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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

An Interview with Arnold Newman



If you make environmental portraits, you can trace your photographic lineage to this man. Arnold Newman is widely recognized as the father of the genre. In fact, a young Greg Heisler famously camped out on Newman's doorstep until he agreed to take him on as an assistant.

It's not every day that you get to spend half an hour listening to the photographic equivalent of an Old Master. He's seen here circa 1981 as interviewed by Barbaralee Diamonstein, with much wisdom to be had.

(Many thanks to Michael for the tip.)

-30-


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17 Comments:

Blogger Berger said...

That was great! loved him with the Stogie during the interview.

August 02, 2011 9:17 AM  
Blogger Brian Hoffman said...

This is amazing! Made me feel like I was back in art school, sitting in a visiting artist lecture. Its fascinating to think that this man's life and work spans the gap from Stieglitz and The American Place, to the digital age of photography. Thank you, as always, for bringing us inspiration.

August 02, 2011 11:12 AM  
Blogger Brian Hoffman said...

This is amazing! Made me feel like I was back in art school sitting in a visiting artist lecture. Its fascinating to think this man's life and work spans the gap between Stieglitz and The American Place, to the digital age of photography. Thank you, as always, for bringing us inspiration.

August 02, 2011 11:16 AM  
OpenID emwood said...

Thanks for this! Very few photographers deserve to be called "unsurpassed", but Newman is assuredly one of them - he'd probably deserve it for the shot of Stravinsky with the open piano lid alone. He is certainly the greatest single influence on my own portraiture. Brilliant.

August 02, 2011 2:30 PM  
Blogger s.e. miller said...

Great video, loved hearing Newman speak about his craft. It's too bad the interviewer was so distracted and just downright horrible.
Thanks for posting it David!

August 02, 2011 9:52 PM  
Blogger Bernhard A S said...

One of the many good reasons to follow the thread is the goodies, like this video you come up with!

Thanks David

P.S. It is quite sad that there is currently no book of Newman in print.

August 02, 2011 10:39 PM  
OpenID dackelproduction said...

Very fullfilling to listen to someone telling not teaching about the essence of our art! thanks for posting!

August 03, 2011 4:14 AM  
Blogger www.robhammerphotography.com said...

Hi David. Thanks for sharing the Arnold Newman interview. I know you like BTS video and wanted to share one I recently posted on my blog. The shoot was with NBA stars Kevin Durant+Russell Westbrook and contains short time lapses of lighting set up/take down and lots of strobist info during the shoot. Hope you like it. Take care and thanks for blogging. It's always a pleasure to read your posts.

Thanks

Rob Hammer

http://robhammerphotography.blogspot.com/2011/07/bts-video-w-kevin-durantrussell.html

August 03, 2011 4:06 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

If you look around on Amazon, you'll find some of Newman's books used for under $20.

Amazon and Half.com have tons and tons of incredible books from the masters if you're okay with buying used.

I picked up Albert Watson's Cyclops for 1 penny, and it's full of inspiring photos that I want to reverse engineer.

Photo Books > How to Books

August 03, 2011 8:38 PM  
Blogger chuckcars said...

David, you outdid yourself with this post. This is your best one yet.

August 03, 2011 10:57 PM  
Blogger ijaf28 said...

Thanks, David. Great pick. Newman's comment(s) on learning and mastering art -- vs mastering a particular technique or vehicle, like a camera --were particularly trenchant (sorry, couldn't think of a better word) to me.

August 04, 2011 1:22 AM  
Blogger T. C. Knight said...

It was disconcerting to watch the interviewer looking off stage and everywhere else besides at Neuman. I would have been hanging on his every word.

August 04, 2011 8:31 AM  
Blogger Roy Reddy said...

Gems of wisdom here, my vote for the most impactful ;

"Great photographs are not made with the camera, its made by a human being with a mind and he uses the tool.
- Arnold Newman

August 06, 2011 10:40 AM  
Blogger jo said...

Excellent. A really well spent half-hour.

August 07, 2011 3:09 PM  
Blogger Matteo Mencarelli | Photography said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks for sharing this Dave!

August 08, 2011 10:44 AM  
Blogger Al Marsh said...

Fascinating. A great artist shows he is a down-to-earth, decent guy who values honesty above all else. Today, as Jack Nichols portrayed, it seems we "Can't handle the truth." I think honesty has never been in vogue, and will always require individuals like Newman for its defense.

August 28, 2011 9:42 AM  
Blogger RobertSeale said...

I was lucky enough to take a workshop with Mr. Newman in 1999. He was a great character, and getting a decent portfolio review from him was a highlight - I was walking on clouds for days.

One thing I remember well, was the class asking him collectively, something to the effect of, "since you've dealt with so many famous people, do you have any tips for dealing with them, their publicists, handlers, etc. to get cooperation or more time out of them...?"

His answer:

"Well.....if they don't want to photographed by Arnold Newman.....well f*** them then."

August 30, 2011 12:21 PM  

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