Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trees - Part One

(Click image for larger view)

Opera Tree

© Larry Torno

I love this photograph but not many people share my enthusiasm for it. It's one of my favorite images for a multitude of reasons.

The base of the tree is dead center in the image; something I don't usually do or care for. However in this case, by placing it there, it becomes an integral part in the composition; the anchor, if you will. It's massive, dark, solid shape keeps drawing your eye back to it's location.

By cropping the tree so that no upper branches are showing, it becomes transformed to appear as an architectural element, like the vertical brick columns that flank it and form the wall in the background.

The decorative, wrought iron railing starts on the left side of the photo and extends to the right, but suddenly disappears behind the tree.

The sheet of plastic lining along the back wall, is somewhat translucent and creates several ethereal panels of distorted shapes; like a gallery of large abstract canvases.

The foreground texture of the leaves contrasts with the smooth, symmetrical lines on the ceiling, which in turn, lead you back into the depths of the photograph.

It's a lot to consider, but the initial feeling I had when I created this image was "there's more here than meets the eye."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Return of Barbie - Part Two

The late afternoon sun was filtering into my office and inspired me to shoot something . . . anything, before the light went away. 
     The closest object I could find was a Barbie doll given to me by our friends, the collectors, as an available model, whenever the spirit moved me. Within minutes, she was in place, the camera was on the tripod and I started shooting. 
     What evolved was another look at the same subject from a different perspective. This particular Barbie was the model for the nudes in the show, When Is A Doll Not A Doll? and for last week's extreme close-up of her lips. In this shot, it's a whole new look and a creative way to catch the light that came in my window.  

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Return of Barbie - Part One

Earlier this year I created an exhibition called When Is A Doll Not A Doll? We originally wanted to title it When is a Barbie not a Barbie? but we knew we would have problems with Mattel. 
     The show was a study of vintage Barbie dolls photographed in a kind of portraiture that sought to infuse the plastic dolls with personality. The curator of the show at Bruno David Gallery described them as "liberating Barbie from her box and placing her again in the realm of the imagination". Several of the photographs from the show went on to an additional exhibit, Beneath the Valley of the Dolls, at the Todd Browning Gallery in Los Angeles.
     I continue to look for more opportunities to exhibit this collection and occasionally, I take another look at a Barbie doll to see what else I can find in the American icon. This week and next, I'll show you two new portraits that answer the question, When Is A Doll Not A Doll?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Decommissioned - Part Two

Ride 'Em
© Larry Torno

Finding a tank to photograph in the middle of the city was a stroke of luck. Discovering that the tank was actually in a playground, was hard to believe. Watching kids climb on it like it wasn't a war machine was too much to comprehend.

Battle of the Curly Slide
© Larry Torno

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Decommissioned - Part One

Playground Equipment
© Larry Torno

When I see a Vietnam era, decommissioned McDonnell-Douglas fighter jet sitting in a park, I take notice.

© Larry Torno