NYTimes Magazine Gingrich Cover

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Well, Isn’t that interesting.

gingrich-krupp

From Karl Baden http://www.CoveringPhotography.com

There Are 73 Comments On This Article.

  1. il cinemasista

    I saw a documentary of some variety about that Alfred Krupp image. I believe it may have been part of the Photography series on Ovation TV.

    The symmetry of Krupp’s face is hard to look at. Almost dizzying like a hall of mirrors or some shit?

  2. The message these two iamges get across is very dfferent. I don’t see the similarity between Newman’s portrait of Krupp and Parry’s portrait of Gingrinch beyond both men claspin their hands together.
    Major differences:

    1) The lighting.

    2) The expressions.

    3) The settings

    4) Newman’s use of color for story telling effect

    4) The choice of lens and point of view. Newman’s use of a moderate wide angle on a 4×5 camera makes use of the distortion caused by shifting the lens downward, while necessary for keeping the columns vertical in his composition , also subtly distorts Krupp’s expression in a rictus of evil , combined with the effect of the dramatic cross lighting , gets Newman’s point across about Krupp’s malevolence.

    Newman’s portrait is a distinctly non-ambivalent point 0f view of Krupp While Parry’s conveys an ambivalence about Gingrich.

    If you don’t know who Alfred Krupp and Newman were, here’s the short version : long time German industrialist and arms maker and Nazi supporter who was unrepentant about using slave labor supplied from concentration camps in his factories during WWII. Newman of course was Jewish, and an ardent supporter of Israel from before it’s founding.

    More context: The day before the Krupp portrait, Newman who is credited with the founding of the idea of the environmental editorial portrait, had photographed Anne Frank’s father in the attic where the Frank family hid before being ratted out to the Nazis. It was the first time Mr. Frank had returned to the attic made famous by the publication of his daughter’s diary. In the early 1960s the full scope of what the Nazis had done to European Jews and other political and ethnic minorities was just starting to be generally known and discussed. In Newman’s portrait Krupp’s glower there is an echo of Alfred Eisenstadt’s 1933 portrait of Joseph Goebbels ( http://tinyurl.com/Eisenstadt-Goebbels ).

    In Parry’s handsome monochromatic portrait of Gingrich there is a little bit of something for everyone to take away and feel plesed with how their already set pro or con opinion of former Representative Gingrich is reinforced.

    • @Ellis Vener,

      If they anyone reading this blog doesn’t know who Alfred Krupp or Arnold Newman were, then shame on them.

    • Andre Friedmann

      @Ellis Vener,

      Thanks, Ellis Vener, for the clear writing stuffed full of facts. Thanks for looking carefully at the photographs, for figuring out how they’re lit, for the differences in vantage point and in angle of view. Newman was particularly cruel when he came in close with a wide-angle lens, leveled the camera, and dropped the front standard (or raised the back), pulling Krupp’s chin downward. The character actress Margaret Hamilton wore putty on her chin when playing the Wicked Witch. Newman did it with a camera movement.

      Gratefully,
      Andre Friedmann

    • robyn lange

      @Ellis Vener,

      You’re absolutely right in regards to the emotional aspect of Arnold’s photo. He went into that portrait with a very clear idea of how he wanted to represent Krupp. I always wondered why Krupp would have allowed a well known Jewish photographer to take his portrait…how did he not see that outcome from a mile away?

  3. check out the outline of Krup’s nose how it matches his mouth -fabulous recognition by Newman -brilliant, tantalising, rich. I’ve never seen this portrait before -a new fave.

    • @jean-marie,

      yeah, the only similarity is the hands and i’d consider that a stock hand clasp.

  4. I doubt Parry had the foresight or the gall to copy Newman’s Krupp shot. However, politically motivated writers, editors, and art directors probably pulled Newman’s shot for “inspiration” to convey their point of view. If that is the case, Parry nails it perfectly. He knows how to follow art direction. The “horns” stemming from Newt’s eyes is a wonderful touch. Parry portrays Gingrich to fit a certain story, politic, and headline. I wonder how the public would feel if Obama had been photographed with slide lighting slightly shooting upwards. Might peoples opinions have changed? Would there be an uproar.

    Gingrich never should have signed off on this. Eeventually the photo industry will begin to suffer more and more as subjects will not fall for this type of Jill Greenburgish manipulation.

