Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ebisu Shrine, Iwakuni, Japan

My photograph "Good Luck Masks, Iwakuni, Japan" of the Shinto Ebisu Jinja (Shinto God of Wealth or Business Shrine) was just selected for exhibition in the March 2011 monthly show "Carnevale" at the  Art League Gallery in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

Please click on image to enlarge.

Only 108 out of 400 pieces were selected for this show.  The juror was sculptor David Page, adjunct professor of sculpture at Towson State University and the Corcoran College of Art+Design.  Professor Page said he hoped to see a variety of lively, energetic work in the show and his expectations were met.  He said he was most interested in the "communication of energy" and when jurying an exhibit he first looks for the artist's personal vision in the work.  He added that he is attracted to works with freshness - whether it is in the style, medium, or subject matter and wants to be moved by the work - to experience some sort of emotional/psychological shift.  In this case he states that he wanted to experience "delight."

This image was taken on 4x5 Fuji Velvia color transparency film.  The brightly colored masks and surrounding dark wood were at opposite ends of the tonal scale, very bright and very dark.  This made it a challenge to expose because of the slow speed of the Velvia film which I rated at e.i. 32.  It was fortunate to be there on a sunny day.  The grounds were covered in a light sandy soil that reflected the sunlight up into the masks.  This not only brought out the vibrant color of the masks but it illuminated the wood structure and its weathered grain.  This reduced the contrast in the scene, allowing the film to record all the detail.

The contrast between the brightly colored masks and dark weathered wooden structure is what initially caught my eye.  I worked with the composition until I got it just the way I wanted and then went on to manipulate the camera swing and tilt movements unitl I got all the elements in the same plane of focus.

Todd A. Smith is a Washington, DC architectural photographer with offices in Alexandria, VA and Spring Lake, NJ. Please visit http://www.tasphoto.com/ to see examples of his architectural photography.

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