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  #1  
Old 28th November 2011, 06:55 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Default America in Pictures - The Story of Life Magazine

On BBC4 on Thursday 1st Dec from 9:00 - 10:00pm is the above programme. The Radio Times blurb says: Fashion Photographer Rankin recalls the heyday of "Life", a magazine renowned for its photographic depictions of mid-20th-century America.

Might be worth a look

Mike
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Old 29th November 2011, 12:09 PM
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I've already told the wife and kids that they can watch what ever they want on television all week, but Thursday, 9:00pm is mine.
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Old 1st December 2011, 11:58 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Just watched a recording of the prog and thought that within the time and structure laid down, Rankin and the producer did a reasonable job.

It told the story through a series of interviews with former Life photographers. I had no idea that the magazine had ceased as far back as 1972.

I learned a little about the photographers. They were all men and women with a mission "to tell" who were given free rein to do so and I suspect this was the key to Life's success.

It made me realise that people were eager consumers of well produced picture magazines that with the means of instant DIY photography has largely vanished, I fear.

As an aside, I also learned that the modern digi Leica wielded by Rankin is a much bigger beast than I expected. The Leica look that was virtually a constant from the 1930s until the arrival of the latest one has now gone.

Overall worth a look if you missed it, assuming it will be available on BBC i player.

Mike
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Old 2nd December 2011, 01:11 AM
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Just watched it on Iplayer. Very good I thought. And it certainly seemed to open Rankins eyes to another photographic world.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O'Pray View Post

As an aside, I also learned that the modern digi Leica wielded by Rankin is a much bigger beast than I expected. The Leica look that was virtually a constant from the 1930s until the arrival of the latest one has now gone.
The S2 is a bit of a brick!

As well as iPlayer it is repeated tonight and Monday.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 09:51 AM
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Saw the prog last night. It was very interesting my type of picture taking. film ,camera and the eye. With all the kit Ranking was toteing around, made him look as though he was out of his depth.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 12:01 PM
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thats what I love the power and the passion that b/w gives to a photo.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomi7ch View Post
With all the kit Ranking was toteing around, made him look as though he was out of his depth.
If you go to rankins website and look at the documentary section in the portfolio I'd have to agree.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 02:35 PM
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I watched a recording of the programme. Seeing and hearing the photographers was a treat that we don't get often enough.

Hearing of the conditions they worked in - living with heroin addicts for six months, with an occasional night in jail thrown in, or having to "dump" rolls of film at shops and cafes through the day, just in case something happened etc - was an indicator of the dedication of these people to get a story. It must have been difficult not to get involved with the people they were photographing, as with W Eugene Smith's comments for example. At the other end of the scale of course, there were the limousines of the Life Photographer etc mentioned by Harry Benson.

I had the good fortune to meet Mr Benson quite a few years ago, must have been mid-1980's, when he visited his old working area (he started his photographic career on a local paper, The Hamilton Advertiser, up here in Scotland before going to The Express). He had a huge number of his prints prepared as a slideshow and spent a whole afternoon with a few invited guests from local clubs - there couldn't have been more than twenty of us. Huge amount of experience, thoroughly enjoyable stories. Plenty of humour and a good dose of humility. Great memories.

I think Rankine's attempts at photography were a little misplaced - especially with the use of an assistant with a flashgun. The attempt to replicate the Times Square Kiss was never going to recapture the spontaneity or feeling of the original. However, there were a few nice portraits at the end - I noted that the photographers generally hid part of their face for the shot and I wondered if this was their choice or Rankine's...

All in all, an enjoyable programme that I'll watch a few times in the future.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 04:15 PM
big paul big paul is offline
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eddieB I surpose thats why all these so called photographers spend all there time chassing jordon, they would not have the bottle or the knowhow to produce such work, them days have gone forever ,just look in most papers or magazines everything is to do with non talent selebs, and not the real world
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