Dean O'Brien's Blog

Ludwig Haskins talks to ‘Picturing the Body’ about his father Sam Haskin’s work..

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I am no stranger to the work of photographer Sam Haskins.  In fact I would very surprised if anyone in the field of photography was.  Cowboy Kate, Five Girls and Fashion Etcetera are just a few of the books which I am familiar with.  The black and white grainy images within the pages of these books are a reminder of how brilliant this mans work was.  Sam sadly passed away in 2009 but earlier today we were honoured to have his son Ludwig come to the ‘Picturing the Body’ class at Coventry University and give us a talk about his father and his work.  In fact, this was the first time since his fathers death that he had done this.

We were taken on a great journey with Ludwig starting with where Sam’s work began and his overall outlook towards image making.  Sam never had any lighting formula as such for lighting a subject.  He built the light to match the set.  A solution to what was in front of him at that time.  Using available light where possible and keeping things simple.  He explained that Sam had a very disciplined and passionate relationship with his photography. ‘Its not about taking extraordinary photographs, we have to become extraordinary people and then we will take extraordinary pictures’.

We were also honoured to have in attendance Wayne Ford who is an active contributor to the Picbod course.  Wayne has a superb blog which is located here and is well worth following on Twitter.

As with most of these talks, Ludwig stayed behind after the talk to mingle with the students and allow us to browse the many rare books which he had brought along to share with us.  He even took the liberty of bringing along cotton gloves for us to wear so as not to damage the delicate pages.  A great talk and one which gave me an insight into a great photographers life.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

March 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm

One Response

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  1. Hello Dean another great blog. I’ve looked at his images at his official website. Sam Haskins was a brilliant photographer. The image of the girl with white shirt lying on floor looking away at the camera would look totally different if she turned her head to the camera ad had her eyes staring into the camera. Slight changes make important differences.

    The images are timeless. Also the old photobooks show what era they came from by the feel and look of the hardcover and use of typefaces and fonts. The layout and choice of paper and binding are important as they help create the atmosphere of a photobook!

    Chris Alford

    March 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm


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