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Thread: Russell Wong-Photographs 1980-2005

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT ONG
    You got it wrong ... famous faces may not make a pic look good ...

    It is the photographer who make the pic looks good ...
    Any image is produced with three "realities" to consider.

    1 the reality of the subject to be photographed
    2 the reality of the photographer with his experience and "vision"
    3 the reality of the instrument to record the image.

    The final output is the sum total of the interactions of these "realities".

    Example:It is difficult to take interesting pictures of a boy whose only facial expression is a big "cheese", and a posture is "attention"!

    Example: It is difficult to take a picture full of drama if the only lighting system is a big ring flash to produce a flat lighting that is so favored by the current french fashion.

    Example: Of course the choice of equipment and lens have a great impact on the outcome. See the difference between the gritty images of Ralph Gibson versus the smooth tonality of a Karsh portrait.

    My opinion of Russell's images is this. And I do not expect agreement.

    There is no question that Russell is a very competent photographer. But in this series of images, the external reality of the subjects (famous faces) makes it a whole lot easier for Russell to photograph. The actors, and even a famous local personality, are people used to acting and posing in front of the lens. Nothing happened by chance. Everything had been rehearsed countless times. The choice of clothes, hair make up, the angle, the smile, everything! They know what images make them look "good". Whatever "pose" they gave to Russell have been repeated again and again and again! Ad nauseum. Just take a look at the images of the actors and actressess that had been published and you will see a remarkable "sameness" taken by different photographers. A "sameness" that borders on boredom! To those who have not seen enough, the images are remarkable. But many who have seen these "deja vu" images will likely not take a second look.

    A lot depends what the viewer wants or expects. For me, I expect a strong "biography", a unique "biography" as seen from the eyes of the photographer, and a "biography" that the subject chose to reveal.

    Unfortunately, I do not see a "strong biography" in these series of images. That are bland images to my eyes. I much prefer the images of Albert Watson. Take a look at Watson's images, and perhaps you might see a power that is not seen in Russell's images.

    Oh, just because someone is famous does not make the person "great". Examples are local sports personalities. Some are even sportspersons of the year! Yet how many have made it to the final lineup in the Olympics? There are degrees of "greatness" and it would be good to have our head level.

  2. #42

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    you'll be surprised that many actors are actually unused to posing in front of a still camera, as opposed to moving in front of it
    this has been mentioned a couple of times in magazines, actors seem to have a problem of not knowing what to do for a photograph

    also, the ability to make the connections to get access to the celebrities is something that may be worth noting

    also, celebrity is a cult unto itself in this day and age.
    it's really hit a peak in recent years (ala paris hilton) but hey, that's pop culture for you nowadays. There's a whole exhibition of giant sized prints of pamela anderson in an art gallery in new york going on right now

    so, not to judge if it's good or not, it's worthwhile to consider the issues underlying the pictures right?

    kinda out of topic, but I thought a very very very well done series of celebrity portraiture was featured in last month's GQ magazine, or the month before, showcasing GQ's Men of the Year
    Mostly taken by INEZ VAN LAMSWEERDE & VINOODH MATADIN
    anyone who's interested in portraiture must look at their work

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    They know what images make them look "good". Whatever "pose" they gave to Russell have been repeated again and again and again! Ad nauseum. Just take a look at the images of the actors and actressess that had been published and you will see a remarkable "sameness" taken by different photographers.
    reminded me of what RW told his workshop participants that Cindy Crawford told him to light her up in x manner and forget about other lightings.
    Last edited by reachme2003; 14th February 2005 at 10:34 AM.

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