Saturday, 14 November 2009

Book review: Stern Fotografie 52: Lord Snowdon

Published by teNeues

With an elegant and glossy hardcover, this volume would be a precious addition to your collection of Stern Fotografie books, each focussing on a famous and talented photographer, or it would make a beautiful and classy coffee table book.

‘The Lord of light’ is the title of a captivating introduction by the journalist Jochen Siemens, who writes about his meeting with a 78-year-old Lord Snowdon, all sharp eye and no-frills attitude. We learn about the photographer’s career and are entertained by his anecdotes. However the real experience of this book begins on page 14. 25 colour and 33 black and white photographs offer a glimpse into the worlds of a variety of subjects including nannies, celebrities, the Royal Family and everybody in-between. The photographs cover a period from 1958 to 2004 and are striking in their powerful simplicity.

Contenders as my favourite photograph are two royal portraits: that of Princess Margaret, whom Lord Snowdon has been married to, and that of Lady Diana. The former taken in 1967 and the latter in 1991, they both portray the same wonderful sense of timelessness.

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