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Presence: The Invisible Portrait Hardcover – September 4, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Canadian-born Chris Buck has been a professional photographer for more than twenty years. Based in New York and Los Angeles, he shoots for such clients as GQ, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Microsoft, and IBM. His roster of subjects comprises some of the leading actors, artists, and historical figures of our time. 2007 he was the first recipient of the Arnold Newman Portrait Prize.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Kehrer Verlag (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3868283072
  • ISBN-13: 978-3868283075
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,087,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Chris Buck is a highly regarded photographer of celebrities as well as other diversions. But in this book Buck creates `invisible portraits' - places connected in some way with famous people but without the physical presence of the `person' being photographed in the final image. The results are not only fine photographs, but they are also perplexing problem solving images for the viewer - is there some part of the celebrity in the image (shadow, hidden face, reflection?) or is the image merely meant to conjure the celebrity?

According to Chris Buck, from an interview, `I had an idea that was very theoretical. It was just the idea of phoning it in. I liked the idea of literally not being on the set and giving instructions to an assistant, or whoever, as to what to do, what to tell the subject, and then whatever we got was the picture. I liked it in theory, but I realized that the actual work itself would be wildly different based on who actually was on-set and did the execution, and also then, in most cases, it probably wouldn't be very interesting. And, just on a personal, selfish level, too, I wanted to control it. I didn't want it to be entirely random, like a scientific experiment where the visuals wouldn't have been that important. So, I switched it. Rather than having me not there I decided to have the subject not there. Initially, it was going to be a set where I just shot someone and they left. This is the room where I just shot George Clooney, or something. Then I realized it was a bit too esoteric, so I put the subject back in, which anchored it nicely. Then the decision becomes, how much of them do we see? Do we see an elbow and a top of a head? Are we seeing them peeking or something, and how much? Maybe not enough to recognize them, but enough to indicate where they are.
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Presence: The Invisible Portrait
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