Thursday, 18 December 2008

Terry O'Neill's best shot

The Guardian asks famous photographers what is their best shot and why. This is where I got the story on Platon's shot of Poutine (3 or 4 posts ago). This morning, the paper asked Terry O'Neill the same question. Here is the picture and his explanation. And I have to agree with him, Brigitte Bardot is (or should I say was...) quite stunning. And the picture is sexy. Anyhow, here is O'Neill's story :

«Famous people are normal. Even Frank Sinatra, who I worked with a lot, was normal. They've got faults like anyone else. But it's better if you don't get into that – you can watch from afar.

I had been hired to get publicity images from the set of The Legend of Frenchie King, a film Brigitte Bardot was doing in Spain with Claudia Cardinale. I had photographed Brigitte before, although we never really became friends. She didn't try to speak English, so she kept up this barrier between us. She was always involved with some guy, which seemed to take over her whole life. Even so, she had a stature and a presence that were extraordinary. I was drunk on how stunning she was.

I found a spot some distance away from her. The wind was blowing, and she had a cigar as part of a scene. I was surrounded by hundreds of people, and was praying they didn't move or jostle me, as I had this perfect composition. I just wanted the wind to blow once more – and it did. Then everyone started pushing and shoving and I lost the place – but I knew I had that frame. It was a picture in a million.

The shot was published in every major magazine around the world, often as a cover. Then it became a popular poster, although I don't know if Brigitte ever saw it. I'm often in St Tropez . One day I'll take a signed print down and give it to her.»


Francois said...

Je trouve toujours intéressant de connaître le comment du pourquoi d'une photo ou d'un tableau.
Ça ajoute à la compréhension de l'oeuvre et à celle de l'artiste.

Le zèbre bleu said...

Oui. Et souvent, les histoires sont plus intéressantes que les photos. Et alors, une fois qu'on connait l'histoire, la photo prend encore plus d'intérêt.

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