Friday, 18 May 2012

Yousuf Karsh



"Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize."
Yousuf Karsh


Yousuf Karsh was a photographer that inspired me from the moment I first saw a magnificent large-sized portrait portfolio in a college library many, many years ago. The pictures glowed with an intensity I'd never before seen. Eventually I visited and spent some time with the great man in 1976, another story I must tell here soon before I forget. During his time, he portrayed just about every important figure in the world. Revisiting his portraits recently they do now appear to me perhaps a little stylistically dated, but his influence still lingers in my own preference of image. Last night, while setting up and testing some studio lighting I accidentally made my own self-portrait above, and once again, it's very much in the Karsh style. Shot using the Nikon D90 with an old Nikkor A1 manual focus lens, the 85mm f1.4, 1/200th at f.2.8 



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