Bronx-born Dennis Stock passed away this Tuesday at the age of 81. Shooting for Magnum Photos for over 50 years, his body of work is most notable for his images of jazz greats and Hollywood celebrities, especially his iconic images of James Dean taken just prior to his death in 1955. One of my favorite series of his are the images on the set of “The Planet of The Apes” movie. I will search for more of those images and post them soon.
A very famous photograph of James Dean taken in Times Square in 1955. He is walking in the rain, cigarette dangling from his lips, the beauty of 1950’s New York in varying shades of black and grey — foggy, misty and utterly compelling — in short a perfect picture… perfect composition, perfect subject, perfect era, perfect mood.
-Gail Levin, filmmaker
Art is a well-articulated manifestation of an aspect of life. I have been privileged to view much of life through my cameras, making the journey an enlightened experience. My emphasis has mainly been on affirmative reactions to human behavior and a strong attraction to the beauty in nature.
– Dennis Stock
I’ve never taken an assignment. I’ve always photographed what I wanted to be photographing, and then worried about selling the pictures or doing something with them afterwards. I’ve always shot for myself, and when you’re shooting what you’re interested in shooting, you’re always going to be happy.
– Dennis Stock
Discovery, which is the heartbeat of good photography, occurs more readily when the photographer relinquishes self-consciousness for a state of humility and childlike wonderment. Then there is a greater freshness and purity in what you capture on film.
LAMBTON COUNTY, ONTARIO, Canada—Peter, Susanna, and Benjamin Peters in the spring wheat, 1995.
Since his is fundamentally a tragic vision, he reacted most feelingly to what in America he saw as related to its decay, its pain.
-Arthur Miller, writing of the photographs that Cartier-Bresson took in America.
Being a huge fan of John Ford’s “The Quiet Man” since I was a kid, I could not wait to visit the village of Cong in County Mayo where they filmed much of the movie. The tiny village is dominated by tourist traps for fans of the film but off the main strip, things settle down and the quaintness of life in western Ireland takes over.
Drive about an hour north of Galway on Route 334 on the Circular Road and just enjoy the scenery.
Shot with a Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, and Kodak Tri-X 400.
To live for two months in LA is like being hospitalized.
-Robert Frank, February 27, 1956; from a letter to Walker Evans, while Frank was applying for a continuance of his Guggenheim grant.
My wife and I found the apartment, which I still live in [Kertész passed away in 1985], in 1952. I take many pictures from my balcony. It looks down onto Washington Square.
-André Kertész, Kertész on Kertész
This was an impromptu snowball fight in Times Square around 1AM in the midst of the blizzard Saturday night. The real danger wasn’t the snow and subsequent moisture destroying my gear. No, the real danger was shooting the mayhem with a wide lens which meant that I was a prime target. I had to put the gear down several times for some payback.