Friday, August 28, 2009

Intense Attention

Intense attention and an everyday obsession with photography is what drove the late Richard Avedon in capturing some of the most interesting and provocative personalities in his portraiture works.

In this video, photographer Richard Avedon speaks with Charlie Rose dating from 1993 through 1999. He discusses how a visual sense and a total concentration of his subjects were always so critical to his success. It is soon apparent how articulate and attentive Avedon is in these segments and how special he really was, not only as a photographer but as an intellect as well.

I discovered some new and interesting ideas in this video interview to be informative and thought provoking. Here you have view two top professional in a fun tribute to one of America's greatest photographers!

If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it's as though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.

A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.

I don't really remember the day when I stood behind my camera with Henry Kissinger on the other side. I am sure he doesn't remember it either. But this photograph is here now to prove that no amount of kindness on my part could make this photograph mean exactly what he.. or even I.. wanted it to mean. It's a reminder of the wonder and terror that is a photograph.

A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he's being photographed, and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he's wearing or how he looks. He's implicated in what's happening, and he has a certain real power over the result.

A portrait photographer depends upon another person to complete his picture. The subject imagined, which in a sense is me, must be discovered in someone else willing to take part in a fiction he cannot possibly know about.

Photography has always reminded me of the second child.. trying to prove itself. The fact that it wasn’t really considered an art.. that it was considered a craft.. has trapped almost every serious photographer.

I know that the accident of my being a photographer has made my life possible.

~Richard Avedon 1923 - 2004
A special thanks to Aline at Lenscratch for her recent post!