JS: Would the captions change much then, the more he was captioning? Especially some of the iconic ones which he must have captioned dozens of times.
BR: Sometimes the difference would be the change of an adjective, a tweaking, but sometimes something will come up and it gets longer and longer. They all build on each other. Writing about it is the memory of the sacred. This is what the prints represent. But those silver gelatin prints, they have an eternal etching to them, and the way the eyes look, the communication is … Read More
John Shoesmith interview with Sid Kaplan on his work as printer of Allen Ginsberg’s photography continues
JS: I’m sure that famous Kerouac photo on the fire escape was one you probably could have done in your sleep, seeing as you probably printed it dozens of times.
SK: That was very tricky print to do. It was very underdeveloped, and at the time, I didn’t have the magic fluid handy. What happened with the Kerouac thing, we had it printed on a very hard grade of paper. The difference between the face and … Read More
Although largely known outside the world of photography, the name Sid Kaplan is legendary, particularly within the New York City photography scene. While a highly-respected photographer in his own right, Kaplan is revered for his photo printing expertise, a reputation he gained largely through his decades-long work with the legendary photographer Robert Frank. Through Frank he met Allen Ginsberg and began working on printing and processing the Ginsberg photos up until the poet’s death.
JS: I’m interested in Allen and his photographic “eye” – did he know what he was looking for when he was looking at a contact sheet and what he’d want printed?
BG: Robert had a lot of influence over Allen (when it came to deciding what photos to print). But Allen took the pictures, so he knew what he was after. And there are a lot of good ones.He had a quirky kind of sensibility. Like the picture of … Read More
Brian Graham‘s journey from his birthplace of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia to New York City bgan in the early 1980’s when he met the famed photographer Robert Frank, who for many years has spent his summers in the Maritimes. Sensing that Graham was curious about photography, Frank invited him to New York City. While he began with carpentry work at Frank’s Bleecker Street apartment, it eventually led to helping Frank in the darkroom. “I learned how to print with Robert in the darkroom, which was really something.” Graham eventually established his … Read More
JS: Robert Frank was obviously an important influence for Allen.
RF: For most people I knew, Allen was a real hero, but Allen had his own heroes, and Robert was certainly one of them. Allen worshipped Robert. So the photography was a way for him to bond with Robert, and to be his student. He had another friend who was a photographer, who lived above Strand Books (in New York), Hank O”Neal. He was the commercial agent for Berenice Abbott. He was another person whom Allen relied on for … Read More