A story on NPR that I read recently featured Editta Sherman. She died on November 7th at age 101.
“She had a giant Kodak 8×10 view camera on wheels — it looked like a person itself. The aperture holes …were cut out of a piece of cardboard and she’d slip them in and out of the lens by hand. There was really nothing at all technical or automatic about it. In fact, it just tells you how she took those pictures — she was an intuitive type of photographer. She’d squeeze a little red bulb and that would release the shutter. But more than that, more than any of those low-tech things it was really her personality that really animated the subjects, they responded to, and really make those portraits come alive and be so wonderful as they are.”
Though I didn’t know her, she seemed like a fun and lively lady who really knew her way around not only cameras, but the subjects she captured. We should all strive to be so young and magical at heart.
“I think it was mutual. When they saw her she was always dressed up. When I’ve seen her photograph sessions it was almost like a choreographed dance. She’d sort of dance around the camera, she’d give directions, and the subjects would just come alive for her.”