    • @mark,
      “Gingrich never should have signed off on this.’
      What makes you think the NYT lets subjects have editorial control over their content? It isn’t US magazine after all.

      Besides that I suspect there are plenty in Newt’s camp who love the photo.

      • @Ellis Vener,

        any celeb worth their weight have major control over the images that are shot…pr people, agents, etc… Politicians should accept this type of action when it comes down to editorial content or they will end up Greensburged.

  5. I dont get it.

    Looks like a pretty standard studio shot for a book cover or something. And more importantly, Newt hardly comes off as a diabolical individual the way Krupp does.

    • @shahn, what you’re missing is that it was shot by a well known photographer who is praised by famous photo editors. that makes it 100x better than if you or i had shot the same image with the same simple lighting scheme.

      (not hating on Parry. i like his work)

  6. I wouldn’t consider this a knock off…. this portrait has been done a million times. It has been done by master photographers as well as high school students. The only similarity is that their hands are in the same position and they are both half smiling, but other than that they are vastly different.

  7. mark’s comment [#9} is the one i feel most accurately reflects my motivation in comparing the two photographs.
    assuming one image is meant to be a knockoff of the other is looking at them much too literally. i put them together after seeing parry’s, being reminded of newman’s, and wondering what it was about that sort of a pose which conveyed a feeling of evil. yes, the newman picture came to mind, but also the archetype of cinema villain, hands clasped. in parry’s portrait of gingrich, the lighting is much softer, but i’d argue it’s still there, especially around the brow [obviously, parry, whether conscious of the older image or not, could never get away with newman’s krupp lighting; newman couldn’t even get away with it – he had to leave the country immediately afterward]. in any case, nitpicking about how precisely the lighting matches, or whether parry had newman’s portrait consciously in mind is incidental.
    perhaps this online version of an exhibition i put together recently can clarify the spirit of my intent to some degree:

    http://www.bplshow.blogspot.com

    if not, well, thats what makes horse racing [and many blog posts!]

    thanks,
    karl baden

  8. Pat Morrissey

    The lighting is so different in design and intent.

    Krupps = 2 lights right and left low
    Makes a sinister image.

    Gringer = one keylight above and slightly camera right. Maybe some on-axis fill.
    Makes for a powershot.

  9. Please!
    There are always photos that can be compared but this is no copy.
    That particular pose is not original to Arnold Newman.
    Debra Weiss is right that readers should view the work of Arnold Newman .
    Brilliant body of work.

  10. Kathleen Clark

    And then there’s Platon… or you could simply recall the fact that that simple pose is one that most humans fall into on occasion.

  11. @ debra and ellis:
    I don’t feel ashamed for not knowing about Krupp and Newman, but I am grateful that Ellis saved me a trip to wikipedia. Interesting story, but I have to agree that there’s really nothing to say about a rip off.

    • Debra Weiss

      @Annabel Clark,

      I would suggest you find more credible sources than Wikipedia. I would also suggest that if you are serious about being a photographer you might want to expend enough energy to learn not only about Newman, but many, many others.

      • @Debra Weiss, Not so much the photographers, but their work. It’s ok to be absorbed with beautiful images and not know who shot them.

        “The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer.” – Gordon Parks.

        • I sometimes forget that sarcasm doesn’t come through online. I do get my information from a lot more credible sources than wikipedia, I promise! I was only trying to point out that Newman’s image is not necessarily familiar to everyone, and there should be no shame in that. It was not familiar to me, but I was interested to learn more about it thanks to Ellis’ back story. That’s all. As for my seriousness about being a photographer…well…I don’t feel that discussion has any business being on this thread, so I’ll leave it alone.

  12. Rudolf Bekker

    Why post this?
    Hands similar, sure.
    Everything else different
    – color,b/w
    – different lens, background etc

    • romel gelito

      @Rudolf Bekker,hi rudolp its me andrew gelito from philippines do u remember me.

  13. Newt does look slightly demonic, leading me to see a correlation to the evil aspect portrayed in Newman’s image. Maybe it’s the eyebrows, maybe the way the light is lightly toppy, allowing a tinge of trapped shadows in his eyes. Either way, sure, you can argue they are different, but it’s the feeling… I get a similar feeling from both images.

    Granted, that could be because whenever I look at Newt, I see a demon– regardless of the lighting ; )

    chirp.

  14. These two pictures have absolutely nothing in common. I don’t believe that Nigel Parry thought that deeply about it. It’s a B&W portrait of a once relevant American political figure with his hands folded.

