Monday, April 16, 2012

Color Chart

If you ever wondered why a certain shade of blue is called "royal" - British VOGUE's helpful and witty chart should explain why. The magazine noted every outfit worn by the Queen over the last year and found that 29 per cent of the coats, dresses, suits and hats she wore over the last 12 months were predominantly blue..

Although not a color, floral was next with 13 per cent, followed by green and cream each at 11 per cent. Pink and purple - 10 per cent - red, yellow, orange - four per cent - and black - two per cent - were next.

Whatever the color choice, it's clear the Queen is aware of the visual impact she makes - a boon to royal photographers.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Sweet Note

There are many wonderful things in the iGavel auction of photographs from the collection of Dody Weston Thompson (ending tomorrow - Tuesday - so act fast.) Dody was the ex-wife of Brett Weston, a protege of his father Edward Weston, a co-founder of Aperture, and a skilled photographer herself.

The Weston men were legendary womanizers, but there is one auction lot in particular which sheds an endearing light on Brett's character. A Christmas card he sent to Dody showing himself in front of his new ranch house has the handwritten inscription on the reverse "A happy Xmas for Dody - with warm memories of five wonderful years, Brett. PS am sending you a thousand dollars in a few Days."

I don't really know much about their relationship, but there seems to me to be a fondness and a generosity to the note not often found in cards to the ex!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

When Harry Met Eleanor

Eleanor Callahan, wife and muse of the late Harry Callahan died yesterday at the age of 95. I don't think there was a photographer who loved his wife more or longer than Harry Callahan loved Eleanor. The couple met in 1933 when both were working at Chrysler in Detroit. She was 17 and he was 21 and for more than 50 years Harry photographed her the way his hero Ansel Adams photographed mountains - with respect, and awe, and love, at all times of the day and night and in all kinds of weather.

Eleanor's plain beauty made the photographs timeless. Her faith in her husband's taste and judgment allowed the most intimate pictures. Here's hoping that a match made in heaven continues where it began.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

And the winner is ....

Watching the Oscars has always been a major pleasure and unmissable tradition for me. (And I've seen the awards in quite a range of places.) I've been a guest at Swifty Lazar's famous party at Spago in L.A., hosted an Oscar bash with my wife at The Mercer Hotel, and watched my good friend Doug Wick get the Oscar for Best Film (for "Gladiator"). But if I had to pick my favorite way to view, I think snuggling in bed with your family or loved one is the best of all.

Recently though the speeches seem to be getting more mundane. Perhaps it's the weight of the fashion choices and instant judgment that makes the participants less spontaneous. Perhaps the winners themselves are less joyous. To see what I mean click here to watch my absolute favorite moment - Roberto Benigni's acceptance speech for 1999's Best Foreign Film, followed moments later by his surprise win for best actor.