“The sinew and texture of history are to be found in this grippingly detailed documentary by Peter Stephan Jungk, based on his 2015 book The Darkrooms of Edith Tudor-Hart. She was Jungk’s aunt: an Austrian-born documentary photographer and socialist, domiciled in Britain during and after the second world war, whose work brilliantly recorded the lives of the urban working classes in Vienna, London and the Rhondda valley….”
This documentary on the life and work of Edith Tudor-Hart is currently doing the rounds of cinemas and film festivals, and I hope that it will eventually become available for viewing or purchasing online.
Far too many historically important female photographers and especially female documentary photographers have been forgotten about and left out of the historical record, gallery shows and museums, and time is well overdue for Edith Tudor-Hart and so many others of her ilk to be recognized, racy political background or not.
Comments in the media about Edith Tudor-Hart’s reliance on a Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex aka TLR camera are interesting.
I used several Rolleiflex TLR cameras during the analog era and would have loved to have been able to buy one each of the most recent standard lens, telephoto and wide-angle lens versions of the camera, but Rolleiflexes were always hard to find and costly new or secondhand.
Their waist-level viewfinders and other viewing options made it possible to melt into the crowd when photographing in public or next-to-invisible when making portrait photographs in public or in the studio, aided by their relatively quiet leaf shutters.
There was no mirror slap as their twin lens reflex design meant they had a lower lens for making the photograph and the upper lens for viewing, with the viewing compartment mirror fixed.
Rolleflex and other brand TLRs such as those made by Mamiya and Yashica continue to be popular amongst certain documentary photographers who are blessed with access to good secondhand camera suppliers, but there are digital alternatives such as Fujifilm’s medium format GFX 50S with optional tilting EVF adapter and more affordably Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GX8 and DC-GX9 Micro Four Thirds camera, both of which have built-in tilting EVFs.
It is also possible to make waist-level-style photographs with cameras having tilting LCD monitors, though I much prefer fully-articulated LCD monitors for the purpose and some Panasonic cameras have these too, on cameras including the DSLR-style Lumix DMC-GH4, GH5, GH5S and G9.
Given the choice between tilting EVFs, tilting LCDs and fully articulated LCDs, my preference by far is for cameras combining tilting EVFs with fully-articulated LCDs as they present the most versatile viewing options and thus the most ways of seeing and shooting stills and video.
Waist-level and tilting viewfinder cameras and users
- Amazon.com – Edith Tudor Hart: In the Shadow of Tyranny
- B&H Explora – The Wonderful World of Rolleiflex TLR Photography: Buying a Used Rolleiflex TLR
- B&H Explora – The Wonderful World of Rolleiflex TLR Photography: Loading Film
- B&H Explora – The Wonderful World of Rolleiflex TLR Photography: Street Photography
- Bertha DocHouse – Tracking Edith Trailer – “When she wasn’t working as a Soviet agent, she was taking photos of Vienna’s and London’s workers and street children, of poverty and social deprivation….”
- Facebook – Tracking Edith / Auf Ediths Spuren
- fischerverlage.de – Die Dunkelkammern der Edith Tudor-Hart – biography by Peter Stephan Jungk
- Independent – Tracking Edith review: Fascinating but sprawling feature documentary
- Japan Camera Hunter
- Tracking Edith
- Vivian Maier
- Wikipedia – Edith Tudor-Hart– née Edith Suschitzky
- Wikipedia – Peter Suschitzky
- Wikipedia – Rolleiflex
- Wikipedia – Vivian Maier
- Wikipedia – Wolfgang Suschitzky
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- Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera – B&H – soon to be joined by the release of its larger GFX 100S and smaller GFX 50R siblings.
- Fujifilm EVF-TL1 EVF Tilt Adapter – B&H – with the addition of this tilt adapter the Fujifilm GFX 50S in effect becomes a waist-level viewfinder camera.
- Fujifilm VG-GFX1 Vertical Battery Grip – B&H – adding this battery grip helps turn the Fujifilm GFX 50S into a viable vertical/portrait format camera for handheld or tripod use for portraiture and documentary photography.
- Fujifilm 64GB Elite II Performance UHS-II SDXC Memory Card – B&H – until this fast SDXC card appeared at B&H, I was unaware that Fujifilm also makes memory cards. Worth buying and trying.
- Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only, Black) – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm Lens – B&H
- Panasonic DMW-EC5 Eyecup – B&H – essential for getting the best out of the GX9’s small field sequential viewfinder.
- Panasonic Hand Grip for Lumix DC-GX9 Mirrorless Camera – B&H – essential for safe, secure grip of the GX9 when using medium-sized to large lenses.