Gelatin silver print
Image: 28.2 x 20 cm (11 1/8 x 7 7/8 in.); Paper: 28.2 x 20 cm (11 1/8 x 7 7/8 in.); Mounted: 41.9 x 34.7 cm (16 1/2 x 13 11/16 in.)
© Estate of Ilse Bing
Gift of George Stephanopoulos 2018.388
Ilse Bing’s assignment from a Frankfurt newspaper to cover the couture ball in Paris led to commissions from designers and fashion magazines, including French Vogue. In November 1933 she began doing all the Paris accessory shoots for the American magazine Harper’s Bazaar. Although the Leica was associated with candid photography, she used it in the studio to create staged still lifes of shoes, jewelry, handbags, and belts, and occasionally views of shoes on a model’s feet. Accustomed to using available light, Bing had to master artificial lighting. Preferring a natural look, she avoided bright spots and deep shadows in favor of gently modeled highlights that emphasized the objects’ sculptural shapes while revealing their polished surfaces.
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