Posts Tagged ‘Peter Fetterman’

The Power of Photography: Peter Fetterman

Monday, October 5th, 2020

Another set of ten pictures in the online series on the Peter Fetterman Gallery called The Power of Photography highlighting hope, peace and love in the world is now featured on ‘The Eye of Photography‘, and includes several images I don’t recall having seen before as well as some very familiar ones.

Along with the pictures are comments by Peter Fetterman, often very personal and usually perceptive. Photographers often despise gallery owners as mercenary parasites – and I think there is a great deal of truth in this – but many like Fetterman are knowledgeable about our medium and have a great love of it and the works they sell.

Selling photographs after all isn’t the easiest way to make a living – either as a gallerist or as a photographer. And while I think that the growth of the art market has had some unfortunate consequences for photography (and I think particularly of those huge boring decorative prints for corporate atriums a huge prices from rather untalented photographers – and the whole idea of limited editions) it has also supported many fine photographers. But if you want to buy prints to support photographers then where possible it makes sense to cut out the middlemen and buy direct – and you can do so on many photographers’ web sites – though those with gallery contracts are usually forbidden to do so.

You can see all the images in the series on the Peter Fetterman Gallery web site – when I looked a couple of days ago the latest posted was numbered CLXXII, which I make 172, and is a picture from 1950 by Arthur Leipzig, Chalk Games, New York City, looking down from a building at a group of boys and their varied chalking in the roadway between some parked cars. It’s a fine image from one of the many photographers to have emerged from the New York Photo League, which I’ve often written about.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr


Paris, Me and Willy Ronis

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

I’ve long been a fan of Willy Ronis (1910-2009) and in particular his pictures of Paris, particularly of the working-class areas of the north-east of the city, and have on several occasions written about him and the pictures I’ve taken on walks around the same areas as him. When in 2008 I was given a copy of his ‘La Traversée de Belleville’ at Le Bar floréal, published by them for his exhibition there in 1990, I found that I had already walked all of the streets on his route – though that didn’t stop me doing so again.

Peter Marshall 2008

It’s now some years since I last went to Paris, and every time I look at http://peter-marshall.com my pictures of the city which I first visited in 1966 I feel the urge to go again.

Peter Marshall 1984

Like most of a certain age and medical condition I’m still more or less banged up at home, though going out for walks and bike rides avoiding so far as possible any close contact with others apart from my wife. So unfortunately I won’t be going to Paris in the next month and so will miss the exhibition of 100 photos by Ronis at the galerie Argentic from October 3-17 2020 which I read about in The Eye of Photography a couple of days ago.

Peter Marshall 1973

Instead I’ll take the few books of his work I have down from my shelves and browse through them to renew my memory of his work. And perhaps read again some of the posts I’ve made that mention him, including Retour en Lorraine, bar Floréal & Willy Ronis and the shortened version of my essay on him from 2003 that I republished in a post on the occasion of his death in 2009.

Peter Marshall 2006

Here I’ve posted a few of my own pictures of Paris, very different from the work of Ronis which you can see a good selection of at the Peter Fetterman gallery. There is a video of an interesting talk by Matthieu Rivallin about his life at Hong Kong University, as well as many other short videos about him and his work available on line.

Peter Marshall 1984

More of my own pictures of Paris at Paris Photos.

The Power of Photography

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

One series of pictures posted through the current lockdown that has often interested or amused me is by Peter Fetterman; in ‘The Power of Photography‘. To see them all in the order he posted them, open the page and scroll down to the very bottom to see the first image, ‘The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, C. 1860′.

But before you scroll, read his introduction at the top of the page which I reproduce here:

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to introduce a new online series called the Power of Photography, highlighting hope, peace, and love in the world. With every entry, I’ll share personal reflections on my favorite images. I invite you to enjoy and reflect on these works during this time.

Peace & Love,

Peter Fetterman

The Power of Photography

Clicking on each of the images will give you more details about it – in this case that it is by an anonymous photographer and is a 9.75×9.75 inch vintage albumen print – and rather curiously is “Copyright The Artist” who as well as being anonymous is certainly long dead and whose copyright will have expired many years ago.

The negative from which it was printed will I think have been made using the wet plate process, which while it had considerable limitations and required a great deal of manipulative skill was in some respects the absolute pinnacle of the photographic process, with detail and resolution limited only by the lenses of the day. You can enlarge the on-screen image by clicking on it, but it then seems rather soft. Since all printing was by contact, the demand on lenses was not extreme, though you can clearly see some softening towards the edges in this and many images of the time. The print appears to be in excellent condition for its age, though there is clearly some fading at top right, but digital representations are often misleading.

Actually I think the images like this are best seen in reproduction, when some discrete retouching can help to repair the minor ravages of time and restore as best we can the original vision of the photographer, which is of more interest to me than the object.

Strangely the second image of the series seems to be missing, though you will probably have little difficulty in bringing “The Steerage” into your mind. There are other iconic images too, such as Cartier-Bresson’s 1938 ‘On the Banks of the Marne’.

But not all of the pictures are well-known and quite a few entirely new to me and by photographers I have not previously heard of, such as the beautiful Small Apples, 1984 by Finnish photographer Kristoffer Albrecht.

I don’t always share Peter Fetterman’s enthusiasms, but it is good to read the comments of someone so obviously enthusiastic about our medium – and to discover we have at least something in common outside of our interest in photography. So here is a little piece of London he may recognise.

Dobells, Records, Tower Court, Camden, 1987 87-2d-63-positive_2400
Dobell’s Records, Tower Court, Camden, London 1987

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.