Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/21

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Irving Penn's skylight
From: Robert Browne <>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 22:13:35 -0400

Forgot the [Leica] tag in the subject line. Does this make a difference on how the message is received?
- ----- Original Message -----

Subject: Irving Penn's skylight
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 21:40:25 -0400

Mark Rabiner's mention of Irving Penn's windowlight reminds me of a story I once heard about him.

I seems that he hired a new studio assistant who reported to work the first day only to find Mr. Penn nowhere to be found. Eager to make a good impression on his new employer he decided to busy himself by organizing the studio and putting everything in order. After a few hours and his task accomplished, he looked around for something else to do. He gazed up toward the ceiling where he saw a large skylight. The skylight was covered with years of soot and New York City grime. So he decided to clean it, and after the job was done he was very pleased with himself. This would surely make an impression. 

Later that day Penn came into the studio, looked up to the skylight with horror, and fired the assistant on the spot. The subtle diffusion created by the dirt on the skylight was gone, never to be duplicated.

Or so the story goes. Perhaps another Urban Photo Legend.