    Newman’s picture is a portrait of an severely morally dubious capitalist industrialist, in his factory, taken in the still open wound years following the end of WW2.

    AK was a German industrialist who took full advantage of the availability of slave labour throughout the duration of the Nazi party’s reign in Germany. The legacy of Krupp’s use of that slave labour is still alive today. Next time you step onto an escalator anywhere in modern Europe you might take care to look at the logo of the company that made it.

    Does anyone seriously believe that the actions of Gingrich & Krupp are comparable? That shutting down the Federal Government once for 3 days is the same as willfully complying with the use of slave labour for one’s own economic and personal ends?

    The fact that these 2 pictures are being compared here says more about certain people’s wish to project ideological and political leanings onto the NY Times, Parry & Gingrich and generate some sort of media conflict. Not really the same as working several thousand peoples’ fingers to the literal bone I don’t think.

    Love Newman’s picture though. He/It was a big inspiration in my late teens and I haven’t seen it for years. Nice one Rob for giving it some air.

    • karl baden

      @chris floyd,
      yes chris you are exactly right! amazingly you have hit the nail squarely on it’s head! how did you ever guess that posting this comparison was my diabolical attempt “to project ideological and political leanings onto the NY Times, Parry & Gingrich and generate some sort of media conflict.”
      would love to chat more but afraid i’m due back at the commune; it’s my turn to lead the study group for my comrades.
      as i suggested in my previous post, one may get a better notion of where i’m coming from by visiting
      http://www.bplshow.blogspot.com
      even you, if you are able to remove your rhetorical blinders, may be able to see that my interest in this stuff has absolutely nothing to do with what you are reading into it.

      • @karl baden,
        Karl, sorry but my comments weren’t aimed at your original posting, more at some of the comments on here. The known actions of Krupp during the war give Newman’s picture it’s weight and impact. By today’s standards it’s heavy handed. Gingrich, to the best of my knowledge, has not engaged in the exploitation of slave labour, or anything else of such depravity. By drawing on the Newman picture for comparison there is an inherent implication, whether you believe this to be the case or not, that Gingrich is complicit in acts of equal or equivalent outrage. But perhaps you or your comrades down at the commune know something about him that I don’t.

  15. Similar? Maybe. Both images do have a “bring it on” attitude.

    I agree with Ellis. Newt probably loves the photo. He’s the last person on the planet who’s afraid the NY Times.

  16. The history of photography proves that, “it’s all been done before.” Every time I believe I’ve created something original, I realize Yousuf Karsh did the same thing 50 years earlier. And it amazes me how many inexperienced photographers believe the ringflash was invented last year!

  17. http://skrebneskiphotographs.com/portrait_2.html

    In my opinion, the shot of the Gingrich by Nigel Parry is more in the style of Skrebneski than Newman but I’m curtain there are influences from both.

    Parry’s high contrast b&w approach to Gingrich is not new by any stretch which goes to show that a classic approach can still be received with some controversy.

    And I agree with Debra W. – those who don’t know who Newman, Skrebneski, Penn, or others have some studying to do.

  18. HK Photo Editor

    These two images are nowhere near similar. Different lighting entirely….Why are these even being compared?

  19. Alfred Krupp portrait is really a class apart.
    Is one of the most interesting portraits I have ever seen.
    I obvious that this kind of picture remains in our memory.

  20. I don’t get it.

    Everybody here is obsessing about the technique – the pose, the lighting, the lens, blah blah blah, and although these factors are important, the most important thing, which is being overlooked, is the subject of the photos.

    My point here is that, sure, the pose has been done before and the lighting isn’t the same and the location isn’t the same and so on, but neither portrait would have any power if it were a different person sitting in front of the camera. My 2¢ is that I’m sure Nigel Parry was aware of the Arnold Newman photo, and I am guessing from the inference that he’s not a big fan of Newt, so he made a visual reference to it. There’s very little truly original work and it’s done all the time so I don’t get what the hubbub is about.

  21. Photog EB

    Really?

    The ONLY element that is similar is the pose.
    ( and if you think otherwise , ask a professional photographer to explain lighting to you.. )

    And what portrait artist has’nt used that pose ?

    Come on people… REALLY?!

  22. Dear Rob,
    How do I get a job shooting standard poses with standard studio lighting of famous people for the cover of the NYT Magazine?

