I am completely in love with Jean Seberg in Godard’s Breathless. The pixie haircut, the endless smoking, those sunglasses, and that Dior dress. I never succumb to fandom with celebrities and I haven’t seen her other work, but for this slice of time in 1960 and for this film, she was absolutely sublime.
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I rarely shoot color because I always visualize things first in black and white. If I do have to shoot color, it will almost always be Fuji Pro 800Z, formerly NPZ. It is a lush, saturated film with good mid-tones, and fine grain especially for its high speed.
It is not a subdued, restrained film which was the dominant look before the rise of digital. It has a painterly feel and a riotous palette. I normally pull it a full stop, sometimes under exposing it a quarter stop.
Click on the images below to see larger scans from the negs.
My favorite Modigliani is in one of the great gems of Los Angeles, the permanent collection in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. Many times I would pay the eight dollar admission, ignore the rest of the museum and just sit in front of this portrait with its tragic caption:
This work depicts Jeanne Hebuterne, wife of the artist, whom he met in 1917. Modigliani died of tubercular meningitis in 1920. Despondent over his death, Jeanne committed suicide the following morning. She was nine months pregnant with their second child.
Now that I am in New York, there are many more Modigliani’s, especially at the Met. But none come close to the one in Pasadena, the one with the slate grey eyes.
Stephanie and Selena are identical twins in San Francisco. When I shot them, we had grand plans for a few locations, several wardrobe changes and a couple of different looks and feels. We had so much fun in their apartment that we never even made it out. I could spend a year shooting them.
Taken with a Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35 summicron and Mamiya Pro II 67, and Tri-X.
I met Cheryl on the set of a movie when we were both extras. I have only photographed her once before, several years ago in LA, and the camera absolutely loves her. We were both surprised to find out that the other had recently moved to New York. This photo was taken with my Nikon F5, the great 85mm f1.4 lens, and Tri-X. I do not remember where she bought her glasses, but she only paid a few bucks for them.
I don’t remember what her name was but these were taken in the cold of summer in Dublin. The Brazen Head pub boasts that it’s the oldest pub in Ireland, dating back to 1198.
Joyce referred to the pub in the “Eumaeus” chapter of Ulysses,
…you get a decent enough do at the Brazen Head.
The soft swirled glass of the windows in these photos had an inscription etched into it: “John Langan halted here, 7th August, 1726.” I did too, sometime in June 2008.