Viewing Elliott Erwitt
I recently had opportunity to pay a visit to Fotografiska, Stockholm’s and perhaps Sweden’s leading photography museum and gallery. Elliott Erwitt was on display and my wife and I took the opportunity to thoroughly view his work. This series isn’t specifically about Erwitt, however. I suppose I could have done this series with any artist as the object of peoples’ eyes, but it seemed appropriate that this extremely skilled, classic photographer, who manages to continuously captivate his large audience in thoughtful contemplation and reverie should provide me with the opportunity. That’s when I began doing my own work in capturing these various poses, expressions, and physically visible considerations. The series is not an attempt at half humorous meta-photography, endless photographs of photographers snapping away at photographs (though I do enjoy that). This is a real exploration of art, art where the image and the viewer meet. Half silhouetted images hint at the experience of walking through the crowd and standing before a creative genius on display. The images are an attempt to capture the bona fide enjoyment, amazement, challenge and wonder that art can create in a human being. In the presence of this skilled photographer, the audience can easily get lost from view. Yet here they are. In this series, the viewer in his or her slouching, leaning, pondering poses, is the subject.
About The Series
The series of 50 images was taking at roughly waste height to capture slightly more of the silhouettes than shooting from the chest would capture. As a result, some images were slightly skewed. Erwitt would disapprove, but I took the liberty of straightening and distorting images so that they are flush and square. My art, not his. As an alternative to VSCOcam, I’ve used one of my own saved presets, made using Photo Editor‘s light value (level) tools. (Here is a tutorial on how to make presets.) I followed this preset by reducing saturation to zero.