Monday, July 14, 2014

If You Leave... Out

So I happen upon this online photo competition via British Journal of Photography- no fee, single images, and if memory serves, a traveling show, book, etc. courtesy a fully funded Kickstarter! Those first two (non) requirements were very appealing: no $ required, and... single images (no essay). Yes, made to order! Returned home to peruse the website (always recommended) and tailor my submissions. Quickly noted this was very much- photography for 20 yr olds only (didn't see it stated anywhere, didn't have to). Next, it became quite apparent that there wasn't one (1) B&W photo on the entire blog- the blimp plummets in free fall.

Hey, what ya gonna do? His ride, his rules- no problem. So I ease down and start looking at the five years of images collected by Mr. Laurence Von Thomas. Think early Ryan McGinley, if he and his models were not so joyously carefree and frolicking- more like suffering from the dreaded... melancholia. Lots of semi nude young women looking arsty and depressed, interspersed with nature scenics, guys standing in the middle of things, guys standing in the middle of nature scenics, and the occasional grainy, blurry color shots with very visible dust marks for good measure. Pretty much what yunguns of a certain age are into; understandable- but you'd think there would be a bit more progression, a bit more variety and exploration during the course of five years of running a photography blog. Hell, I only shoot B&W of a certain style, but I sure can appreciate a helluva lot more- yes, even back in the day.

Then there's the other thing that one gradually begins to notice- photo, after photo, after photo... Not only are there no B&W images- there are no Black or Brown faces! Granted, I began to phase out through the first coupla years of such similarly styled themes and images, but the only two photographs I remember of colored faces (besides a few featured Asians- Japanese?) was a shot in a bus where Black faces were in the periphery of the dead centered White female, and a shot of a Black person in a hoodie with face obscured (black hands). I-kid-you-not. We're talking decimal percentage here- forget token percentage. Especially weird for someone who keeps extolling the virtues of his "global audience."

So I emailed Mr. Von Thomas as to what's up with his particular vision, a vision where beauty, youth and romance certainly does not seem to exist or extend beyond the lighter shades. Still waitin'...

 His ride; most definitely, his rules.

No comments: