Thursday, 9 April 2009

Blog 10

Please note that I wrote this in February before I made my recreation of Rankin's photo and do have a follow up blog...

There was a programme of BBC four called Seven Photographs that changed fashion, in which fashion photographer Rankin recreated iconic fashion images by Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Erwin Blumefeld, Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton and finally Guy Bourdin. The latter I had never heard of before and coincidentally I have fallen in love with his work. His ideas are so simple but exectued in such a way that even highly regarded Rankin couldn't even make a decent recreation of one of his works (in my opinion of course). I wonder if photographs (not just Bourdin's) were so hard to replicate exactly because of the photographers use of film rather than digital. Or did he feel bad about replicating it exactly, about "steeling" their shots? Or is he just not competant enough? I mean obviously he's good, he wouldn't be where he is now if he wasn't, but is he just good in the digital age? The image of Cecil Beaton's that he recreated was done on both digital and film and even he admited that Sophie Ellis Bexter's expression was better in the film one as the process is more arduous for the models. I think it would be a shame if film photography ever dies out completely as it;s important for our education at photographers, we have to think about our shots and pre-empt the final result otherwise we'd waste money and time. But I fear that being in the age of technology which, advances so fast, that the artistic element to our photography will suffer.

1 comment:

Brian J Morrison said...

I really don't know what Rankin was trying to achieve by recreating the seven fashion photographs. For me it seemed to be nothing more than an excuse to boost the public opinion of him and massage his ego.

In my opinion there is little point (other than a technical exercise) in recreating a famous photograph, unless you are attempting some form of appropriation or re-contextualisation, which Rankin clearly wasn't.

If anything Rankin reduced popularity within the photography world and clearly missed the point with the images. For example Bourdin was about awkward sexual tension and narrative, not glamour and bullshit. ha