Outside of National Portrait Gallery

While the National Portrait Gallery’s theme is American Art, one exhibit, called “Feature Photography,” has had various works of six photographers on display for the past couple of months. The portraits on display are by Katy Grannan, Jocelyn Lee, Ryan McGinley, Steve Pike, Martin Schoeller, and Alec Soth.The most interesting body of work was the photographs by Katy Grannan. The photographs are so real and raw. Many of her photographs experiment with texture. The colors are generally mundane, but the fabrics of the clothing the people in her photographs are usually contrasted by hard objects or surfaces that surround her subjects.

Another fascinating collection was by Mike Schoeller. His intimate style of portraiture involves a close up of the subject’s face. His subjects look right into the camera and are standing in front of a white background. Two particularly striking portraits were of female body builders. What was so interesting about those photographs were the soft, housewife/mother-like looking faces on the chiseled muscular bodies.

One of the photographs in Gannan’s collection featured actor Forest Whitaker. Her incorporation of celebrity is a sharp contrast from Martin Schoeller’s work. While Gannan makes the celebrity a part of her gritty world, Schoeller makes the celebrity the entire focus in the photograph with his extreme close-ups.

Fall 09 Semester

September 24, 2009

“Wish for what you want. Work for what you need.” -Ann Brashares

Word Illustration: Solitude

September 21, 2009

By Lauren Eilola

By Lauren Eilola

This photo essay is a word illustration of “solitude.” My classmates and I had one week to complete this assignment, so we did not have time to have a more succinct collection, such as all black-and-white; however, all of the photographs are expression of solitude.

I rarely take photographs, so I did not a library to choose from for this project, so I kept my camera on me for the past week, searching for “solitude.” I happened across this female in a long hallway in the Katzen Arts Center on campus. The couches in this hallway are usually empty, so it was a good idea on her part to choose this place to be alone. I tried to crop the photo to obey the rule of thirds. Additionally, I choose to make the photo black-and-white to highlight the all of the shadows. Most of the photograph is very structured, with the columns and square couches, but I think the lighting adds an element of peace and serenity.

Overall, I am thrilled with the collection my classmates and I put together. I am very impressed with the beautiful photographs they contributed.

By Emily Kline

By Emily Kline

By Emily Anna Isayeff

By Emily Anna Isayeff

By Lauren May

By Lauren May

By Gretchen Kast

By Gretchen Kast

Quotation

September 15, 2009

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

-Dalai Lama (who will be speaking at AU Oct. 10)

Single Picture Review

September 12, 2009

Supreme Court Justice Sonie Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice Sonie Sotomayor

After much interrogation and controversy, Sonia Sotomayor was recently sworn in as Supreme Court Justice. In this photograph, numerous visual techniques are employed to convey several messages.
To begin, one of the most striking features of this photograph are the many lines behind Justice Sotomayor. According to “Images, Objects and Ideas: Viewing the Visual Arts,” horizontal lines represent peace and calmness. These qualities are often associated with women and it may represent what people believe she will bring to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is presented in the photograph as the columns in the background, because vertical lines symbolize power, nobility, and confidence. But as is visible, while she is officially a part of the Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor has many steps to go until she is an experienced member.
Another interesting feature of this photograph is the use of color. Justice Sotomayor is the gray-area of the firmly established black and white of the rest of the photograph. The lack of color is important in reference to the seriousness of the Supreme Court.
Finally, the symmetry of the photograph provides balance and order to the image (“Images, Objects, and Idaes”), just as Justice Sotomayor is expected to bring to the Supreme Court. Furthermore, her arms appear as though she could be weighing an issue on the scales of justice and that she will hopefully keep them balanced, even though her face is completely facing one side.
Overall, these are just a few of the many messages the photographer conveyed through his use of visual techniques when documenting this historic event.

Intro

September 10, 2009

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” -William Shakespeare