The Ol’ Gunslinger

In April 2011 I was fortunate enough to win a ticket to the ‘World Photography Festival and Sony World Photography Awards Exhibitions’ at Somerset House, London, thanks to ‘The British Journal of Photography’.I arrived on the opening morning expecting to collect my ticket, but was in fact too early, and was told to call back at 14.00hrs. As luck would have it, there was a rather kind press officer (sorry I didn’t get your name – blue dress) who took my name and gave me access with the photographic press.

It was a rare treat to be shown the exhibition with press members and receive detailed information about various images and categories.

At around lunchtime we were invited to into the rooms where the work of Magnum photographer Bruce Davidson was being shown as An Outstanding Contribution To Photography.

Curator Simon Baker and Bruce Davidson gave a very interesting talk on Bruce’s work and about his life, a real insight into the highs and lows, and behind the scenes look at so many images and the characters associated with them.

After a Q&A, people dispersed to have a more in-depth study of his exhibition, so I took the opportunity to approach Bruce and mentioned that throughout the talk and Q&A he always seemed to be reaching for, resting on or slightly changing the position of the Leica over his shoulder, to which he replied “Just like an ol’ gunslinger?”.

At my request, he was more than happy to pose with his hand on his Leica, just as I’d been observing.

Image copyright - Stephen Fell

Image copyright - Stephen Fell

Rangefinders are relatively new to me, having owned my Leica for 20 months, and by the time I’d squatted down to make my composition he’d rattled off a couple of shots of me, and his Leica was back by his side.

Just like a seasoned Gunslinger.


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  1. #1 by Alastair Ross on July 18, 2011 - 9:52 PM

    Sounds like you had a good day out all round.

    Very nice shots Steve, I particularly like your use of Depth of Field on the 2nd shot.

  2. #2 by stephenfell on July 19, 2011 - 4:44 PM

    Thanks for the comment Alastair. It was a very enjoyable day and a good chance to see work up close without the crowds. I’m glad you appreciate the DoF usage too, I do prefer shooting with a shallower depth of field.

  3. #3 by SCOTTEVEST on July 22, 2011 - 4:01 PM

    Stephen! These are great pictures and an amazing story. Looks like he is wearing a SCOTTEVEST Essential Travel Jacket. We would love to get a copy of these for our catalog and social media pages! If you don’t mind sending us a copy we would be delighted!

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