Tuesday, April 07, 2009

this is a perfect photograph

Video: Visual Acoustics trailer, a documentary about the architectural photographer Julius Shulman

a found poem

this is a perfect photograph
and if I went back
with an eight by ten
or a four by five

I could never have done it as well
as I did then.

It's not the camera
(I remember exclaiming)
it's the composition.

I pointed out how the windswept tree
the tip of the tree
the most remote area of the tree

was hanging down
close to the ground

but it seemed to be pointing
to a curved row of trees
in an orchard
way in the distance

it made a perfect "S" curve
in the composition

(and I said)

There's nothing you could change about this picture.

What Julius Shulman said to "the man in charge, the host on the Groucho Marx show. I always forget his name, but it's not important now." when the host looked at a Shulman photo from 1933 (sometime after that) and asked him: "If you went back there today, could you do it better, since this was taken apparently with your Vest Pocket Kodak?"

As recounted to Taina Rikala De Noreiga at Shulman's home in Hollywood Hills in 1990 and cited in Julius Shulman interview, 1990 Jan. 12 - Feb. 3, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

More Julius Shulman at:
The Getty »
The Fisher Gallery, USC »

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