“There’s Jayne Mansfield, striding through New York in a tight dress. There’s fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg, reclining on a flight with a notepad on her lap. There’s lifestyle icon Martha Stewart, leading ducks round her property dressed in a denim romper suit. They’re all here, along with Susan Sontag, Nora Ephron and countless other celebrities, intellectuals and icons of the 20th century – and all of them women.
Susan Wood, the celebrated photographer who took these shots, found that her subjects all shared certain characteristics. “The first thing is intelligence,” she says. “The second is responsiveness. And they all had tremendous energy, joie de vivre, openness. They could understand things that weren’t quite said.”…”
“History confirms it – the first photobook was made by a woman, with British photographer Anna Atkins publishing Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in 1843, a year before Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature. Still, many historians, including Allan Porter in his introduction to The Photobook: A History, dismiss Atkins’ work as “photographic prints” rather than photography.
“Unfortunately, this is far too often emblematic of the uphill battle women photobook-makers still encounter when we talk about their history,” says Russet Lederman, co-founder of 10×10 Photobooks. “As we conducted research for the How We See project, we discovered that although women photographers produce relatively equal numbers of photobooks to men, their representation in the higher-profile sectors was, and still is, disappointing.”…”
“Rencontres d’Arles says it’s “working on it” as an eminent group of photography specialists publish an open letter in Libération urging the festival director to include more women in the official programme….
… The letter urges Stourdzé to create “a more gender balanced festival” and to do so by next year – as 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the festival, and as: “women artists have no more time to waste!” It also points out that there is an appetite for work by women, pointing out that the New Discoveries section of Arles, in which international galleries are invited to recommend new photographic talent, “arouses public interest, who vote for the award, and regularly reward women”. It also points out that Arles’ Prix du livre went to a woman this year – Laurence Aëgerter, for her book Photographic Treatment….“
“Late Monday evening, VII (pronounced “seven”), one of the world’s premier photojournalism agencies, discreetly posted a terse, two-sentence statement on its website announcing that Antonin Kratochvil, the famed photographer and one of the organization’s founding members, had resigned. Any further inquiries, the agency said, “should be directed to Mr. Kratochvil.”
Kratochvil’s quiet resignation came on the heels of a bombshell report in the Columbia Journalism Review by Kristen Chick, in which several women accused him of groping and intimidating a number of female colleagues. (Kratochvil continues to deny all allegations.)…
… There were stories about the toxic culture of photojournalism before Chick’s reporting, including recent articles that brought down the famed sports photographer Bill Frakes and National Geographic editor Patrick Witty. But nothing was as comprehensive and pointed as Chick’s piece. After witnessing a wave wash over Hollywood, the media, politics, and corporate America, Chick’s story should have hastened our industry’s own #MeToo moment. That hasn’t happened — and the reason is bigger than a few bad actors….”
“… in the broader photographic industry there is still an equality gap that exists despite the movements that publicly call out old school stereotypical gender ‘norms’ – especially in the professional photographer arena. Hell, it still exists in most arenas. Professional or otherwise! So what is wrong with this picture? Is it just that more men are interested in photography than women and so more men become professionals? Well, if that were the case then what happened to all those young women I attended art school with? Exceptionally talented photographers….”
“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
Photojournalist Ian Berry of Magnum Photos using Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7.
Photojournalist Thomas Dworzak of Magnum Photos using Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7.
Australian photojournalist Daniel Berehulak using his Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with fully-articulated LCD monitor.
Small tilting electronic viewfinder (EVF) on the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 rangefinder-style camera.
Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format digital camera with Fujifilm VG-GFX1 Vertical Battery Grip and tilting LCD monitor.
Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format digital camera with Fujifilm EVF-TL1 EVF Tilt Adapter.
Fujifilm GX680 II 6cm x 8cm format 120 roll-film camera, like a cross between a view camera with camera movements and a waist-level twin lens reflex camera, lovely for portraits and product shots. Photograph courtesy of Cambo.
Hasselblad 203FE with waist level finder. Photograph courtesy of Japan Camera Hunter.
Phase One XF 100MP cameras. Photograph courtesy of Phase One,
Rollei Rolleiflex 2.8 FX Medium Format Twin Lens Reflex Camera with 80 mm Planar f/2.8 HFT lens, now no longer in production.
Rolleiflex 4.0 FW Medium Format Twin Lens Reflex Camera with Built-in Schneider Kreuznach Super-Angulon 50mm f/4 HFT lens, now no longer in production.
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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.
“Women such as Julia Margaret Cameron were among the pioneers of photography and the earliest members of the Royal Photographic Society. However, the society is concerned that despite a few superstars such as the American photographer Annie Leibovitz, the importance of the work of contemporary female photographers is being overlooked in a male-dominated profession.
The society is launching an international campaign, Hundred Heroines, to find and honour outstanding contemporary female photographers, and is inviting both members of the public and professionals to put forward names to join the ranks….”
“… Mastin Labs founder Kirk Mastin shares a few female photographers that inspire him including Diane Arbus, Lauren Greenfield, and Annie Leibovitz.”
I have yet to try out Mastin Labs’ film matching presets that are made by scanning real analog film with a Fuji Frontier scanner, but the results look amazing and more accurate than any by other companies.
If I were back shooting editorial portraits for magazines again then I would most certainly seriously consider, well, all of Mastin Labs’ presets and would also hope that some of my other favourite films would appear there one day soon.