Irving Penn’s ‘New Guinea’ Photos
Irving Penn, the famous American fashion photographer and portraiture, passed away early this month aged 92 years old. Penn was a master of the studio flash and most of his portraits are lit with window light. When he travelled to New Guinea in 1970 to photograph some of our people, Penn created a portable studio with a skylight deployed facing north with impressive results. These pictures had the same feel as his portraits of celebrities; fully adorned, naturally lit, yet placed before the neutral backdrop, his tribal subjects appear as strangely defined models for a 19th-century ethnographic investigation.
I thought I’d include two of his photographs now famous around the world: