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October 4, 2009
Who hasn’t imagined being a fly on the wall alongside their favourite photographer during so many of the “decisive moments” that go into shooting, editing, cropping, and printing iconic photographs? How many of us dream of spending a day or two in a workshop learning from one of the greats, soaking up some pearls of wisdom, and picking up a few tricks of the trade? So it is a delight to discover this fabulous new DVD series that gives us a couple of hours to share the company of some of today’s successful photographers in their homes, studios and darkrooms.
Anthropy Arts’ new DVD collection, “The Photographers Series”, documents the life and work of contemporary photographers from the artist’s point of view, as well as providing additional insight from interviews with curators, writers and critics. The viewer is given an intimate look into each photographer’s world as they welcome us into their studios, their lives, and their creative universes.
My first thought was that I knew I would love these since I am already a fan of the series "Contacts". To be fair though, my next thought was that the running time seemed a little long since each DVD contains a documentary portion, a photo commentary by the photographer, and a bonus feature. After all, this is the age of the blog. However, from the first chapter I was hooked. The documentaries invite you to spend an hour (or two) in a photographer’s company and at the end you will wish it were just a little longer.
The main documentary portion is filled with stories offering us insight, inspiration and personal epiphanies. Along with valuable technique, we are given an intimate look into the artist’s process, their work, and their life philosophy. In the photo commentary section the photographers themselves explain how the images happened, what they were thinking, the techniques they used, and what they think of these images now. We learn what moves them and how they try to achieve that in camera, while shooting, or in the darkroom.
Moving, funny, and often pleasantly surprising, photographers of any age or level will find something to take away with them from these generous films. “The Photographers Series” is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the creative process, the magic of photography, or just looking for a little inspiration. Three titles are currently available for purchase online at www.anthropyarts.com: Debbie Fleming Caffery, Keith Carter, and Dan Estabrook. Scheduled for upcoming release are John Dugdale, Amy Arbus, Alec Soth, Roger Ballen, Henry Horenstein, and Steve Pyke. Highly recommended, especially for serious students of photography.
— Colleen Leonard, fine art photographer, France