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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

      Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts

      Saturday, September 24, 2011


      Two of my favorite pairings: a good book and lovely snack; a garden with art on display. On a rainy Friday I was treated to the latter, where artist Alexis Pace is showing her work in Le Petit Versailles Community garden, Houston Street between Ave B & Ave. C. The garden itself is tiny, but just big enough to provide a green and cultural oasis in Alphabet City. (double click on any image to enlarge)
      Pace has avoided the obvious (don't all gardens have sculpture?) by creating photographic images, which, though sleeved in plastic, are expected to degrade during the course of the show.In her artist's statement Pace says "Dis-Embodied/Re-Embodied is a site-specific garden installation of larger-than-life photographs. Five foot tall female body parts and limbs are abstracted and manipulated almost to the point of non-recognition, distilled back to their basic elements of lines and curves. Blown-up to a hyper-real size, they can no longer be compared to any “ideal” instead, they can once again be viewed and appreciated for their inherent beauty. As this is a month-long installation, the images are designed to naturally decay as the season progresses, further reflecting the impermanence of beauty."
      Someone has strewn mirrors around this small garden, reflecting and enlarging the plantings from all angles, a hot tip for any urban or small-space garden.
      Reduced to using my I-phone camera in the rain, these images can't possibly do justice to Pace's work, but you still have four more days to go see for yourself. If you're one of GardenBytes readers from Indonesia or Brazil, even So. Cal or NH, visit the artist at her website where she has some astounding images and her complete bio.
      This exhibit will run through the month of September, open to the public Thursday through Sunday 2-7pm, but like all community gardens run by volunteers, availability is somewhat flexible.

      Monday, December 1, 2008

      A Creative Gift

      Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers by Alan Detrick, (Timber Press, 2008, 24.95 paperbound)

      This can’t be an unbiased book review when the author, Alan Detrick is a good friend, a colleague and my collaborator on one book, two magazines and many other projects. Instead it’s an appreciation from a grateful student for a teacher, who with words and many stunning pictures can make me stop, observe, think, notice and change how I perceive the world. This is no mean feat and Detrick accomplishes his goals in this book partly by giving the reader the rationale behind the photos. Many times he offers side-by-side images of the same subject taken two or more different ways, pointing not only technical differences, but his visualization of the outcome.©Alan & Linda Detrick

      Detrick defines macro photography as “capturing an image that’s at least the same size on film or digital sensor as the actual subject and up to 10X the size of the actual subject”. There’s absolutely no need to be either a gardener or a nature lover to enjoy ‘Macro Photography’. It will tell any photographer how to capture fantastic light and patterns, and the flowers, leaves or insects can be almost incidental. His discussions of backgrounds struck a chord, because while I’m very aware of junk in a picture, I’m much less aware of how adding (or subtracting) splashes of background color can make or break the image.
      ©Alan & Linda Detrick

      But maybe because I am a dedicated gardener, I found the bug images particularly enchanting, a change from my usual concentration on flowers and foliage. I’m left with the feeling that even I could capture a pollen covered bee just crawling out of an early morning flower if I follow the master’s tips.

      There’s a big downside to this book however. It’s hard to simply read and admire. It may cause you to run out to buy a macro lens, the low tripod, cable release and other necessities to try macro yourself. Detrick is a one-man economic stimulus package.

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