Sky Arts TV last night showed a program about Karsh Of Ottawa.
What a wonderful legacy of images this man left for future generations.
During the 20th Century, Presidents to Monarchs, actors and other famous people, his portraits certainly captured the faces of over half of that turbulent period.
But what struck me was exactly the main message I try to get across on my events. That is simple…. Be a photographer, not a camera operator.
Or to put it another way, be the ‘driver’, not the driven.
Using mostly a large format film camera, have a look at how he used light. Yes there was some ‘dodging’ and ‘burning in’ during the printing which was common, but far removed from the ‘lets rescue this’ approach, that is so common today, with software after a far from perfect initial capture.
Understand and use the light, study your subject, and you are in a far better place with better images and easier workflow.
Often published on the cover of ’Life’ magazine for us in the UK, his shot of Winston Churchill during the second world war left us with such an iconic image. Worth a watch when it is repeated or on catch-up. I can see why he is regarded as one of the great portrait photographers.