Google doodle honors eccentric photographer Norman Parkinson

The iconic photographer, a man whose images of the Beatles and fashion icons will always be remembered, is honored in a doodle on Google's UK home page.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It seems so obvious now, but taking pictures of models outside of a studio was something of a revolution in the 1940s and 50s.

For Norman Parkinson, the British photographer who would have been 100 years old today, it offered an opportunity for an additional elegance and simplicity.

"I never work in studios if I can help it, because working in a studio is such hard work," he told one interviewer.

A studio is merely an attempt to simulate daylight. Why not just plump for daylight in the first place?

Many think of Sir Norman (as he became) as the iconic fashion photographer of the last half of the 20th century.

Which would be just one of the reasons Google decided today -- at least in the U.K. -- to honor him with a very simple doodle.

There he is, in the middle of the Google logo, framing a shot.

Parkinson's wonderful talent lay in the fact that his images seem just a vibrant and stylish today as they did in his day. (He died in 1990.)

Whether it's his pictures for Vogue or of stars like the Beatles, he brought out a simple, elegant essence that many have since tried to copy.

Parkinson worked with royalty, both British and American. Yes, he photographed Donald Trump.

Of course, he had his eccentricities. You can't get a British passport if you don't have them. An odd little cap and a upturned, slightly military mustache were two of his personal style elements.

"The greatest photographs have in them the sort of planned accident," he tells the interviewer in the video embedded above.

Isn't that the way life itself should be? One should always live in anticipation of the planned accident.

That's what's lovely about Google's doodles. They're planned, but they appear on you (if you ever still go to Google's home page) as if by accident, with their own individual style.

One of his beautiful fashion shots. BellisVintage/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

 

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