World Photo Day 2019 - Eve Arnold
Perusing through a book shop many years ago I spotted this book on Magnum photographer Eve Arnold. I felt her photos were so inspiring, they were such beautifully candid but well thought out shots that I had to purchase her book 'Eve Arnold: In Retrospect'.
What I really loved were her candid shots of celebrities and well-known personalities. They weren't your usual classic beauty shots. Her images displayed personality, and had a realness about them. Captivated by her book, I purchased it thinking I would just peruse the photographs and read the odd page here and there. However, to my delight, her words were as interesting as her photographs. Eve Arnold knows how to make you laugh, cringe and really feel with both the camera and words. She certainly tells the story how it happened, even admitting to mistakes such as forgetting to load a film for a photo shoot at Vatican City.
This was one of those photographs that caught my eye that day. I've included Arnold's written words in the photograph so you get an essence of her writing.
One of her many assignments I found interesting was her time documenting life in Vatican City. Photographed is a Nun ironing a cardinal's vestments, 1965. The low lit room has required her to use a high rated film eg 1600asa or 3200asa creating grain. We aren't used to seeing this in digital photography today as 'noise' is dropped to a minimum to give crispness to a shot. Personally I really like grain (noise as known in digital photography) as I think it adds to the atmosphere and gives us a clue as to how dimly lit this room was where the Nun was conducting her chores.
A gorgeous family photo! I really love the happiness captured of the Fisherman and family, Bahia Honda, Cuba, 1954. It brings a smile to my face every time!
Sweeper, Castle Medina-Celi, Madrid, 1977. It's these natural shots of life I really enjoy. They aren't harsh, just a beautiful everyday moment captured. In the book you can see the lady is wearing her hair rollers in too so it truly is life as it was. Arnold had a knack, I think, of having people like and trust her through her honesty. I think this is how she was able to take so many candid photographs of all manner of people.
I just love this image of Fencing Mistress, Wycombe Abbey, High Wycombe, England, 1963. The tattered gear from use and experience just adds so much interest to this photograph. It certainly makes the viewer think, that's what many of Eve Arnold's photographs do to me, I want to keep looking at them to work out the story. Her photographs cover every emotion.
I hope you've enjoyed this insight to one of my favourite photographers, and that you might even pick Eve Arnold's book up if you see it sitting on a bookshelf! You'll notice it isn't only her photographs and writing, her book is beautifully bound with a linen spine, her title is in gold, and the inside cover pages are a rich red colour. Below you can see the dust cover with her self-portrait which covers the back dust cover of the book.
Enjoy World Photo Day!
Caroline is a Family Lifestyle Photographer who loves to document family stories in an emotive and creative way. She enjoys tangibly preserving stories into beautiful albums and framed or boxed artwork.