Monday, January 9, 2012

Eve Arnold

Eve Arnold has died. She was more a name to me than anything else and the fact she photographed Marylyn Monroe did not really interest me. However, her death surely deserves a little understanding of her life.

Here is a statement she made ..."If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument."

Photography is often seen as an aggressive activity (Susan Sontag in "On Photography" has stated that) yet as one starts to get to know photography as more than a hobby, one can see that many of the best photographers are not like that. The paparazzi are just one kind of photographer and not representative of the whole and even among the so-called paparazzi, one can find photographers who do not work aggressively; one might consider Eve Arnold to be such a photographer.

Among the people she photographed are Queen Elizabeth II, Malcolm X, Marilyn Monroe and Joan Crawford; she seems to have photographed them as individuals rather than celebrities and presumably did this by getting to know them a little and establishing a rapport.

Am looking forward to seeing a retrospective of her work in the not too distant future.