Journal

#MakePortraits: Monday Spotlight: Yousuf Karsh

 
How I wish that mankind would take the sunrise for their slogan and leave the shadows of sunset behind them.
— Helen Keller to Yousuf Karsh
 

I recently stumbled upon the work of Yousuf Karsh, an Armenian born survivor of the genocide against his people & one of the most masterful portraitists of all time. Digging deeper into his work, I found his official website, which pairs his astounding work with anecdotal stories behind the images.

 
 

We live in an age when making a portrait requires very little work — by that I mean our cameras fit in our pockets & the images are re-touched and shared within seconds of taking them — and as I got lost in the black and white images of Karsh's portrait gallery, I couldn't help but think how much we have to learn from the subtle bits of wisdom in archives like this.

#MakePortraits: Monday started as a personal exercise on Instagram, but has grown into a quest to become fluent in the craft. Reading these words from Yousuf, who by every measure is a master, gives me hope that the quest I'm on — and, I hope we are on this quest together — is a worthwhile one:

 
...I believe the past has no claim on greatness, for such arresting personalities are always among us. Nor can we yet judge what lessons remain to be learned from the young. I know only that my quest continues.
 

We are the young — though I am much too quickly escaping that classification — and I believe that many of those lessons we have yet to learn are locked up in archives like this. It is my goal to find them in hopes that that, each week, we can, together, continue to take the sunrise for our slogan.


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Source: http://www.karsh.org