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'Bangkok Chinatown: The Funerary Shop' - Limited Edition of 16 Photograph

John Crosley

United States

Photography, Black & White on Paper

Size: 36 W x 23.9 H x 0.1 D in

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About The Artwork

Some photos are preplanned and posed, or at least imagined ahead of time for later capture -- a process that requires some time. For the great majority of such images, however, I rely on contemporary visualization prompted for the most part by quickly recognizing juxtapositions that to me appear propitious and that their potential for transformation into a good or better photo is recognized but only if later a subect or different element comes into juxtaposition with the visualization. Photographers frequently recognize places that have potential as scenes or backgrounds for good images and many photogaphers catalog those place for later use in their still photography. That process is much the same as performed by movie location scouts in their searches for good filming or video locations. A good to great location or scene combined with the proper subject and/or action, has potential for transformation into a great image. A great background or very interesting surroundings may be so interesting that addition of an interesting subject may form the elements of a great, even world class image.. Several of my very best images were taken in a well lighted but subterranean passageway at Chicago's O'Hare airpor. The huge, well lighted passageway is for walking passengers changing to gates at the main or outboard terminal and also various airport battery-driven vehicles that carry passengers and/or serfice equpment. Light panels of gold and varying other 'soft' colors pulse in syncopation of an adapted and wel known Gershwin composition which fills the very long connector, which uses two equal length people movers to move pedestrians. The two people movers end at the tunnel's center to provide a way to access or exit the people mover without going its fll length. At the place where the people movers meet, the backround, pulsing light panels continue to change color and light intensity in time with the music. The people movers are set far enough from each other's ends 9at tunnel center) so that only the people mover's ends are visile and at either side of an image taken across the tunnnel that shows pedestrian silhouettes and colored light panels in their pulsation. The scene long had potential for a great capture, and one time with only ten extra minutes connecting planes to stop at that special place, I was able to take less than 20 frames. One of the images was one of my ten best in a lifetime of shooting. another six or seven were ouotstanding, as well. I shot to the background and surroundings. I could not have imagined or foreseen the various arrangements of the pedestrian (and electric cart) silhouettes that those wonderful images formed. Most photographers, like movie location scouts, catalog likely places for shooting; . their skill in visualizing and saving in memory such places for later shooting helps boost their success rate. The colors and geometric framework of the wall's light panels that line its sides, and the syncopation of colors and intensity with a Gershwin composition are visually compelling and with aid of passengers and/or airport transport equipement , form backdrop interesting and compelling enough to be transformed into a great image (or several). Ten minutes shooting yielded one lifetime best photograph and another 'great' half dozen images, all different, through visually related. I saved the surroundings in a mental catalog, but added chance pedestrian and vehicle elements as they passed by and the results were among my best ever. I did not preplan the exact image ultimately catured; such preplanning was beyond my capabilities. Instinctively, however, I knew that magnificent background presented the possiility of a great capture if I prepositioned myself properly. A magnificent background, good physical reflexes and the abiity to analyze and capture a rapidly changing scene can quickly produce a great photo, especially when some of the work, such as finding good to great placement, is cataloged for later use, as there. When a surronding or background of good to great potential is avaiaable, it may not be possible to predict or previsualize the images that will be formed, but as subjects move about within such space, rapid reaction and capture of the resulting images is likely to be fruitful. The results are not considered posed or exactly preplanned, and require still the quck acting instincts of the street photographer and moving subjects. Like early 20th C.humanist photographer Robert Doisneau, shooting assignment photos that had the look and feel of contemporary street photos was a skill that required preplanning and much patience. It was hard work and might take hours or much longer periods to create the image sought. Doisneau, like future Magnum President and shooter, Elliott Erwitt, who similarly was capable of shooting assignement imatgges that appeared to be 'street' captures, both men also soht 'street'. Their 'street' images, as Erwitt noted, required simply walking around interesting places with a camera and recording interesting scenes. There were no costrs besides camera, film and processing expenses plus municipal transport to the shooting scene. The photographer applied the thinking and reflexes necessary for the capture. Expenses were minimal allowing ease of entry. However, success was predicated on having great instincts as well as great endurance for long times spent on the street. Success often resulted from the photographer's great curiosity as well as his/her ability to visualize interesting or otherwise workable photo elements and capture them -- a process that sometimes occurred almost instantaneiously. Almost every 'portrait', even a 'street portrait' shot from close up and/or with a very wide angle lens, requires subject cooperation since so many such images require the photographer to be so close to the subject's face that without cooperation and permission, the proximity would be perceived as invading a subject's personal space, often so much that the proximity might be perrceived as an assault. Taking portraits from close up as here, requires some sort of cooperation and/or understanding with the subject.' The 'understanding' between photographer and subject need not be verbal. Sometimes a photographer's glace at his camera and a look to the eyes of the potential subject with the photographer making an inquiring look, may be met with a nod or even a show of interest (or even no rejection) from a subject. This is imortant where the subject is inclear view but when language difficulties or surronding noise prevent clear verbal communication. Many times I might show my camera to a potential subject and say (in the language of the country) 'May I' No rejection or an affirmative response will indicate permission. Because many subjefts imagine the process might interferee with their immediate plans beause they see it as taking to much time,a phrase emphasizing speed (one minute or less and I'm finished') may be all the salesmanship needed to allow subject cooperation. The key is to be able to fire one time and make a very good and interesting capture. A good photographer often can make such an image within less than 30 seconds. That short time is proof njot only the process will take little time, but also of the photographer's skilll With ,modern cameras with frames per second shooting, just a minute or evena half minute of shootig is likely to yield one decent photo of a subject with a unique and/or interesting face. Showing the image on digital screen to the subject who was promised 'one photo' or 'one minute only' can sell; the subject on allowig more images -- sometimes a great deal more images. 'Wow, that's a wonderful image (if it's true), can I take some more, OK?'; a suject might be asked, and if done i a friendly manner, and the firstt image being very good, the subject is likely to assent to more images and even wish to participage. At times it may be helpful to show the subject imagte to his/her frends observing neaarby to ask teir opinion. Their favorable opinion may turn them into a trusted group of salespeople -- friends of the subject urging him to continue. Those' critics' often will tella recalcitrant subject who allowed one image or a minute's images into allowing mamy more images. I rely greatly on felicitous juxtaposition of subject and surroundings -- often involving an especially attractive background. Specially prized is an interesting background: 1. that somehiow completes a theme suggested by the subject or, contrary, the background or surroundings suggest a theme that subject placement, posing and/or expression can complete. If, in addition, the background or surroundings may fill the frame atttractively. It is helpful to locate and ask participation from a stranger subject at or near a great background, so that the first image can show off the photographer's skils to best advantage. This, I long have felt, is an image with a good, interesting ackgrond that fills the frame. furthermore the round shapes of the heads are mirrored bby the target-like circular pattern on the subject's t-shirt, and that mirroring connects the shirt with the background, making the disparate subject seem to tie with the background. The subject, appearing to be a casually dressed girl or young woman, was born a male. But the young 'he' always 'knew' that though physically born with male attributes from birth, 'maleness' was a tragic mistake. This subject was born male, but always considered self to be female. So he, knowing that 'he' was mentally a 'she' from an early age presented 'himself' as a 'female' despite contrary biologics. 'She' was born male and has undergone a sex change operation and is officially a transexual living life as a woman, and fomrtable with the gender transformation she has undergone. John (Crosley)

