Notes : Daniel Ridings

May 19, 2007

James Ravilious : A world in photographs

Filed under: photographer,Photography,publications — at 4:23 am

Tom Fenwick, a quiet member of the Leica Users’ Group and Rolleiusers, tipped me about an English photographer that I had not heard of. We were talking about older lenses and techniques to keep them in line (using a lens shade, basically).

The English photographer was James Ravilious, who died in 1999. For about two decades Ravilious devoted his time to documenting a disappearing form of rural life, the small farmer, around Devon. He developed a very characteristic style of low contrast, detailed photography, all in black and white. One of his techniques was to use old uncoated Leica lenses, well shaded.

I visit his web site, James Ravilious fairly often and under publications I ran across a DVD that has been made by banyak films, narrated by Alan Bennett.

It is a fascinating film about Ravilious. The people he took pictures of are revisited and they reflect back on his visits, many times taking their departure point from a photograph he had taken of them, their barns or their fields.

I recommend it highly. You can order it from Banyak.

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