Looking for Light
Looking for Light
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, 1 comment



Sad news comes with the death at the weekend of the Observer’s revered and legendary photographer Jane Bown, just months before her 90th birthday, and who worked on 35mm B&W film with her trusty OM1 to the end. Such was her lifelong connection with the newspaper, she was hailed by its editor, John Mulholland, as being “part of the Observer’s DNA.”


She was cool under pressure and blessed with that rare ability to immediately seize the mood and the moment, producing some very distinguished portraits only ever taken with available light (check the Guardian gallery link by clicking here); my particular favourite being her impromptu, one-off shot of Samuel Beckett as he tried to sneak out of the Royal Court Theatre in London, via the stage door, after rehearsals of Happy Days starring Billie Whitelaw, who also sadly died on Sunday.


I grew up through the 1970s regularly marvelling at her unbelievable body of work during my weekly pilgrimage to the library to read the Observer. Shy and totally unassuming – she once said “a photographer should neither be seen nor heard” – Bown always preferred being behind the camera, but earlier this year she was the subject of a documentary, Looking for Light, that’s well worth seeking out.


It was through Bown’s influence that I recently started experimenting yet again with the Olympus OM1 and Zuiko lenses. And a great portion of the blog offerings the last few months have shown just how good this combination still is.


Olympus OM1 & Zuiko 50/1.2
Kodak Tri-X (@200)
HC-110 (Dil. H – 7:30min)
Plustek 7600i & Vuescan



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