Nadav Kander on Portraiture

Settle in for an outstanding 13 mins on the philosophy of portraiture from one of the most interesting portraitists working today. (If you are not familiar with the work of Nadav Kander, you may want to take a look at his website [some NSFW] first.)

Produced by the National Portrait Gallery as a tie-in to the 2012 Olympics, this is by far the most detailed look I have yet seen into how Kander works. As a bonus, there are several still BTS shots showing his portrait sets.

(Via APE)



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Blogger dave d said...

His take on film verse digital is really just spot on. I always loved the not knowing 100% what I had until I picked those negs or prints from the lab or darkroom. There was an almost Christmas morning feeling every time I went to the lab. And the not knowing kept me on edge and sharp. That feeling has really been lost with the instant gratification of digital. Now it's more like Halloween. You get your quick fix and move onto the next house.

July 25, 2012 2:04 PM  
Blogger joe mazza said...

this is exactly the inspiration I needed this afternoon. it's rocket fuel to hear another, more accomplished, photographer speak with confident humility about the delicateness of that space we all work in. it balances out the times we're compelled-- often out of an understandable necessity-- to give detailed definitions and apologias about our process (especially to clients who’ve never done creative work— or experienced that simultaneous terror and glory of knowing nothing and everything at the same time).

unlike other arts I think photography is still often misunderstood for being a rather simple and easy thing— that the end photographs are visible from the beginning and getting them is just a matter of going over there and clicking that thing.

this reminds me also that photography— like all art forms— is a complex and fluid process.

thanks so much for posting, David.

July 25, 2012 4:23 PM  
OpenID said...

Very Cool :) Thanks for this :) :) :)

July 25, 2012 4:23 PM  
Blogger bronney said...

David, thanks for this. Very interesting to hear it from another camera "junkie". That bit on the love for the hassie and linhof had to come out.

Reading more of his stuff I came across this:

Is that gelled flash drag or what? hehehe.. reminds me of your lessons.

July 26, 2012 4:30 AM  
Blogger Dave Steve said...

great vid, what a coincidence that I was just reading an reading an article in GQ mag about his work for a tv show the...i like his thought process

July 26, 2012 4:38 AM  
Blogger MaxG said...

I appreciate the commentary. If the thrill is destroyed by instant gratification in digital, why does the photographer not choose to switch off the display, wait until they get back home and see the images coming onto the monitor?

What needs to be understood is that everything has two sides, so does photography the traditional and the modern way -- there is no right or wrong in it... it just is.

July 26, 2012 4:56 AM  
Blogger Patto desu said...

I went to his website as you suggested. Perhaps the video was as good as other commenters suggest but after seeing his portraits, I didn't really care. In my opinion (which is the only one I can go by) they ranged from idiotic to disturbing. I guess to each, his own.

July 26, 2012 4:12 PM  
Blogger AMI SIANO said...

I love Kander's work.
He's one of the leading commercial - portrait photographer at the moment. shooting most of the leading advertisements.
He seems to be such a quiet person. this clip is more about him than his work.
I agree totally about the difference between digital and film cameras. I am still in love with my old 6by6 film camera and the canon MK2 is just an instrument to me...
thanks for posting, lovely change of theme !

July 27, 2012 1:32 AM  
OpenID sethjacobson said...

Thank you for posting this. Nadav Kander is clearly a master, and I really loved his portrait work. It is very interesting to me to read about his process, which is almost the exact opposite of mine. I am facinated by the ways we are different.

July 27, 2012 8:38 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Very nice, I like how speaks about the emotional connection, and the tension.

Also, Is he borrowing his assistnat's sweater? I see the younger guy with the beard in the same sweater in the BTS shots.

July 27, 2012 8:40 AM  
Blogger andré blais said...

Thanks for posting this! HUGE fan of Kander's work! Watching him speak on video puts me to sleep but I could look at his website for hours!

July 27, 2012 11:20 AM  
Blogger Heipel said...

Few things as satisfying as having access to the artist who is also the intellectual. Thanks for sharing this. Have always loved his work so great to get a bit of the man and his thinking.

July 29, 2012 12:52 PM  
Blogger T. C. Knight said...

I really enjoyed that.

July 31, 2012 8:10 PM  

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