Friday, 7 January 2011

Brian Duffy

I have been unable to find the combination of sunlight and situation to complete the Light through a Day image, so I have included some thoughts on Brian Duffy after visiting an exhibition of his in Hastings.

I was really taken with the history of Duffy, Donovan and Bailey the 3 iconic photographers of the sixties. They certainly did change the way in which photos were taken, especially in the fashion industry where their iconic images have captured the sixties to tremendous effect. In fact at this time the photographer was King, and the models their puppets, a role which now seems to have reversed.

Duffy seemed to go through a number of phases. His approach seems to be a no-nonsense approach capturing what is natural in an image almost as if they are snaps, but they are so much more. In particular I liked the images of John Lennon and the simple one of Nina Simone and her daughter, spell binding.

Duffy's work took him initially through the fashion shoots with the main magazines capturing models such as Jane Birkin and this fantastic shot using natural light for Vogue.

There are so many that are great images, such as the image of the Krays, Michael Caine, Harold Wilson and the infamous Aladdin Sane image from David Bowie's album Cover.

Finally Duffy was well known for his advertising work with Benson and Hedges and pre-photoshop produced some amazing images way beyond his time such as the one below.

I could go on and show all of his wonderful images, but for some strange reason I liked this one (Blue Collar) taken in the sixties for a fashion shoot. The model is quite mysterious in this shot but I love the plastic clothes, colours and reflections as well, so iconic of this generation.

All of Duffy's work can be seen at including a great video from the BBC showing his rise and fall.

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