Details & Dimensions

Photography:Black & White on Paper

Artist Produced Limited Edition of:16

Size:36 W x 23.9 H x 0.1 D in

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I am a photographer who has taken in the past 12 years, over est. 2 million images, mostly street, with many shown previously under various host sites to over est. 200 million counted viewers. I practiced law very successfully in Silicon Valley, CA for nearly two decades; retiring at about age 40. I am a graduate of NYC's Columbia College, Columbia University. As editor/writer/photographer, I won the Lebhar-Friedman Publishing Blue Chip award for excellence in writing, editing, and photography. For law,I won a variety of awards and special recognition. I attended law school in Silicon Valley, graduating with honors and founding my own Silicon Valley law firm, from which I retired in the late 1980s. I have worked side by side with over a half dozen Pulitzer prize-winning photographers, was shot once, and later medically evacuated from Vietnam while photographing the war there. Self-taught in photography, later, among others, I have been mentored by the following: 1. Henri Cartier-Bresson 2. Sal Vader, Pulitzer winner, Associated Press 3. Wes Gallagher, President/Ceo of Associated Press who groomed me to replace him as A.P. head. 4. Sam Walton, Wal-Mart founder who tried to lure me into his smaller company, now the world's largest. retailer. 5. Walter Baring, Peabody award winner, WRVR-FM NYC's premier cultural radio station. 6./ A variety of great photographers, many Pulitzer winners, including many also from Associated Press,/ Many were Vietnam war colleagues from my freelancing the Vietnam war; others from AP NYC world headquarters. I took H C-B's advice: 'Shoot for yourself, John,' to avoid photo work that would require shooting in a special style. not my own. HCB's s generous, helpful advice also resulted in a career with AP wire service as a world news writer and editor, world service, Associated Press world headquarters, NYC. 6. Michel Karman, Lucie Award photo printer and photo exhibition genius. ent in two 'wars' -- the Vietnamese War, and a prisoner of war taken by Russian separatists in the current Ukrainian--Russian Separatist battles that killed over 10,000 and displaced over 1 million. While writing and as a worldwide photo editor for Associated Press, I was asked to understudy their CEO (worldwide General Manager), to become successor general manager on his retirement, but declined the position. I live the lifestyle of a photographer and am proud of it.

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