Friday, August 26, 2011
International Center of Photography
This was the last weekend of the Elliott Erwitt show, along with Ruth Gruber and the Hiroshima: Ground Zero images. Friday night is voluntary contributions for admission, and with the hurricane coming (Saturday and Sunday the entire city will be shut down, essentially) and this being therefore the final night, it was pretty crowded.
The Erwitt section was fabulous, all very large prints, easy to view. The other two shows were smaller prints and it was not fun to try to go with the crowd and get close enough to actually appreciate them.
It was somehow refreshing to see how far from perfect these images are by conventional standards. There was a portrait of Jack Kerouac, for instance, where the focus was just in front of his face, on the arm and chest, leaving the face a little soft. In smaller prints it is probably undetectable, but at 16 x 24 or larger even, it's quite noticeable. Still a great portrait. A lot of noticeable dodging and burning as well. So I don't feel so bad about working the image above to bring out the shadows and bring down the highlights :-)
The guy had a real visual sense of humor, I'll say that. And unorthodox compositions. Check him out. I would say more about Gruber, but I really couldn't see her work so well or give it the time it deserved. Hiroshima also. That exhibit consisted of photos arranged in concentric circles representing the different distances from Ground Zero and documenting the degrees and kinds of destruction done.