This week I went to the Weinstein Gallery for works of the master of street photography Louis Faurer and conceptual photographer Alec Soth. I really enjoyed their works and I have to say Louis’s light using skill and Alec’s skill of composition really inspired me. I selected three shots I liked most and I will address more of my thoughts.
The first shot I selected is Broadway, New York, NY, 1949–50 by Louis Faurer. It is black and white, which means light is the core for this work’s storytelling. Light really works and helps express emotion. Light here determines that the photo was shot under the colorful nightlife in New York City. And Louis did create visual appeal. But I don’t think light works as a subject in the shot. In my opinion, the subject in the shot should be the car and people on the car. light here is used as an auxiliary. The street is aflame with lamps. And it looks so lively and blazing with light. All lights make me focus on the car and people on that car. I went to New York last summer and visit Broadway as well. I watched the show “CATS” and I noticed that most of people wore officially to watch the show. They treat attending theater as official activities. In the shots, people on the car wear formal clothing and look like really enjoying the show they watched and the nightlife in this colorful city. And light reflected on the car enriches the shot as well.
The second shot I selected is Park Avenue Garage, New York, NY, 1950 by Louis Faurer. This shot is black and white as well. Light in this shot constitutes shapes of cars and creates visual appeal as well. And I think it works as a subject in the shot. There is no light reflection but it looks like Louis Faurer used light to draw the outline of cars. This technique of expression really inspired me because one of my works in project 1 also shot the inside of a garage. But I used light reflection largely and directly shot light in the photo to express the shape of cars. But Louis Faurer’s approach is totally different with what I applied light and open the new world to apply light for me as well. In my opinion, this approach to apply light is much more newfangled, more professional and more interesting, which deeply inspired me.
The third shot I selected is Jesse, over Burial Park, Ohio, from SONGBOOK, 2012 by Alec Soth, which is in black and white as well. The reason why I like this shot is that light help us focus on the old man. He looks so lonely and is reluctant to leave this burial park. I also think it create visual appeal. Light help us focus on the old man. But I don’t think light works as a subject here. I think the use of light here is to highlight the old man in the middle and weeds around him.
Both these two photographers inspired me a lot. Louis Faurer is really good at using light to show very fancy photos. And Alec Soth is really good at storytelling. I think every piece of Alec’s works in the Weinstein Gallery is telling a vivid story.