Article first published as Interview: Photographer BaronWolman on The Rolling Stone Years on Blogcritics.
Only one person can lay claim to being Rolling Stone magazine’s first chief photographer–and his name is Baron Wolman. From 1967 to 1970, Wolman captured some of the most iconic images of musicians that graced the magazine’s pages. This August marks the release of The Rolling Stone Years, a collection of Wolman’s photographs from those three years, described by publisher Omnibus Press as consisting of “many … images from the late sixties and early seventies [that] have become iconic shots from rock’s most fertile era.” In addition to his amazing photos, Wolman writes a substantial amount about the early days of the influential magazine as well as his experiences photographing musical greats of the late 1960s/early 1970s.
At one point in the book, you express your preference to shoot in natural light. What is the appeal of using that kind of light for your photos?
Natural light is just that. “Natural.” Nothing artificial about it. What you see in the photo is what I saw when I took the picture. For the most part, flash disturbs the subject and ruins the intimacy of the moment…
What was more challenging to do, decide which pictures to run in the book or writing the text to accompany the pictures?
Both were challenging in the best sense of the word, not to mention the locales where the challenge was met: Paris, Santa Fe, Bangkok. I wanted to add some international “spice” to the process.
Some of your subjects died far too young, how hard was it to look at those pictures?
Not easy, of course. Wondering how their lives would have evolved had they had the opportunity, sad for such talent ended before it had a chance to soar, remembering the moments we shared.