Hyphee in Motion: The Art of “Tut” & “Turf” Reflects the Vitality of Oakland Arts Cutting Edge

Oakland’s First Friday art walk continues to demonstrate that this city might be second to none when it comes to incubating and generating unique visionaries that push content and form in the arts.  This set was shot at First Friday, an event most think of as a showcase for the East Bay’s creative communities.  Turf (referring to the foot work) and Tut (referring to the arm work) take show case to another level as it’s energy is infectious and exalts the amazing beauty of the human form in movement.

Photographing the performing arts in lowlight without flash helps me record and show motion.  Shooting under these setting also limit the sharpness of the shots.  A fact I can live with in order to show in photographs the fleeting energy of innovative youth at the top of their game.

—JMG

21st Century Stockings (Diptych)

The title I gave this shot reaches back to a series of photographs Dorothea Lange made during the Great Depression.  Depicting women wearing mended stocking, Lange thought these shots said much about the time in which they were made.  Her subject was the way the femininity responded to the shortcoming of the economy.

This shot is more about women empowerment in the 21st Century and their ability define themselves (even in eyebrow raising ways).  The value of the shot isn’t so much in the expression it caught on the frame, but rather in the way the picture allows us to reflect on how much things have changed.

If you need to be reminded or see for yourself, here is a link to one of the mended stockings shots by Lange: www.mocp.org/detail.php?t=objects&type=group&f=&a….  After that shot you might want to say about the shot above, “Those aren’t your grandma’s stockings!”

–JMG

Holding Back Desire

Oakland’s regular Friday Nights party draws out my photographic sensibility because there is a range of emotions it opens to capture with a camera. The outdoor amphitheater always challenges my technical skills as I like to shoot low light situations without flash.

This shot says tons about desire self control. It reflects the internal conversation we must have to not act on what we most want. That observation is most evident in the subject’s gaze into the wand. Holding back desire can also be read into the background. I think many would agree an interesting kind of tension is present when one encounters a fabulous dance partner.  In those rare cases, one has to hold back desire to actually get on with the dancing.

–JMG