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Old 09-19-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
charlene
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Default Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

http://tonyfoto.com/drool/2010/09/19...but-what-am-i/
scroll down to see picture at gallery in ottawa. apparently it wasn't liked by GL.

There’s no Jesus, but the exhibition includes a recent photo of a drug dealer in the southern United States, and next to it is Sheila Copps. A guy dressed as Batman is next to Stephen Harper, and they look equally implacable. Gordon Lightfoot is next to a porn star, whose considerable breast implants could have kept the Edmund Fitzgerald afloat.

“Gordon Lightfoot’s manager called The Globe and Mail and told them they don’t ever want to work with that photographer again,” Fouhse says. Lightfoot, who had recently suffered a stroke, “didn’t like the picture.” Fouhse is not upset. He knows it’s a poignant portrait of an aging voice of Canadiana, one that echoes latter-day portraits of that resonant voice of Americana, Johnny Cash.

“He was a shadow of himself,” Fouhse says of Lightfoot. “I was trying to take pictures of him where he looked like I remembered him, but he never did.

“That was actually a big education for me, because then I realized that as much as you have an image of someone, when you’re there photographing them, a lot of times that image falls away, because whatever they are sort of comes out.”

http://communities.canada.com/ottawa...ny-fouhse.aspx
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

"“I was trying to take pictures of him where he looked like I remembered him, but he never did."

What on earth does this man remember. I don't ever remember Lightfoot looking like he was hung out to dry .

The lighting is harsh & highlights every wrinkle, but, in my mind, the worse thing is he's posed looking away from the camera so we can't see his eyes. So much for the window of the soul. He compares it the photos of the aging Johnny Cash but in every one of those photos I've ever seen, the focus is the eyes and facial expression.

Karsh has done some amazing work but I'm surprised he didn't trash this one himself, let alone defend it.
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:22 PM   #3
charlene
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

the picture of Lightfoot is not a Karsh photo. It was taken by the 2010 Karsh award winner-Tony Fouhse.
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

You're right, it was made quite clear in the article too. Even if my brain was working, I don't think I'd appreciate whatever he was trying to do in that photo.
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

karsh died some years ago (and his bro more recently, i believe)...the family here has a history that's right into portraiture photography, especially old b+w stuff

i think the GL shot is the best of the fur i see (harper's is truly horrific, lol) but maybe tiger woods would be a more appropriate subject for the theme he was trying to convey

awards, shmawards... usually they are quite meaningless, imo
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

The photo isn't what I would consider to be likable, it is what it is. Comments such as "shadow of himself" are ageist at the very least.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

Although it seems I'm in the minority, I happen to really like this image. The black and white photography gives it a "timeless" quality and the subtle smile provides a Mona Lisa-like mysteriousness (even though he is looking down), to my eyes. I'd be fascinated to know what was going through his mind at the time it was taken.

Until I read the photographer's comments with regard to how frail he was, I had looked upon it as him being a "survivor" in this photo; that possibly behind that understated smile is the thought that "in spite of everything, I'm still here."

redhead

Last edited by redhead; 09-21-2010 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead View Post
I'd be fascinated to know what was going through his mind at the time it was taken.
how about, "i'd really like to adjust my trousers"

great to get another viewpoint, rh!....as the moppens lady said, i don't recognize this as GL other than the large ears (which this angle embellishes)

here is the blow up:

http://tonyfoto.com/#/EDITORIAL/one/3

sure seems like an awkward position with circulation cut off at at forearms and shoulder, not to mention groin!

it doesnt' look natural for a guy to have his arm up over such a highback chair, but that's just based on my own experience ...if he wasn't in a suit jacket it might look more comfortable

anyhow, what really jumps out to me is there is no use of shallow depth of field (background out of focus would accentuate the subject (GL) more, imo...you see it all the time in pro b+w portraitures...but this guy is making the style his own and maybe that's what was award worthy...i watched the video also and wasn't intrigued at all...seems like point and shoot photography to me....odd

