Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Irving Penn

I would go into the details of Irving Penn's life, but I don't really think anyone would read them. And honestly, I don't find posts that begin with "Irving Penn was born June 16, 1917, and grew to be a great American photographer known for his portraiture and fashion photography" particularly interesting. So I'm just going to jump into his actual photography. That's a lot more fun.

An article I just read said, "Everything Penn photographed, from his commercial work to his personal projects, had a unique beauty that was both fragile and forceful." And I completely agree with that. I think the images below are elegant and fashionable, but aren't "pretty" in a Disney princess way. They're brave and bold. One thing I particularly love about Irving Penn's photographs is that he isn't afraid of his pure black and pure white. He doesn't needlessly throw away information, but he plays with the two extremes and the resulting effect is stunning.

Love this one. It's my favorite of the three. I love the pure blacks and whites in contrast with each other, and I like that he's centered his subject. It isn't boring, I think the image is all the more powerful for it.

Again with the bold contrast. And I like the symmetry in this one. It isn't a perfect reflection of itself. But at first you almost think it ist Penn was really careful about his subject's placement.


I think this should be part of the new Waterford uniform code. And again, I love the bold darks and whites. Striking image. It's powerful and fabulous. Love it. 

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