Stanley Greene in Brixton

Stanley Greene is one of the best photojournalists around (see his work on Noor if you have any doubts), and someone I’ve written about before, particularly over his coverage of Chechnya. You can – though I don’t now for how long – see his coverage of the UK elections on Catch Up on Channel 4 News.  Asking him to cover the it was certainly a great idea,  and you can see the results in a video which combines  video footage with his black and white images at From Beirut to Brixton: war photographer on election trail. And there is an article about it.

One of my pictures from earlier in the day in Brixton

I was in Brixton earlier in the day at the event which he covered, but didn’t see him there.  Much of his coverage from Brixton (it starts at 7m30s) is of people that I know and that I also photographed, and its great to see how a real master does it (though I did get a few decent pictures too.)

One of my photographs of Lisa McKenzie in Brixton

The piece does a fine job of combining video clips with the still images and also is nicely edited, combining well-selected opinions from people on the street – including Class War’s election candidate standing in Chingford against Iain Duncan Smith, Lisa McKenzie – with Greene’s own intelligent and somewhat laconic insights.  As he concludes, there is plenty of politics happening on the streets, “but it seems to me, its the politicians who aren’t taking part.”

Camera buffs will no doubt find the equipment hung around Greene’s neck of interest. In Brixton at least there were two cameras, one of which has the word ‘Nikon’ on it, but I don’t recognise it. Certainly it isn’t a D3s which he mentions in a 2012 interview on ClueCult :

I’ve got it all figured it out. I’m shooting Leica for black and white, Nikon D3s for big jobs where you pull out the camera to say “I am the photographer”. I’m shooting the Leica M-9 when it’s a digital work with an artistic flavor and I can match it up. I’m using the Olympus to do daily life, it is my diary.

Embedded in that interview is a short video trailer for his book Black Passport, which is better viewed at higher resolution on Viewtube. There is also a video interview with him by the French magazine Polka which is also worth watching.

Often I find photographs produced now in black and white an annoying affectation, with photographers sometimes thinking that working that way makes their images more ‘documentary‘. But there is a big difference between a photographer who thinks in black and white – as Greene clearly does here, and those who work in colour and simply convert the images to monochrome.  In the Channel 4 video, choosing to work with black and white photographs clearly also has the function of separating them from the video clips.


My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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