That man, David Bailey, does it again with a stunning portrait of the Queen for her 88th birthday. For me he is one of the finest portrait photographers, simple lighting with enough modelling and a result that says more about her then him? She looks happy, relaxed and he has captured a sense of humour. I am no Royalist but you can't help but feel it would be ok to have a chat and a cuppa with her!!! The Queen Mother used to wander around London's East End and now one of its greatest sons has turned up in Buck Palace...a true collaboration between the classes!!
Anyway...does it 100% for me! I suspect this one will go viral and with any luck remind people of one of one of the main purposes of photography? Its about simplicity, stripping away all that is unnecessary leaving just the subject to make the picture....its about her, not him and yet there is enough of a "signature" to know it is his work?
I disagree. The image is at least as much about him as it is her, possibly more so.
It's undoubtedly part of the continuing and deliberate process of making the Royal Family more personable and engaging. In that context I'd say it's less of a portrait and more a piece of propaganda.
In any case I like it. But principally because I see the 'mischief' of Bailey in it rather than anything else.
If we are to believe he shot it with film as per the borders then his favourite tools are the Rolleiflex 2.8f and the Blad. Looking at the nicks in the corners of the borders I would say 'Blad and he could well have shot it with the 80mm standard lens?
Decisions here are do you work closer and have more connection with the subject or drop back for "nicer" perspective but less " chemistry"? If he used the Rollei you only have the standard lens but great human contact without the camera getting in the way.
We may never know but I would suggest that there may be only a very few who could deal with the stress of this assignment let alone get such a cracking result. Of course its going to be a great publicity shot but that does not detract from the fact that this comes across as a superb natural portrait?
As I said it has the Bailey signature but I think he has really caught her brilliantly and if I were her, I would be dead chuffed