Douglas Kirkland, a professional photographer with over 40 years' experience in capturing many of Hollywood's biggest stars on film, gave Salt Lake City a taste of his prolific vision Wednesday night at the downtown DoubleTree Hotel.
Hundreds of photography aficionados crammed into the east and west ballrooms to see Kirkland's three-hour slide presentation, which culminated in a collection of stills from the movie set of the "Titanic." During the presentation, Kirkland often stopped to share technical information with the audience, explaining what type of film he used for a particular shot, or what his shutter speed and F-stop settings were.After a troubled beginning (the slide projectors wouldn't work in sync), Kirkland discussed what he termed his early "Norman Rockwell existence" and how he came to be a photographer.
From the time he took his first picture at age 10 with a Kodak Brownie camera, Kirkland has been in awe of all photographic processes. As a teenager he worked in a small photo studio. After school and on Saturdays, he photographed weddings and any other assignments he could dig up or create.
In his early twenties, Kirkland moved to New York where he had the opportunity to apprentice with the legendary photographer Irving Penn. By the 1960s and '70s he was working for Look and Life magazines.
Elizabeth Taylor gave Kirkland his first break by allowing him to photograph her after she had refused to be photographed. Since that time he's captured the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Kim Basinger, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and recently, Leonardo DiCaprio.
Besides "Titanic," Kirkland has photographed on the set of over 130 movies, including "Showgirls," "Out of Africa," "Sophie's Choice," "Romancing the Stone," "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and the "Sound of Music."
The recipient of various photography awards, Kirkland has also produced several books. His most recent, "James Cameron's Titanic," is a No. 1 New York Times best seller. After the lecture, Kirkland signed copies of the book and answered photographic questions.
Pictureline Studios of Salt Lake City and Canon USA sponsored the slide show/lecture.