Eve Arnold: In Retrospect

I’ve just spend an hour watching the Omnibus film on Eve Arnold (1912-2012).  As the title ‘In Retrospect’ suggests, this film covered her entire working life but in this brief post I am just going to pick out two points that Arnold makes.

Firstly, when she talked about her working practices she explained that she starts shooting early, behind the scenes, before the main event.  In this way she hoped that when the real action started, people would already have forgotten she was there.

Secondly, quite early on in the documentary, she suggests that the difference between a good photographer and an average photographer is”

“the wit to take advantage of the accident”

i.e. she recognised the role of luck and serendipity in her work.

It’s nice to see that for even one of the greats of photography, a grounded approach can pay dividends.

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