Bruce Gilden is a unique photographer. His pictures are easily recognize. The harsh off camera flash is his signature. The first time I ever saw his work when I was a student volunteer at the old Pictures of the Year contest in Columbia, Missouri. He entered the Kodak Crystal Eagle award and his work was shown first. His street images are up close and in your face. Needless to say, he did not win. Eugene Richards did. But his images and the reaction they got stuck with me.
A 28mm lens, and a flash, it is that simple. Yeah, I have tried it, it is not as easy as he makes it. Maybe I am willing to accept his shadows more than my own. I do not pack the frame full of life like Gilden does.
The first photo I found about a month ago through 2point8. I wondered it what it was until I saw the New York Times Sunday Magazine this evening. It is in interesting style feature. There is also a bit of a story with it.
“At the amphitheatre where Barack Obama spoke, I ran into paparazzi who I know from doing what I do in this town. They were star struck by the photographer Bruce Gilden and wanted me to introduce them. It was this wonderful role reversal,” Washington says about how the shoot went.
I really like Gilden’s work because it is so different from my work. The images are about the people plain and simple. They could be Irish or New Yorkers or Japanese. There is not question that people, characters more specifically are his focus. In this npr interview (works best with windows media player) he talks about his working methods. You go out there and let the world come to you,” Gilden says in the interview.
Magnum in Motion also has a few good Gilden essays about his fashion work and Coney Island. He has been prolific with eight books to his credit. The first one I bought was “Go” his Japanese work. I really like the work. It is interesting to see his work translate to another culture.
There is also a good interview with him from the “The Speakeasy“.
My question is why the vest and the bag? If it is all about the 28 and the flash, how many rolls of film and extra batteries do you need? Enough to fill a bag and a vest? Gilden pulls the vest off better then I can, that is for sure.