For this assignment I chose Elliot Erwitt who was born in France 1928 and lived most of his life in the states. He is known for his sophisticated and humorously black & white photos. Erwitt has done a wide variety of work in his life including feature films, television commercials, documentary films, print advertisements, fashion photography, celebrity portraits, children and much more. What I love about Elliott Erwitt is how most of his photographs tell a story without any words. His photographs are not only nice to look at but really make you think, or laugh, or just get some kind of reaction.
In Erwitt’s life he used a large variety of camera, which isn’t surprising since he shot photos for over half a century. After reasearching it seems he has used a IIIF, then a IIIG with 50mm, a Leica M3 with a 50mm or 90mm, a Leica M6 with 50mm, Leica RF, Contax G2 with the Sonnar 45mm f2.0 and the Sonnar 90mm f2.8, 50mm Summicron f2 collapsible. A large case full of almost the complete line of Canon F-1, lens from 16mm to 300mm, multiple bodies, motors, prisms, etc., and recently a Canon EOS. Though it seems the Leica M3 was the one he used the most for his most popular black and white shots.
For personal work with film he has stated he used Kodak Tri-X developed in D-76 and for the commercial work medium and large format, colour film, slides. Kodak Tri-X is a black and white film with finer grain and increased sharpness. Kodak D-76 developer provides ourstanding shadow detail with normal contrast and produces fine grain.
Most of Erwitt’s shots have a humorous yet classy style to them. Erwitt’s photos show many of the rules of photography that we learn in of our classes at Prairie View. Things like interesting depth of field, rule of thirds, natural framing, line and much more. I think Elliot Erwitt’s work is strong, and interesting. I appreciate how he searches through everyday life and uses his skill and creativity to turn simple moments it into art. I believe the technical choices Erwit makes when taking photos show his skill and experience. He is someone I can look to for inspiration.