Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Wikimedia)

Film

Exploring the photography of Stanley Kubrick

@TomTaylorFO

Stanley Kubrick was simply obsessed with images, he hankered to know everything he could about them. This even impacted his worldview, once stating: “I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.” 

This ensured that the stories he told through the lens were sweated over like no other. Thus, it perhaps isn’t all that surprising that his entry point to film was through a medium where a single picture needs to contain a whole host of words. Before becoming the acclaimed director was a working photographer for LOOK Magazine. 

Armed with only his camera in the post-war years of 1945-50, the young staff photographer focused his creative vision on a particular group of people during the year 1946, the ‘People Of The New York Subway’. Delving into the demimonde his style was naturalistic and yet somehow cinematic and that is even without considering his retrospective legacy.

Martin Scorsese regarded this ability to find a story in a single image as something that permeated his filmmaking and showed that Kubrick was “a person with a very strong, powerful, storytelling ability.” Whether it is the tracking shots in Paths of Glory or the slow pans of The Shining, Kubrick’s ability to find story and drama in a single image is indicative of his photographic view of the world.

He kept his photography going when he transitioned into cinema too. All of this comes to the fore in Taschen’s “Through a Different Lens [which] reveals the keen and evocative vision of a burgeoning creative genius in a range of feature stories and images, from everyday folk at the laundromat to a day in the life of a debutant, from a trip to the circus to Columbia University.”

You can check out a selection of these images below and find out more or pick up a copy of the collection currently in the Taschen sale by clicking here.

The photography of Stanley Kubrick:

Stanley Kubrick, a partygoer wearing a Cubist headdress, from the 1949 article titled “Philadelphia’s First Beaux Arts Ball” (Credit: SK Film Archives/Museum of the City of New York)
Stanley Kubrick, from “Park Benches: Love is Everywhere,” 1946 (Credit: SK Film Archives/Museum of the City of New York)
Stanley Kubrick, from “Shoeshine Boy,” 1947 (Credit: SK Film Archives/Museum of the City of New York)
Stanley Kubrick, from “Shoeshine Boy,” 1947 (Credit: SK Film Archives/Museum of the City of New York)
Stanley Kubrick, Betsy von Furstenberg with friends from “The Debutante Who Went to Work,” 1950 (Credit: SK Film Archives/Museum of the City of New York.)
Stanley Kubrick, Stanley Kubrick with Faye Emerson from “Faye Emerson: Young Lady in a Hurry,” 1950 (Credit: SK Film Archives/Museum of the City of New York)
(Credit: Taschen)

Follow Far Out Magazine across our social channels, on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.