Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Bob Stein remembered

Posted in Media, Opinion, Publications on Monday, July 28th, 2014

Shot for Redbook Magazine Tay Sach's story.

Shot for Redbook Magazine Tay Sach’s story 1962. ©George Zimbel

I just lost another friend – Bob Stein the former editor of Redbook and McCalls Magazines. More important to me than these august jobs, he was a member of our floating poker club in New York in the 1950′s. The members were photographers Feingersh , Winogrand & Zimbel , the art director Alvin Grossman & the photo editor Sari  Grossman. Bob always won, he was so good at everything. Noone ever got mad .

The  last time we saw him was at the PBS party for the release of their Marilyn Monroe show.  A guy came up behind me and  whispered “It’s Bob”. I turned , recognized him, started crying and kissed him on the forehead in that order.  We had communicated by email, but I hadn’t seen him for a very long time.

The mark of Bob’s editorship  was an understanding of the important issues facing so called ordinary people. With this he transformed Redbook and McCalls and influenced all of the women’s magazines.

I learned from his assignments that an ordinary subject could lead to seriously interesting  photographs . He did not always agree with my choice. He had his vision. He went by it. More important to me, he was a great friend, a constant friend, and so, another missing friend.

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Vintage Prints Redux

Posted in Media, Opinion, Uncategorized on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Dr. Baker & the Premie,Phil '53
The Premie,Philadelphia General Hospital 1953 Vintage print by Zimbel on Dupont Varigam SG/DW paper. 9 3/8”x 7 3/8” Trimmed flush,signed au verso with stamps Condition :Good with slight abrasions on edges. [Logged later #3394)

VINTAGE PRINTS

At 6:30 this morning I started to think about vintage prints. I always considered the subject a commercial one. It lets photographers and their dealers charge more for a particular image. David Vestal in a column titled “Rare or Well Done?” discusses the issue of vintage and limited edition prints in his usual thoughtful and thorough manner. His conclusion was that that the age and rarity of the print has nothing to do with it’s beauty. The most beautiful print of a 50 year old image could have been made a few hours ago. I know. I have many negatives over 50 years old.

So I was wrong about vintage prints., It’s not about money, it’s about history. To my surprise accepting this thought made me change my mind and head to my vintage box from which I picked the above. I realised why vintage prints are important. It has to do with what an image looked like at the time it was made. Concepts of the good print change and this is all important from a historical viewpoint. Papers change, developers change..digimania is taking over. If it’s about photographic history the date of a print matters. If it’s about art, it doesn’t.
Some museums consider the historic critical for their collections…and then again, some do not. I once offered to make a larger print of an image that MOMA had chosen. The curator said “We have chosen this print of this image. This is print we want.” Contrast that to a request I got from another museum for a vintage print of “Irish Dancehall, The Bronx 1954. “We will only consider a vintage print.” Well, there is no vintage print of the photograph..the few I had printed burned in a fire at my studio. A print I made in the 1980’s is certainly better than my originals, but it will not go on their wall.

So where do I stand now? In my mind I agree that a vintage print should be more valuable; in my heart where my creative resides, I think the most magic print available should be more valuable.

These are the kinds of thoughts that torment an old photographer. There are no answers so I just keep working.

©2007- 2014 george zimbel


The Magic Print

Posted in Exhibits, Media, Opinion, Publications on Sunday, January 19th, 2014

*****

Yesterday I went online to witness a wondrous happening on YouTube. A top notch National Geographic photographer was demonstrating how he printed an entire exhibition of large prints. It only took an afternoon! To be fair he was working with superb scans made from his superb photographs on an awesome Epson printer. He could replicate those same prints with the same quality just by pushing a button!

I thought about working in my darkroom, printing from an excellent negative, and ending the day’s work with only one print that I would call “magic.” Of course the other keeper prints would be excellent as well, but the “magic” one is the one that works best for me. Often others disagree and choose another print from the same session – it’s “magic” for them, It’s a very personal choice.

I am printing less these days and only from negatives that I previously chose but never had time to print. Thinking about the magic of the digital age – just press the button – it’s a different kind of magic, and it’s a long way from my reality still.

In the coming months I will post some of these magic prints right here for you to see and collect if you are so inclined. As usual they will be available from me or any of my wonderful dealers… george


“Women’s Liberation NYC 1951″ – Happy Holidays from George

Posted in Media, Opinion, Uncategorized on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The 3rd Ave El is long gone..I hope this little girl is still with us..she should be eligible for social security.

