Archive for October, 2008

I got rhythm..you should have it too

Posted in Media, Opinion on Friday, October 24th, 2008

dancer.jpg

I’ll make a flat statement: If you are a documentary photographer you have to  have a sense of rhythm. You have to be in tune with what is happening in front of your lens and  I mean this literally.

Think about  observing an event. Can you watch, analyse, and decide: “This is interesting, I think I’ll shoot it.” It’s already happened by the time you decide.

I’ll get personal here. This rhythm idea came to me last week as we were celebrating my sister Bess’s 90th birthday. She taught tap dancing and  roped me into performing in one of her recitals. I think I was about 10 years old.  Although I protested, there was something I liked about the amazing footwork of a tap dancer.  Years later, in a review of one of my exhibitions, the reviewer had actually seen me at work and wrote “Zimbel dances when he is photographing and his pictures show it.” (Can’t find the original..apologies to the writer.)

Unique among the visual arts is the ability of  a photographer to incorporate spontaneous action into a  still work. Of course I am not talking about all kinds of photography, but only the path I follow.

So, get with the beat..and stay tuned. I have some news….george


A sort of Quiz; a real mind stretcher….by George

Posted in Opinion on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

legs-up1950s-zimbel.jpg

If I told you that I would be presenting  two photographs from the 1950′s, both taken on the street in New York City, both with a female subject and both with a  leg up, what would you visualize?If I were talking to you about this question, your answer would tell  me what kind of photographer you are.

I will post the photographs in a few days…g.

It took awhile, but here they are….g.


What goes around , comes around.. by George

Posted in Media on Friday, October 17th, 2008

kennedy-nixon-in-the-palms.jpg

When I saw the  New York Times Politics Blog today (10/16/08) featuring a photograph of (l. to r.)  John McCain, Cardinal Egan, and Barack Obama at the Al Smith dinner in NYC, it reminded me of another Al Smith Dinner in 1960 with John  Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Cardinal Spellman.

I was working on my political project (See: American Politicians /MOMA /1994/Susan Kismaric/Page 34) and was conscious that the two candidates would be together at this event, so I was there.  As they were emerging from behind the palms with  Cardinal Spellman, a newsreel photographer hit his light just as I pressed my shutter button. (Overexposed indeed!!!)  But with a three minute  printing exposure I got a print and found that I really liked the image..without the cardinal.  Sometimes you have to crop to tell the story better. I took the print  to LOOK magazine , my favorite venue for  political work.  I got an immediate YES!!, but often a YES gets flippped to a NO.  Pat Carbine called to tell me that someone had seen  the print on Ben Wickersham’s desk (He was the photo editor) and thought it was a photo of Nixon  laid out in his casket! Look at the image sideways and you will see why.  So, that’s the story of  how this picture didn’t get published.

The print is available through any of the galleries that show my work.


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