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Kramer Of The Crop

One reason Daniel Kramer perhaps felt a little less than bullish about how suited he was to the role of shooting a Bob Dylan LP cover was that, well, he wasn't really a rock 'n' roll photographer. Having come into the trade as a teenager just after the Second World War, he had ended up assisting fashion photographer Allan Arbus and his wife Diane in their New York studio. Hence the experience of shooting Salvador Dali that had so intrigued Dylan. It was this he says taught him 'to think about my pictures in new ways'.


By 1964 he was branching out on his own and his developing connection with Bob Dylan would be the making of him. He would go on to shoot Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited cover, which actually features Kramer's own Nikon SP rangefinder camera hanging from the fingers of road manager Bob Neuwirth whose lower half is pictured behind the seated subject.

A sepia-tinted version of Kramer's 1965 portrait of Dylan also features on the sleeve of the 1985 compilation album Biograph. It's one of many shots from that period that feature in Kramer's book Bob Dylan: A Year And A Day, which includes numerous candid frames of Dylan at work, rest and play.

Kramer later turned his lens on numerous other prominent cultural figures, including three years he spent with author Norman Mailer and more classic portrait shots, this time of the late Janis Joplin. But his name will forever be linked with that pivotal period in the career of one of music's true greats.