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Karsh of Ottawa, Ethan of Verona

I photographed Ethan and his family a little while ago. His folks ordered his portrait in black and white and as I was working on it, I had this feeling of dejà vú all over again.  Ethan’s portrait reminded me of something and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Verona family portrait

Finally, it dawned on me… if I added about 60 years, 100 lbs, a white beard, wrinkles, wiped away the smile, added a grizzled look and a Nobel Prize… Ethan could be Ernest Hemingway, as photographed by the great Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh.

Karsh Hemingway

Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002) is one of the masters of 20th century photography.  His body of work includes portraits of statesmen, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and men and women of accomplishment.  Karsh’s portrait of Winston Churchill is probably his most famous.  He always signed his work Karsh of Ottawa. Incidentally, my good friend, Washington-based photographer Rob Fraser, was his photography assistant.