world traveler...

Teshka snoozes in the winter sun on the return train to Barcelona.

Last night we watched Funny Face, a 1957 musical pairing a young Audrey Hepburn with an old Fred Astaire. The film itself is not great but I was hooked immediately: a picture of a Rolleiflex camera figures prominently in the opening credits.

It turns out the Astaire character plays a fashion photographer modeled loosely on Richard Avedon. In fact Avedon himself produced many of the still images for the project, among them the iconic high-key portrait of Hepburn's face. While Astaire bounces from scene to scene in Paris with an 8x10 view camera, sometimes he has as many as three TLRs dangling from his neck at a time. The photographic fun in this movie also includes a song-and-dance sequence set entirely in the red-light glow of Astaire's darkroom.

In another Avedon-related note, I recently found the blog of writer/photographer Eric Steinbicker, who worked as an assistant to Avedon in the 1950s and 1960s. The stories of his life during this period -- what Eric calls his Avedon Years -- are very entertaining. And any photographer still working with film these days will be especially interested in what Eric reveals of Avedon's darkroom techniques.

Catalonia, Spain, December 2006.

Rolleiflex MX-EVS Tessar, Fomapan 400.