Refugees: back to the Middle Ages

Regugees-page_pic

Some of the photographs coming out of Turkey and Hungary at the moment are as striking as some of the pictures that emerged from the Vietnam war. My eye was caught by this NYT front page, for example.

Just look at the detail:

Refugees_detail

Not only is it ‘painterly’ in its texture, but it could be part of one of those allegorical paintings from the 1650s. Except that it’s much more moving. These are not creatures from a long-distant past, but our fellow-humans.

The printer’s art

HCB_print

This astonishing illustration comes from Sarah Coleman’s lovely essay on the vanishing art of analog printing and the artistry of Pablo Inirio, who is the Master Drkroom Printer at Magnum Photos in New York.

Two things are striking about the print. The first is the detailed mark-up: the numbers indicate the amount of dodging, shading or burning the printer had to do to get the best out of the image. The second is how near Cartier-Bresson got to Martin Luther King on that memorable day. Note also the expression on his face. He’s carefully assessing King as a photographic subject.

I always found printing difficult. Now I know why: it’s a serious art and I never mastered it.