Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

By coincidence I was about to post these two images under another topic but conveniently they seem to fit this week’s photo challenge.  During the week I watched the BBC Imagine story of Vivian Maier, the nanny and amateur photographer whose prodigious talent was only recognised after her death in 2007.  Predominantly she photographed the streets of Chicago and New York in the 1950s and 1960s leaving a precious archive of more than 100,000 negatives which were only saved from oblivion quite by accident.  The photographs are a delight and surprisingly, they were all shot on a twin lens 120 roll film Rolleiflex, a less than discreet device which would have demanded a close-up relationship between subject and photographer on some very mean streets; not something I would like to attempt unless I was relaxed about losing some teeth.  These two examples are not intended for comparison with Vivian’s much superior work but they do demonstrate how close I was prepared to get on the 1970s back streets of Dundee with a similar camera – a twin lens Mamiyaflex.  Vivian would work from about three feet for some of her street subjects – I only felt comfortable at something like thirty.  Cartier-Bresson worked with a Leica 35mm for good reasons.

Dundee 1977Dundee 1977(click on the images to enlarge)