Friday, 6 June 2008

Bluffers Guide to Photographers #02 Anton Corbjin

Anton Corbijn is one of the most iconic music photographers still producing worthwhile work today. Recently director of the Joy Division biopic Control, he's also a personal hero of mine, whose work i wonder at and career i'm inspired by.

Having photographed just about evey popular (and unpopular..) artist you could imagine, his work is as fresh today as it was when he first started working.

In his photographs, Corbjins’s subjects often seem solemn and distracted; smiling perhaps, but still worn down by the burdens of celebrity. His subjects are pictured as serious people, caught in intimate moments and far removed from their high-powered stage personas.

Born in Holland in 1955, Corbjins work was really came to my attention after shooting the cover for U2s unsurrpassed masterpiece 'the joshua tree'. I then discovered this amazing photo of Miles Davis. Corbjin says on his website 'Taken in his hotel room in Montreal, with light falling in from the window. In his very large pupils you can actually make out my silhouette. It was a very brief shoot but one of the most satisfying ever. It is also worth noting that this photo was taken well before the TUTU album shoot by Irving Penn and it has become one of my most well- known photographs. '

“Anton is not at all dead when he's taking photos,” says Brian Eno a life long friend and colaborator on the control movie. “He's actually a bit crazy, going all over the world to take pictures of people, but then acting as though it doesn't really matter in the least, sure let's do a few pictures now we're here, but don't let it get in the way of anything.”

If given the choice, Corbjin would almost always shoot his subject outside in a natural environment rather than the studio, even if it was against a plain white wall. “I'm a very, very basic photographer,” Corbjin says. “The main strength of my pictures, I guess, is the mood and feel I get out of the people that I meet. But technically I don't think I'm very advanced. That never interested me.”

His lack of interest in the technicalities of photography, stikes a chord in with my punk side...... His work never looses its edge and for me, able to ride above trend and fashion to hit a spot that says simply 'yeah thats just a brilliant photograph'.

For more of his fabulous work go here.


See you in the next life


lil x said...

Black and White photo's make a truely powerful image don't they!

Great shot of Clint Eastwood!
He's one of my all-time fav's - Don't think I've seen a better shot of him...

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