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Saturday, 01 November 2014


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"the quintessential French surrealist painter"

Belgian. In case you care.

Thanks and best regards.

Dear Mike, as a Belgian, I have to take issue with you calling René Magritte "the quintessential French surrealist painter". He was definitely a Belgian surrealist painter, born in Lessines and most of his life living in Brussels.

Best regards,


Just a note to say that Rene Magritte was Belgian, not French. He lived and worked in Brussels for most of his life and is a major contribution to the creative identity of the city to this day.

[Thanks John, Scott, and Peter, fixed now. --Mike]

I know you don't post on Saturdays, but in this case, I am glad you did. Great article.

Coming from Flemish heritage I can only say this-

Pipe Wrench

Re Halloween - give it a year or two. Once the kids figure out you give full sized candy bars you won't be able to keep them away. Our son and his friends knew which houses to target for the full sized bars.

Love the quote about the decisive moment not being enough for Duane Michals!

As a graduate student at Ohio University a long time ago, I met him when he came to give a presentation.

Grads students were assigned the task of transporting visiting artists to and from the airport in Columbus, OH. I was charged with driving him back.

On the way back to the airport, which was just under 2 hours away, Duane fell asleep in my car. I recall when I made this photo that it fit nicely with the title of his famous book "Sleep and Dream".

He was a very down-to-earth person and easy to talk to.

However the fact that he fell asleep in my car during the drive probably didn't reflect well on my own knack for conversation!

Whenever I see a badly dodged person's head in a B&W photo it reminds me of Duane Michals' Christ in New York, 1981


When I was a young corporate photographer I would do location shoots armed with cases of Dynalite strobes and my arsenal of 35mm, 120, and 4x5 cameras, multiple lenses for each... I had a steady client, a famous crystal glass manufacturer, who loved my work but asked me to sit out one particular day's shoot. Their director of design wanted his new friend to shoot instead. I was heartsick until I asked who it was, then I was impressed.

Duane Michaels shot the entire job with one 35mm SLR with a normal lens. No lights, just a couple rolls of film. Drug store processing. His pictures looked great. He became a huge influence after that.

What about Bill Brandt's portrait of Magritte?


I can't understand why Brandt is so ignored on the western side of the pond these days, when Ansel Adams thought incredibly highly of him.

For me the treat on Lens Blog was the photo-essay "Seeing Halloween, as if for the First Time" featuring photographs by the hugely talented young photographer Joey L. I think it's the first time I've encountered digital B&W that had tonality and texture that really got me excited.

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