Thursday, April 8, 2010

Death of The Rock'n'Roll Photographer - Jim Marshall

 Jim Marshall, Rock 'n' Roll Photographer, Dies at 74. This is the title of the obituary for one of the foremost photographers of the rock 'n' roll era. He shot artists off stage, and gave fans a realistic view of who these rock stars were. When these photographs are seen, the subjects are human and seem vulnerable and approachable. Jim Marshall was the only photographer allowed at the last Beatles concert, and one of the few photographers at Woodstock. He captured the essence of the rock 'n' roll rock stars. In the article there is a quote by him that says “When I'm photographing people, I don't like to give any direction...I react to my subject in their environment, and if its going well, I get so immersed in it that I become one with the camera”(Sisario). He was a journalist, but documented events not with words, but with a camera. He wanted to make a scene of natural movement, not staged or rehearsed. He didn't take a picture to show off the celebrity, he took it for the realness of the moment.

  One such image is Janis Joplin, lounging on a sofa, with a bottle of Southern Comfort in her hand. She is relaxed and smiling, and it is a scene that most people wouldn't see. He also took the famous photograph of Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire. These are both images that are important in the history of photography and also of music. The era of rock 'n' roll, the era of the hippie, the era of the psychedelic, were all documented by this man.

 This obituary documents not only his death, but the mark he left on the music world. He didn't try to manufacture an image, and the images he created are revered and duplicated by photographers today. He was defined as someone who “captured pop stars in their full onstage glory, as well as in unguarded offstage scenes that humanized them as approachable or vulnerable.”(Sisaro). His images defined the personalities of their subjects. He helped show the people behind the music that was making was across the continent.

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