7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2003
Quizzical Eye is a book we didn?t know we?d been waiting for until it showed up.
We?ve all seen Rondal Partridge?s pictures, but since he scorned publicity, little has been written about him. The noted photographic historian Sally Stein puts his story?and 100 terrific pictures--in their high rightful place.
Partridge, now in his 80s, grew up in the center of the California photography scene. His mother was the great photographer Imogene Cunningham, and he learned photography from Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange.
Over the last 60 plus years, Partridge photographed everything. He gives us hobos, W.W.II war protesters, New Delhi brickyard workers, undulating hills, bays filled with garbage, and a packed parking lot in Yosemite (with Half Dome towering behind). His fine portraits of Adams, Lange, and the folksinger Odetta are balanced by intimate nudes, and lovely studio work. We see, for example, photographer Judy Dater taking his portrait with her 8x10 view camera?its open lens leaving a shimmering white disk, a little sun, where her face would be.
Partridge is the kind of guy who will take a picture of himself with a chicken on his head and relish its place as the final photograph in the book. His family pictures are among the endearing ever taken. You want to go over to his house, pull up a chair in the kitchen, and hear him tell the stories of how these lovely pictures came to be. This will surely be one of the best photo books of the year.
on August 19, 2015
This is a book well worth being on serious photographers' shelves. I can't do better than quote from the jacket sleeve:
"As the son of celebrated photographer Imogen Cunningham and as an apprentice to Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams, Partridge began learning technique and developing his art almost from birth. Yet he has chosen to be, as he says, 'the least publicized of the old fashioned California photographers.'" His life story is interesting, the essays about him are informative and readable, and his pictures are good and well-reproduced. Recommended.