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Monday, 08 October 2018


I am glad you mentioned O. Winston Link, his train images taken at night with "gobs of flashbulbs" are simply amazing.

I have just watched How The Beatles Changed The World (I think it was Netflix), it was excellent. Being from 1963, I didn’t know that much about it, they weren’t just the most successful band in history.

Warhol’s book From A To B And Back Again is interesting. Like all his work, very abstract.

... Dang, forgot this: if any old friends read this, do look me up on Facebook, I post more there now than on my blog. Thanks Mike.

Total side note. Peel apart polaroid, the kind of Warhol used for the Lennon shot was discontinued recently by Fujifilm (which was the last company making it), and is getting harder and more expensive to get. Tempus fugit I guess.

I can see that in the current movie "A Star is Born." The music is quite good and aimed at two different music audiences (country rock with the Bradley Cooper character and current pop with Lady Gaga) and also two different types of people, those excited by an insider look at music/performance/show biz and those attracted by a tragic romance.

About the Sartorialist, I've often wondered how much of it is true street, and how much might be at least somewhat set up. If it's true street, the guy's a genius; if it's somewhat set up, he's just a really, really good photographer.

Christopher Bonanos has a nice writeup about the BigShot and Warhol here.


As many others have pointed out, the looks of Warhol's celebrity silkscreen portraits were determined in great part by the use of that particular $19.95 camera.

I was just thinking today about Paul McCartney singing I'll Follow The Sun.

Those lyrics - One day you'll look to see I've gone, For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun -

What was that about?

A great piss taker - serious about his music


I am one who really misses Polaroid film
It is hard to describe how beautiful Type 52 could be.
And the negatives from P/N could be enlarged seemingly forever.
I shot 600 series 669 etc in the Hasselblad , 52, (occasionally 59 color) or P/N in 4x5 & 8x10. I still have the calumet manual crank processor & holders for 8x10 as well a a couple boxes of film which I am sure are dried out, but I keep them anyway.
Re Warhol's Big Shot Portraits, - I am a fan of lots of his work but not so much those portraits, - a little too 'Mug Shotty' to me.
( Put his name and a number under it and it looks like a DUI 'portrait'.
He used his access to lots of interesting and attractive people to make (in my opinion) consciously unattractive pictures of them.

To me it's a little like the opposite of glamorizing portraits (which I don't like either) Both extremes seem to call attention to process rather than person.

@hugh crawford, New 55 (New55 PN and New55 COLOR) http://www.new55.net was cancelled.

http://famousformat.com/2018/09/17/looking-for-a-ship-part-i/ is trying to restart 55PN

I couldn't care less about 4x5 Polaroid. Kodak's Readyloads and Fuji's Quickloads are what I'd like to see restarted.

When I was young the Sinar Polaroid Back was nicknamed "the worlds most expensive exposure meter"

I have always thought that drive-in horror movies were designed to not appeal to certain groups. It was a horror movie so of course younger siblings would not be allowed to tag along. It was a hokey horror movie so mom and dad would not be coming along as well, also, it wouldn't be too scary for your best girl to watch but she would snuggle up a little closer during the scary parts. so, there you are, just you and your best girl going to the drive-in every Saturday night without mom, dad, or junior tagging along. It does cover two groups so it does have Double Appeal.

I like Lennon. But I don’t like Mc.Cartney one bit. A few years ago a friend asked me to go with him to one of his concerts. First row. I always bring my binoculars. I was watching Sir Paul’s face when someone in the audience shouted: We love you, John! . He was pissed, when he mumbled: “ Yeah, yeah, we love you John” We left before the show was over. The only good thing I saw that day was his left hand Les Paul and Abe Laboriel playing the drums...

The phenomenon is a massive curse in the world of photography.

It boils down to this: make a shot of a famous person and then of an unknown, both exactly the same except for the face, and the unknown person's picture will elicit zero response from the public.

Mediocre or even bad photography always comes out winning when the subject is famous, winning in either its flattery of the subject or the opposite. Fill your portfolio with great pictures of the girl next door and you will probably get nowhere; shoot them with a movie star or other celebrity and you are made. Subject is all.

C'est la vie.

What would one's comment be, if the photographer and photographee were not famous people of a certain generation? Is there truly an artistic sense to the portrait worth ogling or does is fall into the snapshot at a college dorm kegger circa 1999?

I am at least as big a Beatles fan as any other boomer on TOP but that snap of John Lennon leaves me cold. Put “NYPD - Lennon, John” along the bottom and you have a booking mug shot.

That aside, Andy Warhol’s countless Polaroid snaps are very cool. I can only imagine what he would do with an iPhone and Instagram. Given Warhol’s nature it always seemed to me that these were not as much about “portraiture” as they were about social commemoration with a new photographic medium.

As an aside, it’s fascinating to see young people once again fascinated by the instant thingy-ness that was Polaroid film, now in the form of Fuji’s Instax cameras and printers. This is very much an example of dual value; an instant physical photographic print of a subject you want to remember.

I very much like the music of the Beatles, and ditto for a handful of Lennon solo songs as well. However, I beg to differ about this picture. How about "no appeal"? To me, it looks like either a random snapshot of somebody with a hangover or a poor effort by a first year MFA student trying too hard to create something artsy by doing something banal.

When I see photos such as this which, in my opinion, depend totally on the name of the subject and/or the name of the photographer I always wonder if anyone would wax poetic about its meaning and analyze it with artspeak if no one had ever heard of the subject and photographer?

Do me a favour. It’s like every passport photo ever taken.

Thanks, Mike, I’ve ordered Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties.

Looks like a crappy photo of some guy. But because of our love of celebrity it is art. Famous photographer, famous subject, but still lousy photography. It only has meaning because of People magazine.

A few types of Polaroid style film are being made again.


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