QUESTION: what is the most appealing b+w (or colour if you fancy that) portrait you've seen of GL over the years?

i do like the ones in the recent Massey brochures (the one on stool with guitar looking down)...i do not find the recent press promo one of him with chin on hands to be what i think of when i think of GL...although he does look happy...i suppose a choice from each decade would be only fair, tough call
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

omigawd i hate that one of his head with hands under chin...

and this b&w makes me think he's saying 'jaysus h. christ get me outta here..i got all dressed up for THIS?!"

lol

the Massey brochure photos from last year are iconic - love them both.
i like these b&w shots;
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

I'm happy Lightfoot lives up to his own expectations...that's why he is still The Man.

Good for him to say he didn't like the pics...the photographer should keep his petty petulance to himself. Very immature attitude I think.
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

I bumped into this forum earlier today and thought I might reply. I'm the photographer who took the image of GL that's under discussion here. As a rule I don't follow my work and police how folks respond to it.....I'm just happy if they do respond (one way or another).

I'd like, though, to clear up some, what I consider, misinterpretations that your comments seem to be based upon.....sometimes when the media does a piece the actual tone and meaning you intend gets bent out of shape in the process.

I first want to say that GL was a huge presence and influence in my life. When I walked into the room to photograph him, what I had in my mind was the GL I remembered. The man I met was very different from how I had imagined he would be. That, MissyMoppins, was what I was referring to when I talked about the differences between what one might imagine and what one is actually confronted with.

I thought long and hard about how to show the man who was in the room with me that day. Should I ignore what he was showing me and try to make him look like the man I imagined and "remembered"? Or should I, as honestly as possible, try to show what he was showing me. None of you were there that day, and I won't go into detail here, but suffice it to say that he had been ill and was still in the stages of getting it back together. It seemed to me that to ignore the reality of what was in front of me would do no one any favours.

Regarding the pose....he sat like that in the chair.....I took his photograph. When it came to editing the shoot, the image that is under discussion here is the one that best seemed to show the look and feel of my time with him.

And, charlene, I hope I didn't sound petulant or petty. What I was trying to describe during my interview with the writer was just what I talked about above.....that what you think and what the reality is (on any given day) might not be the same. Like I said in the article, meeting and photographing GL was an education for me. Here I was, given the chance to shoot one of my idols but the man I met that day seemed so frail and vulnerable. It really brought home the differences that can exist between the imagination and, for lack of a better word, reality.

In the end, even though he didn't like the image, I think it is that vulnerability and sensitivity and, yes, even frailness, he showed me, along with many other attributes, that make him the great artist he is.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfoto View Post
I'm the photographer who took the image of GL that's under discussion here.
Just so you know.......Not everyone on this forum agree with the critics. I saw nothing wrong wrong with the picture, or your comments about it. It is what it is......

Would you be available for a shoot the next time I have the flu ?

Thanks for chiming in.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

what a wonderfully honest and articulate post by the photographer himself

we've been fortunate enough to have a sculptor (who also spent much time with Gordon) drop in here and now this...i don't think Danby ever dropped a line here before he passed but maybe we'll be fortunate enough to Wallace, the CRT book Painter, also Pass Through

something Tony wrote above really hit home with moi: as much as it's instantly gratifying to be able to surf youtube for a multitude of artist performances (many not approved for broadcast) and photos plus mega-personal info about our heros, i often long for the days when i knew hardly anything about my celebrity heros other than awaiting a new album containing a newly released series of posed and candid photos of them within the album sleeve...however what i would miss most about the absence of today's techno-wizardry, is the types of discussions we are able to have here with folks from far and wide

great to hear more differing opinions starting to chime in...hope all well, rm
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

Hi Tony, thanks for stopping by..if you say it wasn't petty petulance then I'll take it back.

Gordon certainly was fighting the good fight at that time and at times putting up a pretty good front in tv interviews etc. It was a struggle though. Besides his physical health and chaos he was having some personal issues as well.

