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October 20th, 2009


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01:18 pm - The Photography of Vivian Maier



This post goes out to chrisglass, naylandblake, mondragon, transairn, scream4noreason, bobo_dreams, mhgagnon, bigjohnsf, and the many other talented photographers here on LJ who have allowed me to have their images grace my “Best Photos of the Week” round-ups.

I’m totally loving this photography blog recently highlighted by kottke. It features images by Vivian Maier, an amateur photographer who shot and saved some 40,000 photographs taken on the streets of Chicago from the 1950s through the 1970s. The prints and negatives were bought in an auction of unclaimed storage goods when she became ill (and recently passed on), and are being shared a few each week by the new owner, also a photographer. You can read more of this story and see more of her work at the blog, http://vivianmaier.blogspot.com/

Above, a self-portrait of sorts, and below and beneath the click-through, a sampling from what’s been shared so far. Beyond the qualities of the camera she was using, her eye was amazing. It’s as accomplished as any number of “fine art” photographers (Diane Arbus, for one) also known for their street photography. I’m sure there will eventually be exhibits and a book featuring her work.

The images are shown in small format on the blog, but you can click on each one to get a larger version (my “repros” here are a size in between). I set up an LJ feed so you can get new posts (which come with the images) on your LJ Friends page: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/vivianmaier/

I chose this collection in part to complement artist Maira Kalman’s street photography featured in a previous post. There are so many wonderful images even among what’s been posted so far that I may do another selection.









































(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:mhgagnon
Date:October 20th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
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omg...!!!

These are really wonderful! Thank you for this introduction because I'd never even heard of her until your entry.

Tough to pick out a favorite but I am quite titillated by the pigeon photo.

Thanks Thor!
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From:bearhedded
Date:October 20th, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
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These are wonderful... they have that quality I'd LOVE to be able to capture in my work!
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From:wooferstl
Date:October 20th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
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"Diary of a Mad Housewife" withCarrie Snodgrass; I remember when that came out. Thanks for the tip!
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From:arcane_nitehawk
Date:October 20th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
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Wonderful photography, thank you for enriching my life.

Also #10: Invisible BJ
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From:tycho_anomaly
Date:October 20th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
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If you cross your eyes looking at the picture of the twins, you get a creepy 3-D third twin who looks like she's in a J-Horror movie.

(This also works with Diane Arbus' "Identical twins, Roselle NJ" and the twins from The Shining.)
[User Picture]
From:scream4noreason
Date:October 20th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
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These are truly wonderful.

I try and take pictures of people in the street but it is so difficult now, people are hyper aware, you really have to try hard to make them think youre not photographing them.The trick is ti look at them only through the camera, if you dont look at the with your own eyes, you can get away with it.
(Deleted comment)
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From:scream4noreason
Date:October 20th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
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what an asshole!
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From:ciddyguy
Date:October 21st, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
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Another trick I've found is with a decent camera and zoom lens, you can shoot people, but from a distance which then allows you to capture people without them noticing, most likely - and a DSLR or a decent range finder camera with speed will be your friend.

I know as I tried to do this with a p&s recently, at night and hit the little guy's limits so a DSLR is in my future.
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From:danbearnyc
Date:October 20th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
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Oooooh! Evil twins!
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From:rsc
Date:October 20th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
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These are all quite amazing. The one on the beach is an especially remarkable composition, and is also kind of creepy.
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From:ciddyguy
Date:October 21st, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
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great shots but I'm not as sure I like some of the ones of the person's backside as much as some of the others but what you have shown here looks interesting and I will a little later in the evening checkout more as they are available.

I need inspiration right now and some cross pollination as well.

Thanks for sharing this
From:txbearwood
Date:October 21st, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
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These are so great, just as a commentary on the fashion of the day.
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From:deafdyke
Date:October 24th, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
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That first photo, in particular, is amazing. The series as a whole seems .. mixed, even compulsive, as if she needed to experience what was going on around through her camera.

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From:thornyc
Date:October 26th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
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Yes -- even 40,000 photos spread out over three decades is 36 photos every single day. On film, no less.


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From:chrisglass
Date:January 8th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
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So I'm rediscovering this link thanks to a kickstarter project, and I see that I've seen her work before. On Kottke, your blog, and Kitsune Noir.

How weird that it didn't register and get filed away in my brain.

How awesome the story was.

How great her photos are.

Makes me wonder how much just doesn't sink in.

And unrelated to this, it DOES sink in how wonderful it is to see your life unfold with Mud. Your new home and happiness, it's intoxicating from afar. Hope to visit (for real, totally and honestly) and meet him and you out for vittles or elbow bending.


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