Polaroids occupy a special place in the hearts of many photo
enthusiasts who remember a time when "instant photography" meant
one-of-a-kind prints that developed within minutes of clicking the
shutter. What was once a crucial tool for photographers to test their
shots before shooting on film has now become obsolete in the face of
digital photography. Luckily for us, legendary photographer Helmut
Newton saved his test Polaroids, allowing a privileged and rare chance
to see the tests from a selection of his greatest shoots over a period
of decades, including many from the TASCHEN titles SUMO, A Gun for Hire, and Work.
Selected by his widow, June Newton, from over 300 photos featured at
the 2011 exhibition "Helmut Newton Polaroids" at the Museum für
Fotografie in Berlin, this collection captures the magic of Helmut
Newton photo shoots as only Polaroids can.
was one of the most influential photographers of all time. Born in
Berlin, he arrived in Australia in 1940 and married June Brunell (a.k.a.
Alice Springs) eight years later. He first achieved international fame
in the 1970's while working principally for French Vogue
his celebrity and influence grew over the decades. Newton preferred to
shoot in streets or interiors, rather than studios. Controversial
scenarios, bold lighting, and striking compositions came to form his
signature look. In 1990 he was awarded the Grand Prix national de la photographie
; in 1992 the German government awarded him Das Grosse Verdienstkreuz
for services to German culture, and he was appointed Officier des Arts, Lettres et Sciences
by S.A.S. Princess Caroline of Monaco. In 1996, he was appointed Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
by Philippe Douste-Blazy, the French Minister of Culture at the time.
Working and living in close companionship with his wife until his death
at 83, his images remain as distinctive, seductive and orginal as ever.