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James Dean: A Movie Icon With an Eye for Photography

We all know James Dean as the legendary actor who lived fast and died young. He was the subject of almost every photographer of his era. But aside from acting and racing, one of his passions was the medium of photography.

I’ve known him for a long time because I’ve heard his name referenced in a song and in a movie line. I’ve also seen pictures of him almost everywhere. But recently, I started to get to know him more. I watched all 3 of his films and I instantly fell in love with him. He was a great Method actor. Then I started researching all about him and his work. I was surprised when I saw pictures of him with a camera. Photography was also one his hobbies! His teacher was photographer Roy Schatt who shot the famous Torn Sweater series of James Dean.

There was this particular picture (shown below) where he was holding a Rollei TLR. Roy Schatt took this picture and I’ve read that when James Dean saw that place, he immediately jumped in and took a picture of Roy Schatt and a colleague because he thought it was a great point of view that nobody will ever think of. Brilliant!

Unfortunately, the pictures that he took are scarce on the internet but I bet they’re great because he had a gifted mind. Anyway, Roy Schatt’s book, James Dean: A Portrait, has some photographs taken by James Dean.

His 55th death anniversary is coming up this September 30th and I think those who love him and have been inspired by him should celebrate him one way or another. And this article is my part on commemorating him.

Links/References:
Official Website
Twitter

Pictures are taken from the internet

written by lenfranpsycho

20 comments

  1. cruesi

    cruesi

    ♥ james dean

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. kazarareta

    kazarareta

    live fast, die young.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. emilios

    emilios

    absolute legend

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. kylethefrench

    kylethefrench

    also a fantastic old time sexy gay, he would be on this site if he were alive today

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. mikahsupageek

    mikahsupageek

    +1 to kazarareta

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. iaki

    iaki

    I love him!!! ♥♥♥♥

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. ethermoon

    ethermoon

    Yes, he's a genius.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. superlighter

    superlighter

    he was the Icon of an era

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  9. veantunes

    veantunes

    I'm a huge fan of his. To the point of watching his every move in every movie, and dvd extras. Just to see if maybe I'd find out a little extra something about him I didn't know an hour before. It bothers me a little, how sometimes people talk about him as if he were a brand. The James Dean brand, "a product filled with rebellion, and inexplicable anger who was such a daredevil, he kept speeding when a car was heading directly into his." I think he was a much more interesting, sensitive, timeless, and complex person than pop culture or whatever has made him out to be, and I like how you showed a little bit of that in this article.
    His is definitely a biography worth reading.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  10. rio

    rio

    thanks for this article. i like james dean and it was unfortunate that I didn't live in his generation.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  11. cily

    cily

    All I see are pictures of him, what about the photos he took?
    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  12. chaoticsense

    chaoticsense

    Fabulous!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. basterda

    basterda

    What @cily said.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  14. kdstevens

    kdstevens

    The man had good taste. The Rollei Automat is a classic, the car he died in is a classic, and, if I'm not mistaken, the mini tripod he's shown with in one of the photos is by Leica. Sorely missed.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  15. lenfranpsycho

    lenfranpsycho

    Thanks for all the likes and comments. <3

    @cily and @basterda - I searched the internet but can't find photos he took. Although there is a book by Roy Schatt, James Dean: A Portrait, that has photos he taken. It was mentioned in the article. I'd love to buy the book and scan them but it's not available in major bookstores.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  16. chipmunk

    chipmunk

    Gorgeous!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  17. dalgal77

    He was such a beautiful man! It would have been amazing to see what more he would have accomplished.
    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  18. elletra

    elletra

    fantastic article, I wish I would have read it yesterday :/

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  19. marshall4480

    marshall4480

    Thanks for the cool article.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  20. remahor

    remahor

    nice=))

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Português, 中文(繁體版), Italiano, Spanish, Deutsch & ภาษาไทย.