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Wednesday, 25 March 2020


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Great post!

There is some great advice from him on the Petapixel story. “I met a guy named George Hurrell, who’s probably the best portrait photographer who ever lived,” recalled Rogers. “He came down to my place in Athens, GA, and he said, ‘I’m gonna tell you the trick. I call it the stolen moment.’ Keep your hand on the cable and talk to them about the happiest day of their life, or about the saddest day of their life, and when they react, take the picture.” https://petapixel.com/2020/03/23/the-late-kenny-rogers-was-a-fantastic-photographer/

Brownie Hawkeye: Don't know if the Kodak Pony 135 was it's cousin but I purchased version 3 in the Fall of 1959.That Pony was a terrific camera to learn all the basics of photography. You could set the aperture, and speed. You could also guess the distance to subject.

One of my projects was walking all over the neighborhood and taking photos of interesting homes. Funny thing I'm still doing that.

I mostly used Kodak Plus-X and Ektachrome. I think at the time they both had the same ASA. I think.

The fun day was going to Disneyland and taking pictures from every vantage point that Kodak recommended.

In 1964 I went up to San Francisco and got a job in a camera store. San Francisco has a photography center in it's own building. It's still there. Unfortunately I discovered the place shortly before I got a notice to take the physical so back to Southern California and shortly thereafter into the Marines.

My brother took the camera while I was in the Marines and then shortly dropped it on the lens and disabling the camera.

That Kenny Rogers was a photographer was no surprise to me. Back in the late 1980s I ordered a catalog from the now-defunct Calumet Photographic in Chicago. I got the catalog. At some point I also received a magazine from Calumet that featured an article on Kenny Rogers' portrait photography, including some photos he had taken of friends like Elizabeth Taylor. The work was a bit formulaic (a bit heavy on the hair backlighting), but was definitely well crafted. The photo you included at the beginning of this post is very, very good. I can understand why it was one of Rogers' favorites.

A number of talented people have talents in multiple areas. Tony Curtis and Anthony Quinn were both artists - Curtis was a painter, and Quinn was both a painter and a sculptor. Cy Young-award-winning pitcher Randy Johnson is also a very good photographer. Perhaps take a look at his website rj51photos.com to see what he photographs. Good work!

I enjoyed his voice, but the only record that I have of his work is "The Ballad of Calico." Speaking of Mel Tillis, he was the lead singer in Bob Wills' country swing band.

Thanks for this MJ... it’s why I, for one, keep coming back.

I always wondered why so many musicians seem to gravitate to photography? I certainly wouldn't compare myself to Kenny Rogers, but those are my two passions as well. I don't understand why though.

I didn't know he was a photographer, and from what I've seen, he was a good photographer too. I'm impressed.

For Jef1000: I especially love the line about being an automaton, we have such an idea that rockstars live such glamorous lives.

Here’s what Andy Summers of The Police says about how photography helped him cope with the monotony of being on tour for long periods of his life:

“Photography started to become very important to me while I was in The Police. I grew up with European art films. I think somehow this is where it came from, because pretty early on, and certainly within the first year of The Police, I had some pocket money and I realized I could get a really good camera, I thought, “I’ll see whether I can do this photography thing.” I hadn’t had much experience with a camera at the time either.

“There’s some part of me that is definitely a photographer, and throughout pretty much the entire career of The Police, I was always photographing everything and studying it, taking pictures of the band and thinking about making realistic photographs. I was creating weird stuff–I was influenced by Man Ray and people like and– the more intense it became with the band. On tour is you become an automaton who knows how to play 15 songs very well, that’s it. There’s not much more to you than that. This is what happens on the long tours and ours never ended. But I would be off away from the others, away from the band environment, doing photography and I was completely in control of that. So I think that was sort of a cathartic thing for me, which came with the photography. And of course, I also really enjoy it, and I love it, and I like looking at it, and studying it, and being immersed in it. And it’s continued on ever since The Police, of course.”

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