Dench Does Dallas
- Photographer Peter Dench
- ISBN 9781908457295
- Soft cover
- Colour: 270 x 290mm (landscape) + 176pp
Back in 1951, renowned Picture Post photographer Bert Hardy stated that it didn’t matter what camera you had, it was the person behind the lens that mattered not how flashy the gear was. Challenged by his editor to prove it, Bert was stripped of his beloved Leica and sent off to Blackpool with the amateur’s favourite, a Kodak Box Brownie. After an initial struggle, Hardy found two showgirls, sat them on some railings and took probably his most famous image.
Roll on over 60 years and Peter Dench was commissioned by Olympus to photograph one of America’s most iconic cities armed only with their latest compact camera, the OM-D E-M5 Mark II. For a cameraman used to lugging a heavy DSLR on assignments, this was a daunting challenge; not only to be thrust into an unknown city but with a piece of technology he had no experience of.
He needn’t have worried. In his own words: “It made me a better photographer. I was inspired to explore more intensely; I paid greater attention to the movement of light and tightened up my compositions. The lightweight camera and accessories saved me energy in sweltering conditions and its performance gave me the confidence to discard the flash in many low light situations. I was excited to point the camera at people and people wanted the camera pointed at them.”
This book shows what was achieved in two weeks. The images are punchy, sharp and full of live, as one would expect from Dench. Bert Hardy abandoned his Box Brownie after Blackpool. Pete is not so hasty, he is now an Olympus compact convert.