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.
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.
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.
LONG LIVE STANLEY KUBRICK!