Diane Arbus

Posted in Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on August 31, 2006

Norman Mailer on Diane Arbus: “Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.” (1963)

photos: Diane Arbus

hosted on

Boy with a straw hat waiting to march in a pro-war parade, N.Y.C. 1967


Woman with veil on Fifth Avenue, N:Y:C. 1968 N:Y:C: 1968


Puerto Rican woman with a beauty mark, N.Y.C. 1965


A young man with curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. 1966


Tattooed man at a carnival, Md. 1970

Fur” is a movie about the life of diane Arbus (played by N. Kidman) which is about to be released in the upcoming months. It is based on the Arbus-biography by Patricia Bosworth. See Kidmans website for more details.

This was a funeral, not a fiesta

Posted in Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on August 26, 2006

Some twenty years ago, in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, I was standing on a corner of the plaza as a procession entered from a side street. It moved slowly, to the sombre beat of drums. The women in black, their heads bowed, the men in white, hatless, their swarthy peasant faces masks of sorrow. At their head a priest carried the crucified figure of Christ. I was moved, awed, and exhilarated to be there. For this, surely I had come to Mexico, where the essential rituals of life had their ceremony. This was, of course, not the first procession, but one that continued and sustained the tradition. I stood respectfully silent as it moved around the square, in the direction of the church. Here and there an impoverished Indian, clutching a baby, looked on. The pathetic masquerade of a funeral I had observed in the States passed through my mind. Although a photographer, i took no photographs. At the sombre beat of the drums the procession approached the farther corner, where, in the shadow of a building, a truck had parked, the platform crowded with a film crew and whirring cameras. The director, wearing a beret, shouted at the mourners through a megaphone. This was a funeral, not a fiesta, did they understand? They would now do it over, and show a little feeling. He wrung his hands, he creased his brows. He blew a whistle, and the columns broke up as if unravelled. They were herded back across the square to the street where they had entered. One of the mourners, nursing a child, paused to ask me for a handout. It is her face I see through a blur of confusing emotions. In my role as a gullible tourist, I had been the true witness of a false event. Such circumstances are now commonplace. If i had been standing in another position or had gone off about my business, I might still cherish this impression of man’s eternal sorrow. How are we to distinguish between the real and the imitation?

Wright Morris – excerpt from “In our Image”

“Roosevelt’s funeral procession” from the archives of the Library of Congress

A Cultural History of Photography

Posted in Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on August 25, 2006

By accident i found Mary Warner Marien’s book “Photography – A Cultural History” in a library today.

Having read the first 50 pages, it seems to be a promising book, for everyone who is interested in this subject matter.

Paul D’Amato – The Mexican Community on the South Side of Chicago

Posted in America, Paul D'Amato, Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on August 24, 2006

photos: Paul D’Amato – The Mexican Community on the South Side of Chicago

Markus Hartel & “Streetphotography for the Purist” by C. Weeks

Posted in Chris Weeks, Markus Hartel, Photoblog, Photography, Street Photography by Rollfilm on August 21, 2006

photos: Markus Hartel

Dive into his gallery to see some great nyc-streetlife-shots. Or even better: book a flight to New York.

Sidenote: Finally released: “Street photography for the Purist” by Chris Weeks. Dont miss it! (thumb links to pdf)