Mr. Kubrick: A Master of Cameras


Let’s give a classical round of applause to the most influential camera connoisseur in all of history — Mr. Stanley Kubrick! While he was known mostly for his work with moving pictures, what many don’t know is how he was a phenomenal photographer.

“If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.”
Stanley Kubrick and his Leica III camera, 1940s

Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures – If you have seen this film biography featuring Mr. Kubrick, you would know that even before he was able to make documentaries, full-length movies and almost always controversial films, he already possessed a queer eye for photography. It all started when his father, Jacques Kubrick, gave him a Graflex camera, a large-format vintage camera. (Some sources say that it was a Kodak Monitor 620.) He didn’t become a professional snapper right away. He spent some tedious years selling his own picture stories.

When he was 17 years young, though, he captured a photograph of a newspaperman at his stand surrounded by tabloids of Roosevelt’s death. He was able to immortalize the mournful expression of the man and immediately, he was able to transform the moment into a masterpiece of photojournalism.

Stanley Kubrick ©

He was then hired as a staff photographer for LOOK. He was freely able to explore his own creativity through the photographs he took and as he traveled throughout the States. In 2005, Rainier Crone published a book, Stanley Kubrick: Drama and Shadows: Photographs 1945 – 1950, featuring Mr. Kubrick’s shots. His photography’s distinction and sophistication are deeply dissected in the book. His photographs show the derelict, the doomed, and the deprived. He also usually viewed from cockeyed perspectives.

Stanley Kubrick ©

Mr. Kubrick often talked about his transition from a photographer to a director and how he could not have been the filmmaker that he was without a “photographer’s eye.” His notorious and painstaking way of directing films might have been the result of his meticulous techniques in his photography. Stanley Kubrick is, indeed (and forever will be), a true genius. Whether you adore him as a film director or as a photographer (or both), his painstaking and sly manner of manipulating the camera will surely be remembered by the whole world. His magnificence deserves a recognition, especially by us, the new-world analogue photographers.



written by basterda on 2010-07-01 #lifestyle #film-director #vintage-cameras #black-and-white-photography #classic-photojournalism-photographer #stanley-kubrick


  1. kazarareta
    kazarareta ·

    stanley kubrick is brilliant.

  2. basterda
    basterda ·

    Yay, thanks for publishing my first Analogue Lifestyle article, LSI! <3

  3. leela_dark
    leela_dark ·

    thanks for this wonderful article!

  4. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    thanks for sharing this lovely article :)

  5. cruzron
    cruzron ·

    @basterda - twas our pleasure! Just keep on submitting and we'll keep publishing!

  6. basterda
    basterda ·

    Hey thanks for the kind comments, @leela_dark and @adi_totp! Kubrick rules! :)

    @cruzron and @kazararet - Thanks guys! And thanks also for adding the written by :)

  7. nicolas_noir
    nicolas_noir ·

    He had a penchant for making lenses I also hear - he had made a f0.7 lens for a candlelight scene in Barry Lyndon.

  8. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    Brava @basterda, great article! Kubrik, a true visual Master!

  9. ishoothorizon
    ishoothorizon ·

    Stanley Kubrick was also the photographer of the fake moonlanding pictures, kept secret for many years.

  10. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    if it wasn't for this article, I would have never known such a great artist!

  11. emilios
    emilios ·

    legend!!!!. great article and pics

  12. panelomo
    panelomo ·


  13. j_robert
    j_robert ·

    thank you LOMO! an incredible tribute to one of my all time heroes! truly a genius!

  14. bravopires
    bravopires ·

    Bravo, basterda! thanks for this masterpiece!

  15. trash-gordon-from-outer-space
    trash-gordon-from-outer-space ·

    very well written.

  16. jeepeng
    jeepeng ·

    he is still Shining!
    @nicolas_noir, the f0.7 camera was from Zeiss originally developed for NASA, all the actors and actresses had to move slower during the candle light scene.

  17. basterda
    basterda ·

    Wow thanks for the nice comments everyone! I'm glad you all appreciate Mr. Stanley's incredible life and works. Yes, @nicolas_noir and @jeepeng, Kubrick had a custom-made lens made for Barry Lyndon - saw this in his autobiography film as well. I haven't watched the movie itself though. I bet the cinematography is genius! @ishoothorizon, I didn't know that he was involved in such moon landing photographs; thanks for the info, though. Again, thanks for the comments, all! :)

  18. j_robert
    j_robert ·

    yep, that is correct. the candle light scene was entirely lit by natural candle light, something that has never been matched. genius no doubt

  19. basterda
    basterda ·

    @j_robert, I completely agree with you!

  20. fancholland2
    fancholland2 ·

    The best of all directors, a pity he could not do his most ambitious project.
    BTW thanks for the book reference, I got to have a look at it.

  21. flashback
    flashback ·

    Welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, well.

  22. basterda
    basterda ·

    My pleasure, @fancholland2! Every Kubrick fan should own that book. @flashback, Viddy well. :)

  23. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Really wonderful article. He was greatest of directors and photographers.

  24. basterda
    basterda ·

    Thanks @herbert-4 and everyone else for your generous likes! :)

  25. ipdegirl
    ipdegirl ·

    great job! i love learning about all these famous folks who were also photographers. thanks for bringing us this profile!

  26. basterda
    basterda ·

    My pleasure, @ipdegirl. Thanks!

  27. mojo_lomo
    mojo_lomo ·

    loved it,,

  28. mojo_lomo
    mojo_lomo ·

    loved it,,

  29. stitch
    stitch ·

    you should be a writer erin ;) good piece ;)

  30. memento
    memento ·

    i miss kubrick :(

  31. sklavet
    sklavet ·

    Good article but for his work but sadly, for myself his great achivements are discredit by the sexual abuses he did.

  32. sklavet
    sklavet ·

    Oups, was Polansky, sorry,...feel dumb now!

  33. tattso
    tattso ·

    Kubrick is God.

  34. basterda
    basterda ·

    Thank you, @mojo_lomo! @stitch, yay, that would be a dream come true if I would be! Thanks! Hi, @memento, a lot of people do. @sklavet, I was a little confused by your first comment but the second one bothered me, too - I also like Polanski's films! :( @tattso, yes he is a genius! Thanks for still commenting on this, all! :)

  35. robotto_dawad
    robotto_dawad ·

    nice article :)

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