A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Morris Panych And Bert Stern's Gary Cooper
Monday, April 03, 2006

In the early 50s, US photographer Bert Stern convinced the folks at Smirnoff Vodka that the driest vodka martini would have to evoke the dryness of a real desert. So Bert Stern went to Egypt and took the famous photo of the martini with the Great Pyramid of Giza as a background. Stern initiated the trend of photographers going around the world with big budgets all in the name of authenticity. That era and the budgets are long gone but I always have in mind Stern's ability to distill any portrait into an essence. When he was assigned to photograph Gary Cooper in the role of Western hero in the heels of his staring part in High Noon, Stern chose to photograph him in a coat and tie and used the gun as the essence to convey the idea of the Western. In this portrait Stern shows what so few photographers are able to do well and this is the perfect white background. Whenever I take portraits I invariably put myself in Stern's shoes. Here is my take on Morris Panych the director of the Arts Club Theater production of Samuel Becket's Waiting for Godot.

Bert Stern


Previous Posts
Gunga Din, The Sailor Dress & The Sailor

María de Lurdes Béjar

Terry Fox, Frank and Ian

Vittorio Gassman

Jennifer Montgomery & Barbara Sukowa

Sarah McLachlan, The Police and Malcolm Parry

Bif Naked at Tony Ricci's Marble Arch

Filomena, Lauren Stewart & Chicken A La Barbara

George, Leo, Enrique, Patricio and I

Buenos Aires Rowing Club

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