Not Quite Site of the Week

The Robert Altman Photography Website

Do you know who he is? Not the movie Altman, the Rolling Stone photographer Altman.

He took some of the most memorable images of the last three decades of music and counter-culture around.

His recent book "Rolling Stone; The Complete Covers 1967-1997" demonstrates just how greatly his images have impacted our minds and memories. In addition to many images of the rock stars he caught in the bloom of their youth, there are scads of photos of the 60s and the movers and shakers who helped make what happened happen. Most of the images contained in this online gallery are accompanied with related links.

Mr. Altman is probably unapproachable in photography as a perfect blend of photojournalist and star-shooter. His access to the moments and individuals which created the cultural shift in the 60s put him in the unique place of being the ONLY person who could have taken many of the pictures he took. In effect, this made him one of the movers and shakers of that era, by virtue of his bringing these images to our eyes and our minds. Without this imagery, many of the heroes of that generation may not have been as deified as they became.

In his site he documents not only his prolific photographic output, but his own life - then and now - and there really is no better online document of that era and it's transformation into this one.

So why do I give this man who deserves nothing but respect and accolades a Not Quite award? Two reasons - the main one being the first image which greets the eye on the site - the picture of Cintra Wilson (Salon Columnist (and playwright and actress apparently - see right pic)). Perhaps she is his significant other right now - if so I prefer his images of his earlier loves. If she is not his lady, then I don't understand what she's doing there. She's trying too hard and she's wearing too much make-up (and what's up with that hair). All of that against black is just a little too much. The second reason is that this amazing museum of images is not dignified by the pale, predictable backgrounds and cheap, thrown together interface. I know it's hard to justify spending a little money on web design, but trust's worth it!

There's no reason this site shouldn't be a mecca. There's just the fact that images as great as these deserve great settings and presentation. But even without slick design - the site is worth prowling through by any account.

-David, he cannot keep a civil tongue