    Yours,
    A Perpetual Assistant.

      • @dude,
        1) get a sense of humor.
        2) get a sense of sarcasm.
        3) read the posts where assistants keep asking Rob for advice instead of getting out there and getting the job done.
        4) have a nice day.

  23. I don’t think Arnold Newman “coined” that pose. And really the lighting…not at all the same. It’s just a photograph that both are shot well…end of story.

  24. I have seen this pose a million times. Have even shot it myself. Hell I’ve even seen a guy in exactly this pose the other day right at a restaurant table besides me.

    I think about sueing him now because after all I know for sure I have shot this pose before he copied it – sucker!

  25. Its not a knockoff, its just the same concept. Uplighting a subject like this conveys ominousness, dare I say evil and nefariousness. Photo EB and HK Photo Editor, I’m a professional photographer and I’ll explain it to you, its not the pose, its the lighting that makes these images. HK Photo Editor, you’re a photo editor and you don’t know its the same lighting? The point is to have dark shadows in the eyes. The concept or lighting approach has been used countless times before. Seems appropriate for both of these subjects.

    • HK Photo Editor

      @Scott Lessing Hubene, May I suggest that you re-fresh your understanding of basic lighting techniques. http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html. Oh wait, nevermind. Your site shows fine examples of having mastered lighting already, please disregard my above statement. *hint the sarcasm* Best of luck to your study’s. Cheers.

    • Photog EB

      @Scott Lessing Hubene,

      Just to be clear. The B&W image has the light coming from above, and the color image has 2 different light coming from the sides. Very different effects.

      You refer to “uplighting”… doesnt that mean lighting from below? And not represented in either photographs…?

      just trying to get your point…

  26. It’s the subtle use of lighting that made me realize a photographer is using his head to make a statement and a great image. He choose not to place a main highlight in the eyes thus creating that deep black “snake in the grass” feeling. Now can you smile when Nigel says cheese. Brilliant!

  27. I don’t know if the left image is a rip-off.

    But in general I’m with ‘dude’ (post # 29).
    It isn’t important if the images compared are identical pixel by pixel, color or b/w , lighting …
    Although I have to state that the lighting in Krupp’s portrait (causes the evil look) is a major factor …

    To agree with dude … It’s the basic idea (assuming there is one *g) of the image that counts, imho …

    For example:
    – if you ‘redo’ Da Vinci’s last supper in black and white … is it based on the same idea ? (in my opinion: yes)
    if you use other ‘models’ (of course you would have to do so*g) .. do both sujets still share the same idea (again, in my opinion: yes)
    etc, etc …
    I would agree such a copy is plagiism.

    But, of course – I could be wrong … just one opinion.

    I guess who’s right and who’s not depends mainly on the gun (the lawyer) you are able to hire :-)

    I could supply you with two far ‘better’ and far more identical samples of plagiism.
    But I’ve agreed to keep still with the lawyer of the (self called) international-top-star-photographer who copied one of my images for commercial work.
    At present I don’t have the time (and nerves) to go through a law-suit for the next years. Especially on a very ‘greyish’ theme.
    At least I know now that he’s just a ‘fake’ who lacks on own ideas …

    Anyway .. cheers,
    Reini

  28. This one is for you guys who are nearer the start of their careers.

    One of the hardest things to do in a formal portrait, whether a photograph , a drawing or a painting is answering the question: what do you do with the sitter’s hands?

    It is a question with at least three aspects: How will a gesture be read on the emotional level; what is the cultural symbolism of the gesture (which also ties in to the emotive question); and finally how does the position of the hand or hands work as a graphic element in the composition.

    Irving Penn and Richard Avedon tackle the issue better than most portrait photographers; Greg Heisler, Annie Leibovitz, and Mark Seliger do it well too.

    Try this experiment sit in front of a large mirror for a good half hour and try different poses with your hands in different positions, making different gestures. Think of yourself as a character in a story. What messages do your poses and gestures convey?

  29. No big deal, just a coincidence. I highly doubt Perry was trying to mimick a 45 year old portrait. This similar pose and lighting setup has been used many times over, both before and after Newman’s.

    Next thing you know, someone will try another portrait with a softbox at 30 degrees camera right, with the subject smiling. Egads!

  30. Thanks for posting the link to ‘Covering Photography.’ I’ve never seen that site before, and it’s just fascinating.