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Historical photographers - research and evaluations

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Heinrich Hoffmann was a German photographer, best known for being chosen by Adolf Hitler as his official and personal photographer. For almost a quarter of a century, from the 1920s until the suicide of the leader of Nazi Germany in 1945, der Führer Hitler and Hoffmann were close friends. The two soon became good friends and then business partners. during the Third Reich Hoffmann wrote many books about Hitler. In 1938 Hoffmann wrote three books: Hitler in Italy, Hitler befreitSudetenland and Hitler in seiner Heimat. His last book, Das Antlitzdes Führers, was written shortly before the outbreak of World War II. In 1929, Hoffmann and his second wife, Erna, introduced Hitler to Eva Braun, who became his wife on April 29, 1945. Due to the loss of the war, the two committed suicide the very next day.

© Heinrich Hoffmann © Heinrich Hoffmann

What I find fascinating about his work is the way he captures the expression, and how the lightning emphasizes that. I am wondering whether harsh light will be the way I should go about or whether it could be a little bit to hard for how I want my photography to be presented. I enjoyed looking at his work, and even though my project is about portraitures, I can definetly use this kind of lightning to enhance the facial expressions. I also like how the texture of the skin is accentuated.

Ghitta Carell 1899-1972, an Italian photographer of Hungarian descent, is one of the most sought-after portrait photographers of the 1930s. She studied photography in Budapest, but completed his career in Italy.

She opened a studio in which members of the Italian ruling class also turned up; politicians, artists, the excellence of intellectual life. She made her images incomparably airy by retouching. She often scratched both sides of the 18x24 glass negative. If the shape of her model wasn’t ideal, she could “help” with it, too. Due to her connections, although she was also affected by the racial laws of 1938, she was not harmed or deported.

© Ghitta Carell © Ghitta Carell

I found really impressive the gradient of the photos, and how she framed the pictures. In my opinion this vignette effect adds a unique view to her photos. It is visible that she had a pattern on how were the sitters positioned, and how the light created almost a hallo effect, which uplifted the model in the viewers eye. I was wondering to try the same light technique with the same model positioning in my photos, to see if i could get such a powerfull image as Ghitta Carell. I fancy her pictures, although I would have framed the picture with the Pope better. I do not use in my current project this techniques, but it definetly gave me some ideas for future projects.

Andrei Pandele was a sports photographer – one in all the foremost well- identified and best within the last decades of communism in Romania!

Exclusive footage of the "Golden Age" of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was created in black and white by the skilled artist Andrei Pandele, in Bucharest pictures of these dark times, of the earthquake of four March 1977, with pictures of the "tails" on food were rationalized as pictures from war period with individuals droop; the means of transport,and pictures of Romans (Bucurestenii) in winter,and the road traffic being stopped by Ceausescu as to not provide the snow on the road to try and do thus "economy" original image throughout the Romanian Revolution of December 1989, and within the early years of "wild" the age of "transition".

© Andrei Pandele

© Andrei Pandele

© Andrei Pandele

© Andrei Pandele

I find fascinating the way he framed the pictures . I can see that this element of object centering of this photographer works well for leading the viewers eye on the main element, and not being distracted by the people, as we usually tend to look for them. I was wondering by looking at the work of Andrei Pandele that it would have ruined the pictures, if the framing were "perfect", because it would have been boring, and at the same time it would have made us lose ourselves in the picture, and not see the essence. I enjoyed looking at his work, however it is something i consider doing in the future, however it is not what is influenced me in this particular project. What I enjoyed looking, is the position of the elements ( in the last picture), and the reflection of the mirror.

Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (1904 – 1980) was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer.

After high school he studied history and architecture at the University of Cambridge and since 1926 he has devoted himself to photography. In 1927 Beaton was hired by Vogue magazine, which is appreciated for his photography. the main feature of his photographs of him is an irony that allows him to filter what he sees and rework it. His portraits of him can be considered his best works of him in which he sets and connotes the subjects through harmonic metaphors that allow you to depict the characters of culture and entertainment together with the gestures, expressions and objects that characterize them. Beaton has photographed for example Queen Elizabeth II, Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, icons such as Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, or personalities such as the painter Bridget Bate Tichenor, the writer H. G. Wells, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton. From 1939 to 1945 he was the official photographer of the British Ministry of Information.

The Countess of Pembroke in her Robes for the Coronation of George VI. 1937

© Cecil Beaton Archive, Sotheby’s

The 15th Earl and Countess of Pembroke dressed for the coronation of George VI. 1937.

© Cecil Beaton Archive, Sotheby’s

Marilyn Monroe by © Cecil Beaton

What I find interesting about his work is the way he is paying attention to the framing, and to the details. It looks like he is a perfectionist, because the lightning highlights the features of the models, it makes them younger, with a perfect skin, and they are also placed in the center of the picture. I am wondering wheter I should apply that "perfect" image , perfect skin looking on my images too, or it would have a bigger impact with every wrinkle, and expression shown, and maybe exaggerated.

General comment:

  • Having done the research, it gave me ideas for the framing and lightning, but i feel that doing more indepth research they inspired me for a new project, and not on what i am doing now.


  • Andrei, Pandele, GREY DAILY LIFE UNDER COMMUNISM (Romania, 1980s), Noorderlicht link

  • Andrei, Pandele, A lost city: Photos of Bucharest's past, BBC link

  • Andrei, Pandele, Epoca "De Aur" Ceausescu - Vazuta de Fotograful Andrei Pandele, Dailymotion link

  • Heinrich, Hoffmann, Hitler rehearsing, Mashable link

  • Ghitta, Carell, The Aesthetic Image: Ghitta Carell, Spring, link

  • Ghitta, Carell, Benito Mussolini, Getty Images link

  • Sir, Cecil, Beaton, Cecil Beaton - Behind The Glitter (2004 BBC4 Documentary), Youtube, link

  • Sir, Cecil, Beaton, Biography: Fashion, Portrait and War photographer Cecil Beaton, Monovisions link

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