New York Photo Review
Volume 2 Issue 45 December 20 to January 3, 2012

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

Memories of Life Photographers
John Loengard
Age of Silver
Ed Barnas
 by John Loengard. Source: en.leica-camera.com/culture/galleries/gallery_new_york/
Alfred Eisenstaedt at Jones Beach

John Loengard has met a number of notable photographers during his long career as a LIFE photographer and picture editor. Along the way he has photographed and interviewed many, formally and informally, both at ease and hard at work. Those images form the visual core of his latest book, Age of Silver: Encounters with Great Photographers, from which two dozen images are on display in the Oskar Barnack Room at Leica Gallery.

What does one learn from a photograph of a photographer? If they’re at work, maybe a glimpse into their methods or an appreciation of the complexity of the shoot. If they’re famous, they may even be subjected to several photographers at once - as in the image of James Van Der Zee photographing Eubie Blake. They can adopt a formal pose or a resigned look. They can also relax, posing and mugging just like anyone else (Brassai and Eisenstadt). Even Cartier-Bresson allows his face to be seen (though in another photo on display his Leica obscures it).

 by John Loengard. Source: en.leica-camera.com/culture/galleries/gallery_new_york/
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Some of the photographers are encountered not only in their likenesses but also in their work. We see images of their negatives on a lightbox (Eisie’s V-J Day kiss, Robert Capa’s D-Day landing). For viewers of a certain age who recall the physicality of the silver process and the faith that a worthwhile image would appear on development these photographs have a certain poignancy. Digital photography offers immediate gratification but its speed has eliminated some of the deliberate visualization and economy of shooting film entailed.

Knowing who these photographers are does enhance an appreciation of these images. I would suggest adding some of the accompanying text from the book near the photos to enlighten those not familiar with their work. (A display copy of the text is available at the front desk and well worth perusal.)

John Loengard
Age of Silver


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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery