We mined the Internet for the best full-length photography documentaries so you didn’t have to, feat. Nan Goldin, Tyrone LeBon and William Klein
Cash-strapped photographers can learn a lot about their medium online. In fact some of the best nuggets of knowledge on the subject, from the very mouths of some of the most legendary lensmen of the 20th century, are just a few clicks away. Today anyone can enter Bruce Davidson’s darkroom, walk the streets of New York City with a camera-wielding Joel Meyerowitz, or witness Gregory Crewdson at work on the set of his mega-budget photo shoots. That is to say this stuff is all online and most of it is free; you just need to know where to look. So here are some of the best photography documentaries we discovered on YouTube. Thanks, Internet.
MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY (1972) – DIANE ARBUS
Diane Arbus, a feted chronicler of the weird and wonderful, is often criticised for exploiting her subjects – dwarfs, giants, nudists, transgender people, etc. Yet she had compassion. She was genuinely curious. She looked at these people head-on and celebrated their peculiarities, the beauty of whatever it was that made them stand out in a crowd. As a result her photos are nothing less than staggeringly original; she never took a bland picture. As a person she was cripplingly shy and spoke in whispers, yet her pictures are like screams that make you sit up and pay attention. Filmed just a year after her suicide in 1971, this documentary features personal insights from her daughter and sheds light on how Arbus got to know her subjects.