Seeing Stars

Posted by | March 17, 2015 | iCarver | No Comments

I’m certainly not immune to it, but contemporary life seems to assign a bizarrely distorted value to recognizable people and places. I hear a lot more conversation about where people have been than about what they experienced when they were there. I see many people shooting selfies (and groupies???); I see fewer people looking, absorbing, basking and appreciating. People might not read up, they might skip the audio brief or the docent tour but most won’t skip taking a photo. That photo may or may not be worth looking at, but it’s proof. It’s validation. It allows remembering and sharing typically without thinking or participating. It’s more of a capture than a creation.

I don’t mean to sound grumpy about all of this, but as a photographer there’s an interesting disconnect for me. Nothing to do with better / worse, just distinctly different. How / why did photography become the grand validator? Why are people more “focused” on the photo than the experience? Does this trickle down from television’s passive visual participation replacement of active social interaction?

Anyway, as I said, I’m not immune. I particularly enjoy photographing musicians and performing artists because there’s an added sense of participation; those moments can be interpreted but never truly captured. I’m in awe of many people – sometimes for their style, sometimes for their accomplishments. And lucky me, my passion has allowed me to briefly step along side and sometimes even photograph some of them, including:

MUSICIANS
Ray Charles
The Grateful Dead
Jefferson Starship
Papa John Creech
Grace Slick
Paul Kantnor
Marty Balin
Craig Chaquico
George Benson
Duane Allman
Levon Helm
Vassar Clements
Jorma Kaukonen
Boz Scaggs
Duane Allman
Fleetwood Mac
Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders
Sting
Bob Dylan
Dave Matthews
Steve Miller
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Patti LaBelle
James Brown
David Byrne
Gary US Bonds

AUTO RACING
James Hunt
Marc Donahue
Jody Scheckter
Gilles Villeneuve
David Hobbs
Ronnie Peterson
Mario Andretti
Michael Andretti
Al Unser Sr.
Al Unser Jr.
Ronnie Peterson
Patrick Depailler
Gilles Villeneuve
Emerson Fittipaldi

SCIENCE
Dr. Watson, Nobel prize, DNA

DESIGNERS / FASHION
Karl Lagerfeld
Jean-Paul Gautier
Calvin Klein
Anna Wintour
Leon Andre Talley
Donna Karen

INDUSTRY LEADERS
Penny Tweedy, breeder, “Secretariat”

ACTORS
Paul Newman
Dustin Hoffman
Meryl Streep
Sydney Pollack
Woody Allan

FILM / PHOTOGRAPHY
Irving Penn
Ansel Adams
Willard Rosenquist
Donn Pennebaker
Ricky Leacock
William Wegman
Richard Avedon
Arthur Elgort
Mike Reinhart

CELEBRITIES
Chuck Yeager, pilot
George Balanchine, choreographer
Kofi Annon, Nobel Peace Prize recipient
Paul Newman, actor
Sir Neville Marriner
Ralph Kotai, Theatrical designer
Bambi, performance artist
Indian Larry, Motorcycle maven
Ondine, Andy Warhol Factory

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