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Saturday, 14 April 2012


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I'm surprise Google chose M. Doisneau over the Titanic tragedy.

In relation to the much-revisited "nobody cares how hard you worked" discussion on this site: Do people care if your decisive moments are staged ?? I, personally, can't help feeling that the stories of Doisneau staging (some of) his work diminishes the pleasure that I get from looking at his photographs...

From "Shorpy and Addie" to "Doisneau is 100":

Was poking around the loc.gov website (mentioned in a comment about the Shorpy and Addie story) for photos of northeast Ohio and came across some for Chase Brass and Copper Company. Went to google.com to look up info on the company and saw the special look on google's front page. Aren't hyperlinks great? (Took me a while to figure out how I got there, though!)

Now to learn about Robert Doisneau.

Please, recommend a book of Doisneau's photographs, if you know a good one.

There was a short, fat (650+ pages, approximately 5x7 inch format) book called "Doisneau Paris" published by Gingko Press that a ton of photos by Doisneau with only a short introduction. It was copyright 1996/98. Might still be available.

Mike, Robert Doisneau can't be a very good photographer as his work is not tack sharp, no absolute blacks and whites in many photographs, contrast is marginal, horizons are not straight and I can see grain in the prints! What were you thinking in highlighting a photographer of his caliber? Of course, we know that subject matter takes a back seat to his equipment and technical skills.

Seriously, I admire his photographs as much as Cartier-Bresson's. Thank you for reminding us about him.

If anyone is seeking more about his work, I have a small Taschen "Icons" book of Robert Doisneau photos, which also contains some background information about the photographer. On the back of the book, it gives the company's website as taschen.com. Small, as in about 5x7, give or take an inch. It may not have everything (nor is it one of those large coffee table books) but it is a pretty good start for viewing his work. The version that I have has the text repeated in three languages (English, French and German).

I have a 126 page book, 'Doisneau' by Peter Hamilton, published in 1992 by Tauris Parke books in connection with an exhibition by the Oxford Museum of Modern Art in the UK. I recommend it, if you can find a used copy at a reasonable price. It's paperback, but the reproductions are good quality, though all tend to a warm-tone look. I suppose that's appropriate to his time and the favored printing papers of the 1950s, such as the much missed Agfa Portriga.

Birds of a feather, I know, but Willy Ronis is more my cup of tea. Now, can anyone recommend a Willy Ronis book?

Oh, wait... That and two other books by Peter Hamilton on Doisneau are still available new at Amazon.


A couple of hard to find Doisneau books worth seeing - Les Grandes Vacances and Telerama Hors Serie March 2004. Both lift the spirit and make the human race seem more "human".
As for Willy Ronis, a very good start is the Taschen ISBN 3-8228-3958-2

That shot of the man kissing the woman was a popular poster around 20-25 years ago. While I admired the photo, I resented the fact that some graphic designer had used the white space in the upper right to place Doisneau's name. Ruined an otherwise lovely photo.

The video does not even bother to mention that the song they use (Quelqu'un m'a dit) is by Carla Bruni, an artwork in its own right.

Wonderful set, but can anyone please tell me the name of the singer/song that accompanies this video? Love the tune and she sounds wonderful....

A recent book on Doisneau with some very nice quality preinting. Each image is on its own page. A bit smaller than usual, but rich prints. The essay is a good introduction to Doisneau. Steidl, of course-

My favourite Doisneau quote "If I knew the secret to taking a great photo I would do it every time"

I hope I'm not causing offense by comparing the impact that Lewis Hine's photos have on me compared with Doineau's over-reproduced and sentimental output. Technically, compositionally (in the conventional sense) Doineau's pics are fine, but compare them to that portrait of the young miner by Hine, and they seem inconsequential somehow, as if part of an ad campaign for some post war French government or the city of Paris (and I was born there in the 50s). And then if you bring HCB into the picture... no contest. Does anyone else feel this way?

+1 for Willy Ronis

I do not have any pre-conception in the sense that I do not know Ansel Adam and HCB. But their picture just strike me as it is.

That pic of Doisenau is good but I would not say that it has any impact even I knew his name. I have Hine picture in coffee books. Good pic also but no impact. Once again even I knew their name, nothing happen.

There is something making them not the first tier photographer to me.

Perhaps may be I can take those pics given the occasion, the will to take it etc and may be I can do it with my new toy a Nex 5n ... But give my 8x10 and my M3 with 50/2.3 or ... and 50 years more life to me, can I touch Ansel and HCB ...

Some are mortal and some are Saint.

"Doineau's pics are fine, but compare them to that portrait of the young miner by Hine, and they seem inconsequential somehow, as if part of an ad campaign for some post war French government or the city of Paris..."

So, the more serious the subject the greater the photographer? Possibly.

I know a proportion of Doisneau's editorial work might be viewed, by some, as sentimental but the vast majority of his personal photos are concerned with the underdog, with life in the Banlieus (sp?). In many ways, his output is not that dissimilar from Hines'.

IMHO, Doisneau is right up there with the greats. I like Ronis, too. If you want a recommendation of a Doisneau book, try the large Flammarion edition of Paris. A work of joy.

Talking about Hine vs. Doisneau a look at the new book from flammarion ´´Paris Les Halles Market`` could help... i love the taschen book too, its a small book though.

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