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Thursday, 21 October 2010


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I just love Allard's work so I can't wait to see this book. He seems to be one of those photographers that fly under the radar of the general public but deserves to be more widely known.
As an antidote to the more "picturesque" subject matter he is known for, I highly recommend his book "Time At The Lake" a collection of photos taken at lake resorts in Minnesota.

My copy of William Allard's; The Photographic Essay is well worn. I keep going back to it for inspiration(it's currently by the bed). I really appreciate the unassuming clarity of his images. He's a long time hero of mine.

Here is his blog.
There was an interesting article in American Photographer on Allard trying out digital in 2004.
"I love doing street photography in limited-light conditions, but the films today aren´t giving me what I want-a dark, muted colour palette" It seems he was appalled with post-production effort required to turn an image from his camera into a print, work that slide (Kodachrome), at least in the savvy way Allard used it, didn´t require.
A Leica and also and a longtime Kodachrome user should feel quite comfy with us round here.

I only quite recently discovered Allard and have become a big fan already; 'Vanishing Breed' is just an amazing collection. I'm at the stage where I just want to devour more of his images! So thanks a lot for this suggestion.

Yes. Allard is the "quintessential NG photographer". Enter Allard in the NG web site search and it limits you to 999 results.

Thanks Mike, I just ordered my copy.

I spent a week with Bill in Tuscany when I was geteting back into photography after a 20 year break, he'd been one of my heroes when I stopped shooting professionally in the early 80s.
By his own admission a slightly "difficult" guy with in my case another, it turned into a great week and a real turning point for me.
Along with David Alan Harvey and Alex Webb [both of whom I've also been lucky enough to work with] he remains the biggest influence on my own [and I suspect many others] style which looosely equates to Leica, kodachrome, one lens probably 35mm,look for the light and shoot shoot shoot.
I have all his other books , all signed, but this will also be added to the collection.
Thanks for the HU Mike, as ever a good tip!

A large selection of fine art prints by William Albert Allard are available on the National Geographic Prints website. This one has always been a favorite.

Until now I did not know that 'motley' existed as a noun {a heterogeneous, often incongruous mixture of elements}

I met Bill at the Santa Fe workshop last spring, he is a great photographer, and also a good writer. I just asked my son for the book for my birthday. In the small world category my son is also a Gris i.e. a graduate from the University of Montana.

I think Allard went to the University of Minnesota, not Montana...at least according to his NG bio page.


So when you fill in the missing ligatures you end up with a more Æsthetly pleasing encyclopædia of the artist's œuvre?

Thank you so much for highlighting this book, which I might very well have missed. I must admit that although I've been a NG subscriber for 33 years I just was not familiar with William Allard. (Red faced.)

I've just spent a couple of hours with the book. Wow.

As you know, in one of my capacities I must be broad-minded about photographic work, rarely condemning even the most laughable of presentations. But, as a photographer, I cannot escape the knowledge of how really butt-stupid-simple a lot of touted and exhibited stuff really is. (Yes, like the BJP winner...it's crap.)

But in the case of Allard's work I am awed by just seeing the work of someone so talented at a type of photography I personally enjoy. It simultaneously inspires me and puts me in my place by showing me how high the bar really is. It's hypnotic to look through this book, particularly with his accompanying notes and essays. (I enjoy accompanying comments by the photographer when they're well written, which Allard's certainly are.)

Allard's work also inadvertently further diminishes the mountains of hailed-but-craftless crap we see so much today.

I know that this story has rolled off, but thank you for the heads-up on this book. It's instantly become one of my personal favorites.

Thanks for recommending William Albert Allard, whose work we all admire. I want to add that I just bought a remaindered copy of his 2001 book, Portraits of America, via Amazon.com for the princely sum of $4.98 With $3.99 for media USPS, the best $10 I've ever spent. Others may want to take advantage of that deal, too.

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