New Karsh website: amazing!

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by ParkerSmithPhoto, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member
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    Wow, the Yousuf Karsh archive has just updated their website and it is absolutely amazing. Early work, a searchable database, biography, interviews, audio.

    One astonishing fact is that Karsh did over 15,000(!) portrait sessions.

    To me, this is what great photography is about. It's an electric thrill, not just another passive, jaded, anodyne glimpse of the world. Bravo!
     
  2. hobbes

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    thanks for sharing, great source of master class portraits.
     
  3. jnanian

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    its nice of them to include portraits done with john garo,
    he was the karsh before karsh, did gum-over platinum
    ( brought that process back up from the dead ) and
    was such a super star george eastman asked him
    to run the processing division of eastman kodak...
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Great pics and a good read. Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  5. Patrick Robert James

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    I've always thought Karsh was kind of dull. Looking at Karsh's work all together like that kinda reinforces my thoughts. He photographed a lot of famous people in a very safe way. It is interesting that Parker used the word "anodyne" since that is how I would describe Karsh's work, at least compared to what came after him. I much prefer Penn or Avedon, both of whose portraits had depth. I actually see the person in a Penn or Avedon portrait.
     
  6. Bob Carnie

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    Me too, I did not like how Karsh placed the hands in a lot of his work, looked very contrived. Though admittedly the image of Winston Churchill is fantastic as well Hemingway with big sweater.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member
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    You won't find a bigger Irving Penn fan than me. He's probably my most admired photographer of all time. I love Avedon as well. I think each had their own thing to add to photographic portraiture.

    By anodyne I mean this modern (mostly color) portraiture where you corner someone in a parking lot and make them look as sad as possible. Karsh certainly made heroic portraits, almost like Ingres in a sense, and, like Penn and Avedon, he photographed titanic figures of the 20th Century epoch. Unlike them, however, he mostly avoided the kind of people you would see "In the American West" or "In a Small Room." We need all kinds.
     
  8. Patrick Robert James

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    I am with you Parker. Modern photography like you describe is pretty bad. It seems the mantra is "try to find someone weird looking, then just make them stand there." Art schools have been churning those "photographers" out for a good decade now.
     
  9. tedr1

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    I blame the teachers rather than the students for that, portrait photography is a highly specialized skill that I think many art school tutors might find beyond them, so it probably doesn't get taught properly.
     
  10. jnanian

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    IDK i really like the really bored look
    funny looking, beautiful looking,anything in-between
    bored is so much better than a big fake smile ...
     
  11. Arklatexian

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    Some/many people like "The Decisive Moment". Me, I like Karsh. I grew up admiring most of the people he photographed (at least for the books that I own). Some of the people, I did not like, but they all seemed interesting to Karsh and it shows in his portraits.........Regards!
     
  12. MattKing

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    I really liked the pages with his handwritten developer and chemical recipes: http://karsh.org/developer-formulae/

    I was sorry to see that there is no reference to his encounter with my Dad :smile:.
     
  13. Slixtiesix

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    Thank you for sharing this. Some very iconic images in there!
     
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  15. rbultman

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    15,000 sessions? If he averaged one portrait session per day, that would take 41 years.
     
  16. jnanian

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    he started in the 20s ... and stopped in the 80s ... :smile:
     
  17. Chrismat

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    I've always loved the iconic Churchill portrait and the story behind it.
     
  18. MattKing

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    A story that he told in person to great effect!
     
  19. mike c

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    Or 2 sessions aday would only be 10years. Still thats a lot.
     
  20. Patrick Robert James

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    I have to say, while I am not a fan of Karsh as I've previously stated, it is wonderful to have a website like this. Most photographers of Karsh's stature, even after their death, have pretty horrible websites. They must feel that people are going to steal the images, but their legacy is what is really taking the hit. Avedon, Newton, Sieff, etc. all have feeble websites.
     
  21. Kilgallb

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    Please tell us!
     
  22. Ko.Fe.

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    I like the Moment and I like Karsh. I have Karsh book first. You can't compare different worlds, but you could understand both.

    Some of the comments here claims Karsh portraits to be dull. It is so dull itself to see it this way. Karsh was on of the portraitists who knew how to catch the decisive moment, but he did it differently from HCB. Sorry, some of you can't see it.
     
  23. MattKing

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    My father started work at Canadian Kodak shortly after leaving the Canadian Air Force in 1947.
    He started in the order department - a room with a number of people sitting at desks with a telephone and big catalogues of products.
    On almost his first day, there was a meeting or some other event which resulted in there being very few people at hand to "man" the order desks.
    Dad wasn't going to the meeting, and his boss told him to cover as best he could until others returned - he could always take a message if the enquiry was something he didn't have the experience to handle.
    So of course, just about the first call Dad received was from Yousuf Karsh, and he was mightily ticked off because of an error in an order, and despite Dad's best efforts to ask him to be patient until someone with the necessary experience could get back to him, Mr. Karsh was just too upset to hear that, and he got angrier, and angrier...
    Dad was hung up on. Dad told his boss (without understanding a lot about who he was talking to) and then heard later that Mr. Karsh complained to someone very senior in the company. It all got straightened out in the end (Dad didn't know the precise details, but Mr. Karsh remained a customer) and there was no consequence to Dad, but he never forgot the incident.
    I didn't hear about this until a couple of years ago - over 65 years later.
     
  24. sixby45

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    Wow! That new website is great! I wish some of the others had gone the same route - it would make their legacy as interesting to see through the years.
     
  25. slackercrurster

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    Impressive that they offer somewhat half-ass usable res pix. This one was 93kb.


    Yousuf-Karsh-Dizzy-Gillespie-1990-1269x980.jpg

    In my Archive I try to offer 1GB to 3 GB res if possible.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  26. pentaxuser

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    Based on the original quote of one session per day taking 41 years, isn't 2 sessions per day 20.5 years

    pentaxuser
     
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