Salute the Grain; The Passing of Peter Lindbergh

It was announced today that b&w fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh has passed away at age 74.

I’ll leave the detailed articles of his storied career for the big publications to cover and encourage all portrait shooters to seek them out!  But speaking as a grainy black and white film photographer, I wanted to share some thoughts from Lindbergh with which my work is strongly aligned in principle.

Here’s a quote from Through the Lens with Peter Lindbergh by David Lipke, 2013

“”The intense process of digitally retouching fashion images, a practice Lindbergh finds distasteful, is another more recent twist.

“It makes people tempted to erase every sign of life in the face,” he observed. “People say it makes a woman dream of perfection. I say that’s not a dream, that’s a nightmare. When you look in the mirror now, you feel like an old potato, even if you look great.”

Lindbergh himself shoots with a digital camera — there’s no choice in today’s age, he said — but he uses Photoshop to add graininess to his images, rather than delete imperfections, so that they resemble film. “It makes it look much more human. More soulful,” he explained.””


(Photograph of Linda Evangelista by Peter Lindbergh)

In 2014, Lindbergh challenged us in Interview “This should be the responsibility of photographers today: to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection,”

Thank you to all you’ve created Mr. Lindbergh, your philosophies and wonderful moments will not be forgotten.  And your practices will continue to be practiced!