Tag Archives: Norman Parkinson

100 Years in Vogue


There’s an exhibition on at Manchester Art Gallery showcasing some of the greatest photography in the world, called 100 Years in Vogue.

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If you like photography – you’ll love it.

If you like fashion – you’ll love it.

If you’re an art director – you’ll love it.

If you’re a graphic designer – you’ll love it.

If you’re a fashion designer – you’ll love it.

If you’re a textile designer – you’ll love it.

If you’re a magazine/layout designer – you’ll love it.

If you’re an illustrator – you’ll love it.

If you like art – you’ll love it.

 

I’m not really into fashion, (no shit, Sherlock), so I guess it appealed to the art director in me.

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“The exhibition brings together vintage prints from the early twentieth century, ground-breaking photographs from renowned fashion shoots, unpublished work and original magazines. Images by leading twentieth-century photographers, including Cecil Beaton, Lee Miller, Irving Penn and Snowdon will feature alongside more recent work by David Bailey, Corinne Day, Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, Herb Ritts and Mario Testino.”

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But you’d best get your skates on, it finishes on the 30th October!

(Oh, and it’s free in.)

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Filed under Advertising, Art, Brand, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Design, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, Photography

Things for which I am grateful #325-352: Photography.


My goodness, where to begin?

There are so many brilliant photographers that I could probably fill all 365 things to be grateful for with them alone.

I’ve had the privilege of working with some outstanding photographers during my 30 long years in the ad industry. Most of whom were artists in their own right. I’m not going to feature them here just in case I forget someone and invoke their ire.

Instead, I’m going to show some of the photographers whose work has inspired me over the years. Certainly not an exhaustive list. Hope you like them. Feel free to make your own suggestion.

We could argue the toss as to what makes a great photograph – composition, light, concept. But what I feel a great photo should do is tell a story or ask questions of the viewer.

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams

Eve Arnold

Eve Arnold

Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus

Cecile Beaton

Cecil Beaton

Brassai

Brassai

Henry Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Desiree Dolron

Desiree Dolron

Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau

Fan Ho

Fan Ho

Horst P. Horst

Horst P. Horst

Tom Hoops

Tom Hoops

Nadav Kander

Nadav Kander

Joey Lawrence

Joey Lawrence

Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz

Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe

Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton

Norman Parkinson

Norman Parkinson

Herb Ritts

Herb Ritts

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

Edward Steichen

Edward Steichen

Harry Thuillier

Harry Thuillier

There are always more photographers who spring to mind as soon as one clicks the ‘publish’ button. Here are a couple who slipped through the net…

Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier

Sebastiao Salgado

Sebastiao Salgado

Don McCullin

Don McCullin

Bill Brandt

Bill Brandt

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Filed under Advertising, Architecture, Art, Children, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Photography

Inspiration V Plagiarism


I saw this mesmerizing portrait by Norman Parkinson on a postcard when I was on a recent jaunt to old Londinium.

Stunning shapes, texture, composition and colour.

I didn’t realise that when he took this shot he was actually paying homage to Dutch painter, Kees Van Dongen, 1877-1968.

Whether we use art directly to influence our work or only in part doesn’t matter.

What is important is that we continue to absorb inspiration wherever it lurks. Whether that be an old master who can teach us about perfect composition or a graffiti artist’s integration of the environment as a canvas.

Courtesy of Street Art Utopia. (And my mate, Markham.)

The ad industry is rife with plagiarism – “Wassup”, by Budweiser was a short film by a new director. Honda Cogs was an art installation.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being inspired by art. Where it falls down is if you try to pass off the originality as your own.

If you can’t physically credit the people whose idea you’ve been inspired by – i.e. you can’t put a credit on the end of a TV ad – then help out in other ways. Either pay them to be involved in making the project, or at the very least donate some hard cash to help further their art. (In the cases of Budweiser and Honda the ad agencies or client may have done this, I don’t know.)

With the infamous Guinness “Dancing Man” commercial, the agency saw the short film – again, a promo piece by a young director – and approached him with a view to remaking it for Guinness.

He said no because he’d already made that film and didn’t want to make it again.

So the agency made it anyway with a different director.

The director sued. And lost.

Not sure why. Perhaps you can’t copyright a man dancing. Or maybe the judge felt the new film was sufficiently different. (If you see them both together, you’ll see that it isn’t.)

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Filed under Advertising, Art, Ideas, Illustration, Inspiration, Photography