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Saul Leiter 'Early Color'

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love some of the Hido and some of the Ghirri - thanks for those links.


This is when these forums work best I think - when we can discover new [to us] work, instead

of just bitching back and forth about levels of intelligence and parenthood.


Thomas - very glad to see you aren't so blase' towards printing as it seemed from your words




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Thanks for plug, Andrew. I'll check out the book.


Also thanks for the link to Pete Turner's pics. His "Walls of Light" collection made my day. He's a dude who needs one book with his comprehensive collection.

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Both Andrew and Trevor are right. I was thinking of Shore when I unfairly damned Eggleston.


But to put my foot deeper in it, I don't think Eggleston's color work was nearly as significant as Pete Turner's. WE's seemed very good B&W "art" photography that was, for no important reason, rendered in color.

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Sorry, John. I've looked at Pete Turner's site and it doesn't do anything for me. To put it

bluntly, it looks like 'poster art'. I find it too slick and somewhat impersonal.


Obviously, it's all a matter of taste blah, blah, blah.


On the other hand, I really respond to the lyricism in Leiter's work. There's real subtlety in

the composition and design as well as a wonderful sense of colour. I think that 'Early

Color' is one of the best photo books I've seen in years. Maybe I need to see more books, I



EVERYBODY, run out and buy 'Early Color'!!!

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Andrew - Sorry - Thomas was in another thread.....i was oddly enough confusing this with

another thread in the "philosophy" forum, which is why i was so surprised that everyone

wasn't slagging each other off at gale force 9. Sorry......


I too checked the Pete Turner pages and did not really like what I found at all.



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Not only was Eggleston's early color work not "large format" it was on-topically taken with

a Leica and Kodachrome. As we're now recommending books, a few years back MoMA

reissued a beautiful reprint of Guide; around the same time Thames and Hudson issued a

nice retrospective (beginning with early b/w and coming right up to the present) in

conjunction with Fondation Carter. It's entirely fitting that someone who doesn't rate

Eggleston and Shore but likes the commercial triviality of Pete Turner should try and derail

the thread with a dull diversion into the history of color processing (ably abetted by Al,

who never seems to want to draw attention to work other than his own).


In terms of current color, Mitch Epstein's (www.mitchepstein.net) looking as good as ever,

and Alec Soth's (www.alecsoth.com) work is beautiful. Even Andrew and Trevor shouldn't

be feeling too downbeat as their brit cohorts Paul Graham and Richard Billingham are

punching well above their weight.

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I have enjoyed Billingham since... "Ray's a laugh"


Unfortunately the book was a cheaply made one that has seperated at the spine so I need to order another one.


Billingham did "Ray's a laugh" with a cheap no-name plastic film P&S and had the (free) film developed via a chemist on his local estate. (The life depicted in the book really was his life and there was not any money for Leicas!) He did the work for a college course not for the world art market and that keeps it real. I know he uses large format nowadays and I enjoyed his appearance on one of BBC4's 'Digital Picture Of Britain' episodes...







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Trevor, Billingham is frighteningly talented. If you haven't already, try to see his video

"Fishtank" - same subject matter (his family) as Ray's a Laugh and possibly even more

moving. He was the surprize hit of the Sensation show in London and NY, effortlessly

upstaging the work of his superficially more radical Britart contemporaries.

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Trevor, if you liked 'Ray's a laugh' then maybe you might want to look up an old copy of

Don McCullin's 'Homecoming'.


It's about 30 years old and is an astonishing 'state of the nation' book. I know McCullin is

celebrated for his war photography but I honestly think that this is even better. Genuinely

powerful stuff.


Boris, thank you for those kind crumbs of comfort about the state of British photography.

Things haven't been the same since Rankin took up pantomine and Nick Waplington

disappeared somewhere I'd rather not dwell on . While you're at it, please airlift more

nylons and candy.

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