Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More Self, Less Selfie


Once in a while, in this crazy digital and social age of ours, I thoroughly recommend that everyone get a little lesson in humility to realise that actually, there’s more to photography than owning a phone and applying some pretty filters, and that really, the majority of us are mere photographic simpletons. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the filtered selfie - it’s flattering fun and silly – but repeat after me: having an Instagram account does not a photographer make. Now to emphasise my point, step forth Mr David Bailey CBE and his Stardust retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery. Over 250 personally selected portraits feature, the large proportion of which are shot in his usual trademark style; stark black and white against a plain white background. The subjects – largely celebrities – are ones we’re accustomed to seeing in numerous magazines and splashed across the internet; blow-dried, styled and crafted into the characters we easily recognise. Bailey, however, shoots in ten minutes; no fuss, no frills, no snazzy filter – the real self is the focus, and it has never looked fresher. Back in your box Instagram, leave the real selfies to the pros.

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