The 3rd Ave El is long gone..I hope this little girl is still with us..she should be eligible for social security.


John F. Kennedy 1917-1963

Posted in Exhibits, Media, Opinion, Publications on Friday, October 25th, 2013

John F. Kennedy  - Tammany Hall, NYC 1959

John F. Kennedy, Tammany Hall  NYC 1959

©George S. Zimbel 1959/2013

Printed by gsz 20/16″/2001 Log # 3114

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gail Levin

Posted in Media, Opinion on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Gail Levin & Dewald Aukema NYC 2006 Gail Levin & Dewald Aukema NYC 2006 © george s.zimbel

When I checked my email and found an invitation to a memorial service for Gail Levin I realized she was gone and immediately started to cry.
At 84 I have seen many of my colleagues leave this earth, but they don’t all bring tears… mostly they bring sadness. With Gail it was different and I have been trying to figure out why. We all knew she was smart. A visit to her apartment meant you had to wade through books..books everywhere..books in the living room..books in the kitchen..books books. But the books didn’t corrupt her warmth and humanity..they just meant that in any situation she could bring intelligence as well as warmth. But all this was mixed in with an energy that was always there.
When we returned to 52nd & Lexington Ave, the site of the blossoming white dress, to shoot a segment for Marilyn “Still Life” I became frustrated because I couldn’t relate that scene with what was in my pictures. The subway grate was the only visual anchor. I felt very confused. I said this to her and she said to me: ” Don’t worry, it’s great, we have that all on tape.”

WNET/Thirteen will rebroadcast American Masters: Marilyn Monroe: Still Life October 8th, 8-9PM
Directed by Gail Levin


1953- Sixty years ago I was busy. I’m still busy

Posted in Exhibits, Media, Opinion, Publications, Uncategorized on Monday, March 18th, 2013

Boy in a car, Nice France 1953LR58. Woman with beer, Heidelberg '53George Washington Bridge, NYC 1953- HWoman with tongue out , Nice Fr.1953103.Girl on Lion Venice 195392. Two women,two men, Venice 1953

96.Porter, Rome 1953 LR

<img src=”http://www.georgezimbel.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/1.Boy-in-a-car-Nice-France-1953-LR.jpg” alt=”1.Boy in a car, Nice France 1953 LR” width=”1500″ height=”932″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-1628″ /Little Joe Louis 1953

Kids on the lions, St. Marco Venice 195312. Three Black CarsNYC 1953 [LR 105]Domes of Venice 1953cote-d-azur-1953.jpgThe Premie, Philadelphia General Hospital 1953


A holiday message

Posted in Opinion, Uncategorized on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Little Joe Louis, Philadelphia 1953.

If he is still alive he would be over 60 years old..those dear children of Newtown, Conn. won’t have that chance.
Don’t forget the holiday of 2012. I won’t.
Please do something to make the world better in 2013. george


An amazing new invention… black & white

Posted in Media, Opinion on Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Leica has announced a new M camera that shoots only black and white and costs about $7000. I have an old M Leica that shoots black & white also. Sometimes I use a 60 year old Elmar lens and offer the above photograph from my beloved Carre St. Louis in Montreal which I shot using TX and printed using my 60 year OLD Leitz Focomat on the NEW Ilford Art 300 paper. To prove that I am not a neanderthal I can tell you I posted this blog using my Mac. Somehow waiting to develop film gives one a chance to reflect on what you have seen that made you want to make a photograph. It’s a reflective process..so is photography.


The lesson of Countess Sonya Tolstoy

Posted in Opinion, Publications on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

One the site of Elaine Zimbel under the category of “Book Reviews” you will find ” Sophia Tolstoy – A Biography” by Alexandra Popoff dealing with Sophia Tolstoy, the wife of Leo Tolstoy. After reading about this devoted multi tasker we are full of sympathy for all she had to bear in that crazy relationship and the dignity with which she carried it off. http://www.elainezimbel.com/category/book-reviews


Then we find that she was an extraordinary & imaginative photographer who worked with an early glass plate Kodak camera, developing & printing her work in a darkroom under the mansion stairs! After you read Elaine’s review you may feel ashamed if you ever complain that you don’t have time to devote to your passion – photography.

“Song Without Words, the Photographs & Diaries of Countess Sophia Tolstoy”, by Leah Bendavid-Val. (National Geographic Society)
[Autoportraits by Countess Sophia Tolstoy]

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