Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quote of the week x2 - Danny Lyon

The sign at the entrance to my gym locker room says “no cell phones please, cell phones are cameras.” They are not. A camera is a Nikon or a Leica or Rollieflex and when you strike someone with one,--- that is take your camera and use it as a weapon, they know they have been hit with something substantial.

- Danny Lyon, from a piece over on American Suburb X


Lou O' Bedlam said...

I dunno, brother. Smacks of elitism, and even worse, bit of tech-fetishism, as if only quality materials deserve the name. As if good photography's never been made with simple, inexpensive cameras.

A camera is anything that can capture light and record the image, yeah? And a cell phone shot, taken well, can be just as devastating as any shot taken with a Rollei or a Mamiya.

J. Wesley Brown said...

Yeah, of course. I just thought it was funny. Personally I'm waiting for the pin-sized camera with full frame sensor and 20mpx with silent shutter that I can hide in a baseball cap or pair of glasses.

Lou O' Bedlam said...

right on, man.

Andrew said...

I think what Lyon is speaking of is surface as opposed to substance. He uses digital as a contrast to what photography today lacks, in his mind, to what it was before. I respect his work, greatly, but upon reading his essay I found it weak.

Here is one paragraph, where the now famous and well compensated Mr. Lyon bemoans the drive to become famous and well-compensated:

"Money has corrupted virtually every field in this country. But in addition to money these people seek Fame, which ultimately amounts to the high esteem they are held in by the people around them, and even by people like us. Though we cannot do much to diminish the money they receive, we can make it clear, and must make it clear, that these are people we do not esteem."

Of course, the Sixties, the decade of Andy Warhol, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, was much less obsessed with getting noticed and getting rich.

Strange how those who were young then, think that they were the last prophets standing at Masada.

J. Wesley Brown said...

Hey, I've been to Masada.

The funny/good thing with photography fame is you can still walk down the street. Ask the average person if they know who Andreas Gursky is...crickets.