Linda Eastman Photography 140 East 83rd Street New York, N.Y. 10028 Phone 628-7048
The Light From Within
In her song ‘The Light Comes From Within’ Linda wrote the following words, which were obviously dear to her heart: “Oppression won’t win, the light comes from within.” I know she meant this to cover many aspects of life, from everyday relationships to animal welfare and the many injustices that we find in out life today. It is particularly appropriate that she should use the word light because of her long-time interest in it, starting with her passion for photography in the sixties. Light was obviously something that she studied, and drawing on her vast pool of natural instincts, she rarely used a light meter and was able to judge the scene merely by looking at it. She would then set her camera accordingly, and to be on the safe side might once or twice take a photograph using a reading slightly above or below the one she guessed at. More often than not, her guess was correct. In fact, sometimes she was so sure that she would only take one photo – unlike many of her contemporaries who would bang off a whole roll to cover themselves. Her interest in light extended to her own surroundings. When I was designing the house we were to live in, I included many windows and a long skylight to ensure that the house would not be dark and gloomy but filled with the light she loved so much. Light was obviously something that she studied, and drawing on her vast pool of natural instincts, she instantly recognized a situation where the light was perfect for a photograph. She very rarely used a light meter and was able to judge the scene merely by looking at it. She would then set her camera accordingly, and to be on the safe side might once or twice take a photograph using a reading slightly above or below the one she guessed at. More often than not, her guess was correct. In fact, sometimes she was so sure that she would take only the one photo - unlike many of her contemporaries who would bang off a whole roll to cover themselves.
The light from within was always with Linda from the moment we first met to the moment we parted, and I was often fortunate enough to experience its radiant beauty. Those who knew her testify unfailingly to her loving disposition and her regard for all living things, big or small - she would pick up a frog and caress it as if it were the cuddliest animal on earth, and while other ladies present might be recoiling in disgust, she would smile and explain that its mummy loved it.
From the foreword by Paul McCartney
Bombing around, shooting stars
Even in dark no artificial light see what comes out something might
Play it by ear no need to learn no fashion here only natural
Beautiful faces craggy characters each one an inspiration
Margaret Cameron Fox Talbot old techniques printing with the sun
It reminds me of the sea beacause the desert is like the sea when it's very hot and you can see the heat above the sand, the distance is like the ocean or the bay so pale that it's like a sandy beach, and the sea gives you this feeling of freedom and so does the desert really - whe you're out there - lying on your back looking at the sky, thinking of nothing. Like we do, thinking about freedom, and God, and nature and the Universe.
Riding Appaloosas and painted horses, places you'd never expect to go - miles and miles and miles of freedom. The best thing is to ride and ride. Skipping through puddles getting your feet caught in the mud after a heavy rain. Once every few months
The flowers turn into fruit and the animals pick off the fruit. They spread the seeds everywhere. The bright red flowers in the spring - oh they're so sexy and succulent and I love them.
Birds that nest in the cactus. How do they stand on the prickles? I never know. Coyotes howl at night, screaming happily, screams of freedom Screaming and shouting love songs because they love it...
Peach flowers that are like paper - so delicate you'd almost swear they were poppies. Freedom from all you past. Restful thoughts.
The sky's the thing ...the...the...the....mellow air- air that you can't describe in words but you feel it, you smell it, you touch it.
Shadows in light and shade seeing all things common or obscure I click.
“I photographed B.B. King so many times that it became like meeting the postman. Although I loved his music, I never really got to know him because he was from a very different side of the business to the rock and roll acts I was used to mixing with.” Linda on photographing B.B. King
"For some reason, even though I had my camera hanging around my neck, I was ushered on to the boat by Betsy Doster, who worked for the Stones' management, and I was allowed to be the lone photographer. Maybe it was because they felt favourably disposed towards Town and Country after having a front cover. Maybe it was because the Stones fancied a young, blond-haired girl on board as, in those days, the press they had to face was largely made up of older me who knew little about rock and roll." "I seized the moment and began shooting. I was very green as a photographer and really only knew how to click and how to focus. When it came to light setting, I would just guess, which is why most of the colour film I took didn't come out - I had forgotten to adjust the ASA setting after changing from black and white." Linda on photographing the Rolling Stones
"I met up again with them years later, and we had a fantastic time talking about the groups we heard on the radio as New York kids. We had all listened to Alan Freed who started on WINS in 1954 by playing rhythm and blues every week day between 7 pm and 10 pm, and then including more and more rock and roll. No one will ever know what Freed did to our teenage years - he saved mine. The records he player were magic and if he liked a particular song he might play it ten times in one show. After that meeting Art Garfunkle made up a tape of his favourite Fifties songs and sent it to me as a reminder." Linda on photographing Simon and Garfunkle
"He loved my photographs and I would always let him have prints of any black-and-whites I had taken of him and he would then come over to my apartment to look through the colour shots. He would arrive carrying a little black brief case and he would hold the mounted transparencies up to the window and simply throw any he likes into his case. That's how I ended up with all the rejects and he went off with all the good stuff for nothing." Linda on Jimi Hendrix
"I loved the Yardbirds' music, and in October 1966 I heard that they were playing at a high school in Westport, Connecticut, so I drove up from New York to take photographs. When I arrived, the school's public address system had broken down, and the band had been forced to sit it out in the music room for hours while it was sorted out. That's where I took the pictures of Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. In the time they waited, Jeff managed to break down and reassemble his Telecaster." Linda on photographing the Yardbirds
"I used to joke with Linda, that by marrying me, she had "ruined her career." What I meant was that people's perception of her would inevitably change from fine photographer to wife of a celebrity." "I would sometimes wonder why she didn't shoot thirty-six versions of a subject like so many photographers I had been used to, but she was always delighted when she explained with a smile that it wasn't necessary. 'No, I got it.' She knew. The body of work that now exists is a fine legacy, and a beautiful testament to a unique and rare talent that was, and still is, my lovely Linda." Paul from the foreword.
“I always photographed for myself, and I never stopped. Later, as well as photographing on the street, I began to take pictures from inside cars. I was travelling, so there were plenty of opportunities. I made so many that an assistant of mine once said, “Linda, you’ve gotta get out of the car.” Well, some of the photographs here are from car, some aren’t. They are like stills from a kind of personal road movie recording a slice of my life.” Linda from the introduction
Magic Robin three-wheel XCM 597N smiles at me
Blinkered conditioned soul from past escapes through my lens to see out
Woman tripping away from New Orleans, seeking a new direction
We kill with greed. Natural world so fragile its future in our hands
Destruction, poisoned wastelands – only an ill bird destroys its own nest.
We would head off to anywhere and drive until we were getting lost
Spiritual horse floating in my heart, free my mind from teaching: no guilt.
Random elements unrelated combine – accentuate weirdness
Constant travelling, rehearsing, preparation – hurry up and wait
Looking out from deep below my eyes, I capture moments in my life
You can be anything you want to be if you’re enthusiastic.