A concise round-up of new product updates, international snippets and other interesting stuff from the wonderful world of photography: Luther Cora: the people’s champion… Hollywood photographer, Douglas Kirkland, passes away…
Luther Cora: the people’s champion
Aboriginal Australian photographer, Luther Cora, has won the 2022 National Photographic Portrait Prize (NPPP) People’s Choice Award for his photo, Flora and Fauna, Giara: White Cockatoo.
The picture was captured at Cora’s makeshift home studio during the Covid-19 lockdown, and the subject is his daughter.
‘I decided to try and create a floral headdress with native flowers. This triggered me to think, are we Indigenous First Nations people still classed as Flora and Fauna? Do we still have policies or Government acts in place that we fall into or come under like our old people did?’
Cora comes from the Bungarre family of the Yugumbeh language group of the Bundjalung nation, which is in the Gold Coast/Tweed area. While he’s been an amateur photographer for many years, primarily aiming his camera on his family, he was encouraged to start taking photography seriously during Covid.
‘I really only started calling myself a photographer last year some time. I was too ashamed to call myself [a photographer] – I said “I do photography, but I’m not a photographer”. People just encouraged me to do more work, and someone encouraged me to enter this’.
As the prize title suggests, Cora’s image won a majority of the public’s vote from the pool of 50 NPPP finalist images, which feature in a National Portrait Gallery exhibition.
The three top prize winning images in the contest all feature indigenous Australians, with Aboriginal photographer, Wayne Quilliam, winning the grand prize for his portrait of Aurukun man Eric Yunkaporta, Silent Strength 2021; and Melbourne-based commercial photographer, Adam Haddrick, winning the Art Handlers’ Award for his portrait, Cordy in the Clouds.
Hollywood photographer, Douglas Kirkland, passes away
A giant of American contemporary photography, Douglas Kirkland, who made his career in Hollywood as a pioneer of cinema photography, has died at age 88.
Kirkland was well-known for shooting celebrities and stars. Although ‘many of his images are not simply famous of famous people, they have come to embody the subjects of his photographs themselves,’ writes Jeff Dunas, Director of the Palm Springs Photo Festival, in an obituary.
‘Who hasn’t seen the unforgettable images of Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Coco Channel, Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Deitrich, Kathryn Hepburn, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Ann-Margret, Natalie Wood, Catherine Deneuve as well as contemporary stars Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, and hundreds of others? Who could forget his pictures of Charlie Chaplin, Peter O’Toole, Paul Newman, Marcello Mastroianni, Michael Caine, Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio; musicians Frank Sinatra, Mick Jagger, Bjork, Michael Jackson and so many more, all in their prime and all by the number one photographer on the speed dials of editors and publishers, movie producers, museum and gallery curators and advertising agencies throughout the world?
The sheer number of talented and remarkable public figures to have stepped before his camera is very possibly unparalleled in the medium of photography.’
Kirkland’s name features in over 100 film credits, such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Sound of Music, Saturday Night Fever, Alien, The Jerk, Crocodile Dundee, Titanic, The Great Gatsby, and many others.
His first ‘big break’ was in 1961, photographing Marilyn Monroe in for Look magazine.
Kirkland leaves behind his wife, Françoise, his son and caughters, Mark, Karen, and Lisa, along with several grandchildren.