As a keen photographer, I am interested in the work of others. On my shelf, is a book I often glance through which details the techniques used by the world’s greatest photographers. Among my favourites are, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bill Brandt and Ansel Adams. However, none of those catch my eye more than the work of David Bailey.
Bailey started photographing for British Vogue in 1960 and he shot his first Vogue cover with Jean Shrimpton in 1961. HIs pictures were stark, simple and dramatic in contrast to the stylised fashion photographs that came before him. Bailey became famous for using a plain white paper background to remove any distraction from the character of his subject.
Now, fifty years on, Bailey has been given free reign to host an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. In it there are over 250 pictures ranging from his early work to later photos of his wife. The exhibition also includes those taken on his trips to Papua New Guinea, Sudan, India and Australia along with his series of pictures taken in London’s East End bars and clubs.
I won’t be in Britain to visit the exhibition but I may be able to pick up the book which accompanies it.