|30th January 2012 (b/w photo taken in the mid 2000s) © Lise Utne|
(by Lise Utne)
"The two Emmas" (left) is representative of a photographic style I pursued for a while. Black and white film was freely available for what seemed a reasonable price, or at least worth the sacrifice: I still have a couple of 20-packs in the fridge. I paid to have the films developed, because it was more practical and slightly more reliable than doing it myself. I've only printed copies of a few (in my makeshift darkroom, enlarger on top of the tumble drier). There is a large stack of negatives on my bookshelf that I would love to see if I can make something of. I need a scanner. Preferably a good one.
But my point here is the photographic style. To a great extent, I've been influenced by "the usual suspects". Living in the US for a year around the turn of the millennium, with time on my hand in a college town with a well-stocked public library and several second-hand bookstores within reach, I took a deep dive into a world of top-class photography. Diane Arbus's books were among my favourites.
The received opinion seems to be that Arbus photographed "freaks", and she herself suggested that people who might be described that way were somehow nobler than the rest. I never consider anyone I photograph a "freak". On the contrary, I consider all people equals. I like to think that I approach my photographic subjects with an attitude of deep respect and a feeling of mystery. To a certain extent, I think Arbus did the same, except from a different angle -- it seems that she wanted to show us that we are all "freaks", especially those of us who consider ourselves normal:
|Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph|
|3rd February 2012 (b/w shot: mid 2000s) © Lise Utne|
I still think Diane Arbus was on to something.
(Blog post last revised 3rd February 2012.)