save Tis Post To Delicious
  • Float This Post
  • Share On Reddit
  • Bookmark On Technorati
Blog Gadgets


Lisa said...

Great post, Jo. She was a great photographer and certainly worthy of inclusion.

Post a Comment

© Jo Rutherford Photography
CoffeeShop Designs