kottke.org posts about Annie Leibovitz

God, I love Cate BlanchettNov 16 2009

Cate Blanchett

Photo by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue, December 2009. (via djacobs)

Spacewar!Oct 15 2009

Spacewar was one of the first video games and in 1972, Rolling Stone sent a 33-yo Stewart Brand to document the early days of computing as entertainment. The photographs were taken by a 23-yo Annie Leibovitz.

"We had this brand new PDP-l," Steve Russell recalls. "It was the first minicomputer, ridiculously inexpensive for its time. And it was just sitting there. It had a console typewriter that worked right, which was rare, and a paper tape reader and a cathode ray tube display, [There had been CRT displays before, but primarily in the Air Defense System.] Somebody had built some little pattern-generating programs which made interesting patterns like a kaleidoscope. Not a very good demonstration. Here was this display that could do all sorts of good things! So we started talking about it, figuring what would be interesting displays. We decided that probably you could make a two-Dimensional maneuvering sort of thing, and decided that naturally the obvious thing to do was spaceships."

You can play the original version of Spacewar in your Java-enabled browser.

Worst photo ever?Dec 30 2008

Is a recent Annie Leibovitz photograph shot for the 2009 Lavazza espresso calendar the worst photograph ever made?

This picture as a whole has absolutely zero connection to reality or honest depiction, but is unredeemed by any countervailing expressive or artistic purpose. And (and this puts it out in front of many other contenders) it was all done intentionally, front to back, top to bottom, money-no-object, by an army of the most talented professionals, from art director to stylists to make-up artists to baby-wranglers to lighting assistants to photographer to digital retoucher, all working assiduously in concert in pursuit of the utterly pointless.

It is a horrible photograph. Leibovitz's recent portrait of Queen Elizabeth was also digitally stitched up...the Queen was photographed inside and later matched with a garden background. I'm not going to say that these aren't photographs, but they aren't the kind of photographs that I'm fond of.

Annie Leibovitz on photographySep 09 2008

Annie Leibovitz talks about her photography and how her process has changed, from toting a single camera around to capture the rawness of the Rolling Stones to the tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars that VF spends for Leibovitz to make a few photographs for the magazine.

I learned about power on that tour. About how people in an audience can lose a sense of themselves and melt into a frenzied, mindless mass. Mick and Keith had tremendous power both on and offstage. They would walk into a room like young gods. I found that my proximity to them lent me power also. A new kind of status. It didn't have anything to do with my work. It was power by association.

I've been on many tour buses and at many concerts, but the best photographs I've made of musicians at work were done during that Rolling Stones tour. I probably spent more time on it than on any other subject. For me, the story about the pictures is about almost losing myself, and coming back, and what it means to be deeply involved in a subject. You can get amazing work, but you've got to be careful. The thing that saved me was that I had my camera by my side. It was there to remind me who I was and what I did. It separated me from them.

Rob Haggart, aka A Photo Editor, doesMar 04 2008

Rob Haggart, aka A Photo Editor, does a great job introducing this video of Annie Leibovitz photographing Queen Elizabeth.

What I find interesting in photo shoot videos is not the 11 assistants or the lighting setup but watching the photographer interact with the subject.

As Rob says, "Annie really shows her tenacity in this video when she immediately tries to get the Queen to remove her crown after deciding it doesn't look good in the first shot and not giving up on an original request to shoot the Queen on horseback inside the state apartments."

Simultaneously fascinating and terrifying -- like watching a trapeze artist at work.

A collection of group photos taken byNov 13 2007

A collection of group photos taken by Annie Leibovitz for the cover of Vanity Fair. That's an unfortunate getup on Sarah Jessica Parker.

Youngna Park has a short wrap-up ofOct 11 2006

Youngna Park has a short wrap-up of going to see Annie Leibovitz speak about her new book, A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005. "And, so it goes, said Leibovitz, that some of us use words in order to take good pictures, and some of us take pictures, in order that we can be heard."

Slideshow of photographs by Annie Leibovitz documentingDec 15 2005

Slideshow of photographs by Annie Leibovitz documenting the building of The New York Times Building in NYC. (thx, michael)

Tags related to Annie Leibovitz:
photography

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