Wednesday, November 26, 2008

avant-garde [uh-vahnt-gahrd]
the advance group in any field, esp. in the visual, literary, or musical arts, whose works are characterized chiefly by unorthodox and experimental methods
Synonyms include: unconventional, innovative, vanguard, pioneering

Every chance I get these past couple of weeks, I'll pick up my camera and just start shooting...anything - my sister drawing on the floor, her charcoal pencils scattered across her sketchpad, camera lenses, jewelry, plants, etc. Having no formal training in photography (except for the tutelage of Ja Tecson), I've had to rely on trial and error to get me from complete amateur to amateur who knows something.

Photography has served me one purpose in years past, and I used it for one reason and, honestly, one reason only: to preserve memories. "Shutterbug," that's what everyone called me. I had unknowingly been designated early in my life, to be the permanent historian. I couldn't say I didn't enjoy this role, because I absolutely loved it. It didn't feel like an unwanted obligation. It felt like a privilege. The last few years, however, photography has had an entirely new purpose for me: Art. As in, art that I MYSELF could create. This past Sunday, I joined Leia, Leia's friend Janet, Andrew, Jason and Trevor for an afternoon at LACMA to see the Vanity Fair portrait exhibit. I was really looking forward to this, knowing that I'd see some of the most inspiring and culture-changing collection of images. I just didn't think I'd be SOOO taken in by it. The exhibit was nothing short of amazing. I was especially fond of photographs from decades and decades ago; photos that were taken before there was such a thing as Adobe Photoshop. Back then, there was no dodging, color correcting or even cropping. It was just the photographer, the subject, the environment and the existing lighting. Yet every photo looked every bit as perfect!
While we waited for Andrew, Jason, Trevor and Janet to arrive, Leia and I decided to have a little photo session outside the museum. Thanks for being my model, Leia Beth!
Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Art, I've learned, is at the mercy of the artist's desires. I took this picture of Leia because I loved how the red line painted along the curb draws the eye from left to right, or vice versa, somehow dividing the image from it's top and bottom. The red line's contrast to what is above and below it, is striking. It jumps out at you.
It's funny how when the color is taken away, what I'm drawn to is just Leia.
Manipulating angles is also fun to do! This block of lamposts is a freakin' playground for the camera!
Leia easy and breezy =)
Here are Jason, Leia and Trevor outside. It was such a beautiful day to take pictures!
I call this "Lusty: Pensive."
And here's Andrew, our favorite, and probably most popular model of all. Can't take a bad picture, this guy.
I am forever affected by this exhibit. Seeing the vision of these photographers, from Man Ray to Mario Testino to the ever innovative Annie Leibovitz, just inspired me. I know that sentiment, as often as you hear it, can become trite. But from my personal perspective, it felt like reading Emily Dickinson's poetry or William Faulkner's prose for the first time: I wish it were me who thought of it first, but since it wasn't, I just hope that one day I could be just as good. Maybe someday, someone will think, Anna Gonda's work - I wish I had thought of that =)

1 comment:

Andrew said...

you've got some cool images anna!