A still photo, especially b& w certainly can bring out the glaring reality of a persons condition/attitude, much moreso than a colour shot I think. The greys and shadows just amplify those things evenmore.

Gordon's pose just oozes a tiredeness and total lack of commitment on his part to the task at hand..I guess that is what you saw and the camera doesn't lie..it caught the truth and sometimes the truth ain't pretty.

The ability for an artist to start a communication about their work must on one hand be quite frustrating but on the other very satisfying. It's all a wonderful learning experience though - for all parties involved.

Congratulations on your very prestigious KARSH award..
and thanks for posting.

(that shot of Harper scares the bejesus out of me though...)
lol
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
i like these b&w shots;
thanks for playing nice ones...i once stumbled on one very similar to the one you picked on the left but he had eyes closed

there are quite a few goodies at Wayne's site
http://www.lightfoot.ca/promopic.htm
the next to last one is the one i would go with instead of the one Ticketmaster is currently using, lol

here are two...the more current, first one I call Ordinary Man cos that's what he would call himself and how ordinary can you get, a porch, sneakers and a lawnchair

the second is Extraordinary Voice (era) 1971!
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

I got that lawnchair pic signed by Gord..lol
here's a few more and one of mine.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

Very kewl to come back here and read a post from the photographer! And other comments/perspectives too...most all of which weren't things I hadn't noticed at all when I viewed the photo. Perhaps I didn't look long and hard enough (wrinkles, tiredness etc). I didn't see anything that prompted me to read into what I was seeing. Of course there's nothing wrong/bad with the photo and I appreciate getting to see one of Gordon that's different. Tony's expectations were subjective and something he feels is reflected in this photo, but that's something I simply can't see. Gordon looks healthy and very well to me. Until Tony's mention of Gordon still being in the stages of recovering from being ill...I just can't tell that from the photo. He doesn't necessarily seem frail, vulnerable, etc., to me.

Not everyone has the same perspective @aging for instance and personally, it's something that I don't generally consider about people I know or meet. I'm certain that has alot to do with my personal experiences.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
http://tonyfoto.com/drool/2010/09/19...but-what-am-i/
scroll down to see picture at gallery in ottawa. apparently it wasn't liked by GL.

There’s no Jesus, but the exhibition includes a recent photo of a drug dealer in the southern United States, and next to it is Sheila Copps. A guy dressed as Batman is next to Stephen Harper, and they look equally implacable. Gordon Lightfoot is next to a porn star, whose considerable breast implants could have kept the Edmund Fitzgerald afloat.

“Gordon Lightfoot’s manager called The Globe and Mail and told them they don’t ever want to work with that photographer again,” Fouhse says. Lightfoot, who had recently suffered a stroke, “didn’t like the picture.” Fouhse is not upset. He knows it’s a poignant portrait of an aging voice of Canadiana, one that echoes latter-day portraits of that resonant voice of Americana, Johnny Cash.

“He was a shadow of himself,” Fouhse says of Lightfoot. “I was trying to take pictures of him where he looked like I remembered him, but he never did.

“That was actually a big education for me, because then I realized that as much as you have an image of someone, when you’re there photographing them, a lot of times that image falls away, because whatever they are sort of comes out.”

http://communities.canada.com/ottawa...ny-fouhse.aspx
My number one problem with the photo deal is that it was included alongside an oversized porn star, as well as other sorts of ne'er do wells. THe man in the Batman costume I can handle, but the others I have major problems with.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

the close up is of the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:12 PM   #20
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

Hmm. I should've given my previous entry some better thought.
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:03 PM   #21
New 12 String Mike
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

I really like the shot in Massey Hall that Char posted!

I've made my living from photography for 30+ years. One of the best compliments one photog can give to another:

"Damn! I wish I'd taken that shot!"

Thanks Char
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:12 PM   #22
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Default Re: Photographer wins Karsh award - took portrait of Lightfoot

that's The Man looking over the pews in the Church of Gord on Shuter..
love it!
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