Author Archives: Tara Godvin

‘Barbarella’ at 45: David Hurn’s Iconic Images of Jane Fonda

A member of Magnum since 1965, David Hurn had been photographing behind the scenes on films for years in the 1960sincluding the Beatles’A Hard Day’s Nightand the first four James Bond filmswhen he was asked to take pictures for the 1968 sci-fi cult classic Barbarella.

Forty-five years after snapping the enduring images of the film’s daring star, Jane Fonda, the photos continue to send their legendary photographer checks in the mail and thus fund his ongoing project documenting the changing lives and landscapes of his home country of Wales.

During production in 1967 in Rome, however, Fonda had become a challenge for photographers, rejecting so many frames that few were left to promote the film in magazines, Hurn said.Once he got on set, he discovered the famously beautiful Fonda was insecure about her looks.”She actually said to me, ‘I feel like a squirrel with one cheek full of nuts, … Anyway I managed to get her to laugh a lot and we then became very good friends,” he said.

Hurn exposed about 500 rolls of film over the course of a month.His most published images from the assignment were a fashion-inspired series of Fonda in her costumes against a white background. A dedicated and agile athlete long before her fame as a workout guru, Fonda was a natural at the kicks, squats and stretches Hurn captured.

At about 6 o’clock in the morning there’d she be cavorting around with a foot behind her neck sort of thing. So it was comparatively easy to do shots of her in the various costumes with very exaggerated poses and things which was exactly right for what was after all a comic strip, Hurn said.

The photographer enjoyed his time on Barbarella and felt well-treated by the director, Fonda’s husband, Roger Vadim, but the project was not without its annoyances and hiccups. For one,Hurn grew tired of Vadim and his entourage talking about free love.”It seems to me if you want to get your pants off, get your pants off, but not try to justify it by some theory, you know,” Hurn said.And then, a week into the gig Hurn’s cameras, including Leicas, were stolen. They reappeared two days later, however, replaced in a secret act of generosity by Fonda.

Hurn remained friends with Fonda after Barbarella, photographing her at her country house, her and Vadim’s next film Spirits of the Dead and later director Joseph Losey’s A Doll’s House in 1972.

Today Hurn, who is also a renown educator, is at work on several projects including a third book about Wales, where he’s been living and photographing since leaving behind the expensive glamor of London in 1970. He’s planning a project detailing life in his 400-person village for his final five years. But he’s not rushing into it.

I have had a blissful life, he said. I always puzzle when people sort of grumble about their lives. article writing submission . I really, really enjoyed my life and I’m clinging on desperately. They’re going to have to really drag me! I think life’s so pleasant and can be so funny, so, so funny.

Men in Black: The Secret Service Photographed by Christopher Morris

Men in dark suits stand in strange places—still, emotionless and focused against a backdrop of an urban garage, an airfield, a tall splash of dead marsh grass. The U.S. Secret Service agents of Christopher Morris’ photographs seem like ethereal beings—possibly of the vengeful variety—fallen to earth.

“I call them ‘men in black,’” said Morris, a contract photographer for TIME since 1990 (focused on politics since 2000) whose career has included everything from capturing the war in Chechnya and the designs of Chanel.

“If you’re assigned to the President, to me it’s one man in a suit and if you do this very long, it gets a little old. So it’s nice to turn away your camera from the President and look at what’s around him. And the Secret Service detail, it’s quite intriguing actually,” Morris said.

The intrigue around these agents tasked with protecting the nation’s leaders has grown in recent weeks to include a major sex scandal. More than half a dozen officers have been pushed out of the agency since the news broke over 12 agents allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, during a mission to prepare the Caribbean city for a visit from President Barack Obama.

Morris said such behavior would be unimaginable for the elite cadre of agents he has encountered among the presidents’ immediate security detail, whose nearly every moment is consumed by the job.

For Morris and other White House photographers, there’s also a distinct advantage to this group of agents’ singular devotion to security. They make good subjects to photograph.

In slide nine, an agent traveling with President George W. Bush in 2004 mutely stares ahead sweating in a hot room, zeroed in on his task, unable to acknowledge Morris and the multiple clicks of his shutter.

“If I see a business man on the street, I can’t approach him with a camera and start photographing him without causing him to react a certain way, ” Morris said. “With the Secret Service they maintain their posture, they maintain their pose.”

Christopher Morris is a contract photographer for TIME and represented by VII. See more of his work here

Vacationland: Rural Maine Chronicled in the Photography of Steven Rubin

Twenty-five years old with a single camera body and lens in hand, Steven Rubin hitched a ride in 1982 to rural Somerset County in northwestern Maine and embarked on a project that would continue for more than 30 years.

Now a selection of the images Rubin captured during his decades-long project in this little-visited region of the U.S. will soon get a rare showing in Los Angeles. “Vacationland” goes up at the drkrm gallery from April 28 through May 26.

A graduate from Reed College with a degree in sociology, Rubin had originally come out to the East Coast from Oregon to enroll at the then Maine Photographic Workshops (now the Maine Media Workshops) in Rockport. After documenting the effects of the early 1980s recession on families nearby, he wanted to see how the economic downturn was being handled by locals far from the highways, historic lighthouses and second homes of the Maine coast. On a tip from a friend, Rubin headed inland and settled upon an abandoned shack as his home base and a schedule of hitching four to eight hours between the countryside to take pictures and Rockport to develop them.

Taking prints back to his subjects as a thank-you for their time and trust, Rubin was eventually let into the lives of local families—as well as some of their homes to crash on floors and couches—as he continued his work throughout Central Maine.

What he has witnessed is a part of the country largely unbuffeted by the usual economic ups and downs seen elsewhere. For many in the area times are always tough. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, per capita income has been increasing in Somerset County but has ranked at or near the bottom among Maine’s 16 counties throughout the many years of Rubin’s project. Residents get by through resourcefully cobbling together seasonal and part-time jobs, hunting, fix-it know-how and the support of their communities.

“When I met some of these families, I was completely in awe of them in many ways,” said Rubin, now an assistant professor of art in the Photography Program at Penn State University. “I think as an outsider and someone who didn’t have the background that they did, I was really quite taken by how they survived, by their strength, by their resourcefulness.”

Rubin sought to avoid the stereotypes of people broken by their struggles or heroically pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. Influenced not only by legendary photographer Dorothea Lange but also anthropologist Clifford Geertz, Rubin aimed at creating a body of work that functioned as a “thick description,” a finely detailed document for understanding the context of human actions. Achieving that goal required time.

Since 1982, Rubin has returned to this project 10 times to capture daily rhythms and rituals and how the people he’d come to know changed, grew up, forged intense family bonds and frequently returned home despite finding good jobs elsewhere.

“I think so many of us—who move around different parts of the country, different parts of the world—we spend a lot of our lives looking for that sense of community. And these people have it,” Rubin said.

He’s planning to return again this summer to Maine, this time possibly shooting digitally rather than on his trusty Kodak Tri-X.

Steven Rubin’s photography has appeared in magazines including National Geographic, The New York Times, Stern and TIME. The series is on display at drkrm in Los Angeles, April 28 – May 26.