Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Genius of Photography

"Bichonnade Leaping," by Jacques-Henri Lartigue, © Jacques-Henri Lartigue Foundation

Photographer, Kenn Ellis, was good enough to send me the BBC's incredible, 6-part series, "Genius of Photography," on DVD. Thanks again, Kenn!

Leave it to the BBC to produce a quality series like this!

Sometimes, I think American broadcasters don't have a clue about what many Americans are interested in... other than cops-n-robbers, doctors-n-patients, lawyers-n-lawyers, and so on. Few hobbies are as widely embraced (with plenty of money spent on it) as photography. Yet, if what you see about photography on the tube is any indication--from PBS to Reality TV--you would think shows about photography and photographers don't have much of a potential audience.

All that aside, watching the BBC's "Genius of Photography" is an entertaining experience as well as a comprehensive learning experience covering the history of shutter-snapping, complete with bios of its most memorable practitioners and with plenty of images and keen insights into the creative minds of many photo-artists . It's a classy, literate, and memorable crash course in the art and craft of photography.

If you have the opportunity to view this program, I highly recommend doing so. By the way, the image at the top, "Bichonnade Leaping," by Jacques-Henri Lartigue, was shot about a hundred years ago. Recently, I viewed some images by an up-n-coming shooter. The images are called "Floaters." Some art critic types were calling this photographer's images--of people jumping and frozen-in-the-air with the help of fast shutter speeds (as if they're floating, get it?) new and original. I wonder what Lartigue would have to say about that?


Josh Zytkiewicz said...

There was an exhibition of Lartigue's work at the Chazen Museum of Art here in Madison, WI. It was very impressive. If you ever get a chance to see his work I highly recommend it.

jimmyd said...

Very cool, Josh. Maybe the exhibition will make it out to the (Southern) Left Coast and I'll get a chance to see it.