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Magnum LS and Dorothea Lange

February 2, 2009

Fashion Magazine by Lise Safarti

Fashion Magazine by Lise Sarfati

I’m talking about Magnum’s Lise Sarfati. I met her at an ICP awards event about 15 years ago (she was winning awards back then, also). She impressed me as a young woman who walked softly, she appeared small and thin, as if she could become invisible if the moment required. Since then I’ve been following her tremendous trajectory into the ranks of our very best documentarians. Her ability to be where a photographer shouldn’t be, and to see what most photographers wouldn’t see, reminds me of a legendary photographer of history.

dorothea-lange

Dorothea Lange was one of the twentieth Century’s greatest image makers. She walked with a limp from a childhood bout with polio. I think that when she would enter a migrant’s camp her hesitant gait would signal to the campers that a woman who understands suffering is approaching. I think documentary photographers need to play their trump card, be it an overblown extroverted personality or an equally large inferiority complex to help them get to where they can get the best picture.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 2, 2009 11:04 pm

    This is a great contrast between two great photographers! Great post.

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