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


Social Photographers & St Swithun Scents Up My Afternoon
Sunday, October 26, 2008

While I have always enjoyed taking photographs of people I have never been keen on the social photographers like Lewis Hine, Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange. Perhaps I have seen their pictures too many times. Or perhaps I admire photographers who are more versatile like Edward Steichen and Margaret Bourke-White. Today I had one of those days where I had to go through my many photo books looking for photographs of social photographers, scanning them and then putting them into a CD in a narrative order. It quickly became evident that social photography is a much wider spectrum than I thought. Photographers like Baron de Meyer and Steichen photographed fashion as high fashion in high society. Bert Stern photographed fashion more down to earth and Irving Penn took his portable studio to New Guinea to photograph Asaro Mudmen in 1970. So even fashion photographers are social photographers in their own right. In the end I looked at Dorothea Lange, Lewis Hine and Walker Evans with refreshed eyes. In my class tomorrow at Van Arts where I will teach the segment Social Photographers to my History of Photography students I will do my best to pass on my new enthusiasm.

Rebecca came for her piano lesson early today. When she was through at 10 I told her I wanted to photograph her outside with a Hydrangea aspera 'Villosa' flower on her head with the pollarded Hawthorne behind her. I was subjected to lots of negative palaver and some mild shouting but in the end I got my way. Lauren arrived in the afternoon at 4. She was a lot more cooperative. I photographed both Rebecca and Lauren with colour transparency. I will post these photos in tomorrow's blog.

As I was packing my equipment and my light I got a whiff of that complex myrrh scent that could only come from an English Rose. In spite of the cold and last night's frost there was Rosa 'St Swithun' with one flower completely open bechoning me to sniff and cut. Here she is above.


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