Larry Fink at The Hammer

                                                      Photo by Larry Fink

Last night I went to see Larry Fink lecture at The Hammer Museum – thanks to Maren for the heads up.  I’m pretty familiar with his work so I didn’t see too much stuff I hadn’t seen before, but I did enjoy a lot of the new images he’s been taking of the Clinton and Obama campaigns for Vanity Fair.  I liked how he is completely allowing his personal politics to influence his photography.  Usually, you’d hear just the opposite…that we as photographers have to be unbiased and objective.  No we don’t.  Not all photographers have that obligation, not even all documentary photographers, in my opinion.  Everyone is and should feel free to be themselves.

Back to the Vanity Fair assignment.  Once in a while we (photographers) get an assignment that is so perfect for us that it’s almost too easy.  Like “All I have to do is show up and take pictures of – insert your dream job here – ???  Um, yeah I think I’m available that day.”  I have had a few of these jobs.  Some were celebrities I knew would be fun to shoot.  Some took me to beautiful and exotic locations where great pictures were around every corner.  To me, these assignments are gifts.  I truly appreciate and recognize when I receive one.  Not to take anything away from Larry Fink, or any photographer who has been able to make good pictures for forty-something years, but I would be surprised and disappointed if he did not come back with great pictures of Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s Presidential campaigns.  I mean, come on.  

He had some interesting things to say about digital shooters vs. film shooters.  He seemed to embrace technology and digital photography, but wasn’t so into what he described as the “run on sentence” of digital shooting.  In other words, how digital shooters sometimes shoot a mile a minute knowing they are bound to get something decent at some point just by default.  Film shooters are more contemplative and selective about the picture they take.  They watch carefully and pick their moment.  I think he was possibly speaking from his own experiences of shooting both ways, but don’t quote me on that.

Anyway, that’s that.  It was a nice evening aside from having to perform minor toe surgery on myself in the car on the way there.  I had the worst throbbing ingrown big toenail that erupted out of nowhere.  It’s still pretty tender today and kind of looks like a cartoon toe, all big and red.  I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right.  I am a brave woman, and thank you for noticing.

2 comments to Larry Fink at The Hammer

  • anna

    well, balls. i wish i would have been in town for this… it sounds rad.

  • Terence Patrick

    The run on sentence of digital photography. That’s a great metaphor. I had to cover some of the Long Beach Grand Prix yesterday, digitally, and felt almost obligated to keep my finger pressed on the shutter. As if the editor wouldn’t understand if I came back with only a hundred images. I feel like a glutton trying to edit down these photos right now.