Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light

From the American Masters Series, this outstanding documentary on Richard Avedon was originally aired in 1995.

It's an intimate, hour-and-a-half long journey into the mind of one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, and it's brilliant.

Darkness and Light

I have watched it all the way through, twice. I was so into photojournalism when I came up in the 80's as a young photographer that I was late to discovering Avedon's genius. The further I go, the more my respect grows -- for his his mindset, his process and certainly his photography.

One idea the documentary revisits again and again is just how in tune with himself Avedon is. I have logged a lot of thinking time on that subject over the last few years and had come to feel as if I were making some progress. Then you see something like this, seeing the seemingly effortless self-examination of a visual genius. Now I feel that I have not scratched the surface.

Is that something you can unlock through time and work? Is there a just a trick to it? Or is there a self-examination gene you either have or you don't?

I dunno. But I do feel as if it is the key to unlocking a tremendous amount of creativity and I want to keep exploring.

If you have a way to play this on a bigger screen, it's certainly pulling up a comfy chair and spending 90 minutes inside the head of a true visionary. There's some lighting BTS in there (occasionally) but this is about far more than that. It'll make you think.



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