Monday, October 22, 2012

Ruth Olivares Reviews Shane Lavalette

Shane Lavalette, a New York photographer, who is the the founding Publisher and Editor of Lay Flat and is the Associate director for  Light Work magazine creates his body of work and calls it Northeast. Although he includes other
bodies of work on his site 
I found Northeast to be the most interesting for reasons unknown. I believe I'm amazed how he can find interest and beauty in some what mundane subjects and others not so ordinary. For instance, this image of a young boy sitting on a parking lot space reading a book. Does the image behind him imply what he maybe thinking or what he is envisioning in him minds eye from the story he is so captivated by. I would not have caught this vision for myself to photograph only because I probably would have noticed only the mural and wished the boy would get out of the way, but no, Lavalette composes the two almost as a performance piece being documented secretly. 
There are so many angles the viewer can choose to be swept in by. We can first notice the angle of perspective that the concrete line behind the boy draws us into and then there is the white line showcasing the boy, almost like a small runway leading our eye up and through his clothing. Then there is the competing BLUE wave that washes over the entire background. So clearly the space is divided into only 2 spaces. But it is done so in a simple manner.

How many times have I spotted an nice tree, thought about photographing it only to stop myself because it's just too cliche'! I would have seen the positive space but here in this photograph Lavalette  chooses to see the negative space that forms an almost snowflake winter shape juxtaposed spring, rich, green leaves.  This is what I mean about simple everyday things made beautiful. He creates balance equally between the blue sky and the green leaves and these organic elements hold different ranges of values in their colors. 

Okay, so this is what I mean by mundane and almost depressing. such a tipical scene. Although it's a bit comical I can't help but notice the words on the ballon..CHEER UP! 
Enough said about the depressing subject matter. Lets notice that the main focus of our image is the child who seems to be haloed by the water spot behind him that tends to wash him out a little but yet still making him the main subject matter. Color composition with the green, brown and blues work well together and yet set off by the slight dash of red on the white bucket and the other small toy next to the high chair. Is there impact to the scene? Only in the fact that I don't feel it's interesting makes me wonder why choose this to photograph.I'm not interested in balance, line or movement here. I just hate the image!

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