Helmut Newton: Portrait Of A Fashion Icon (NSFW)

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Recently over at the forum, a conversation came up about shooting nudes and glamour style images. One of our readers recommended a short documentary on famous fashion photographer Helmut Newton. We've all seen Helmut's images but if you were like me you might not have known the man behind the images. This 5 part documentary, filmed by June Netwon, shows Helmut working through his shoots with such famous models as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer as well as the legendary Luciano Pavarotti. It always amazes me how images I would consider 'snapshots' can become iconic images in the fashion world. Fashion photography today often involves studio lighting and extensive photoshop, but as this documentary shows, Helmut was able to cut through the heart of his subjects with nothing more than a film camera often times in auto exposure. Check out more about Helmut over at the Helmut bookstore.

Part 1

Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Part 5

 
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16 Comments

Lee Morris's picture

Haha... fashion photography is so ridiculous

Lee Morris's picture

Don't get me wrong, I love this guys work. I would just have a hard time asking a girl to eat a flower with a straight face.

Haha, I completely agree. I wish I had a picture of my face during those couple seconds of the video. I don't think I could bring myself to do it.

Ridiculous is when a fashion photographer confuses bad taste with good taste. "Camp" is when a fashion photographer knows the difference between good and bad taste yet intentionally chooses to be vulgar.

Susan Sontag wrote "Notes on Camp" for anybody that might be interested: http://interglacial.com/~sburke/pub/prose/Susan_Sontag_-_Notes_on_Camp.html

Patrick Hall's picture

I like the wiki article...it's a bit easier to read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_%28style%29

Lee is the straightest guy ever... ever!

Lee Morris's picture

Hah... should I have known about this?

lol, ever! ;P

Patrick Hall's picture

better than being slightly gay I guess...:/

Patrick Hall's picture

I think Lee just meant that so much is called "art" in the fashion world when really it's pretty goofy or just a naked girl posing crazy. I think there is even a part in this video where his wife says she doesn't care for the model's expression which I agreed...but because it's 'art' and it's Helmut it might be genius :)

Sean Shimmel's picture

In a world of snoots, grids, silks, octas, slippers and poppers... yikes!

How refreshing a flashlight and single roll of film.

(PS, I like snoots)

gp's picture

I'm glad you guys put this on the front page, I came accross this series last year and it was mind blowing for me to see him work, so casual, so perfect...I also loved his attitude, wish I could've been his friend. He's very inspiring and so is his work.

I love his work! I actually did a presentation about him and his work in myphotography class last week.

Grave Shift Studios's picture

Awesome doc. Very inspiring to see someone doing wtf they want, the way they want to do it in the midst of what can be a real pretentious and draining industry. Do what you love!