Photography As Theater – Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008

Vanity Fair Photos

Most travel photographers work casually, keeping an eye out for the serendipitous or waiting for a mashup of subject, action and light in one magic “aha!” moment. Unlike Disney, I have never chased lemmings over a cliff or like Geographic, lit a cave with a thousand flashbulbs. My highest level of management is usually simply waiting for something to happen: for the light to change color and move across a landscape, or two tots on a teeter totter to teeter just right (the fat kid on top and the skinny on the bottom). Sometimes I anticipate a moment and prepare for it, rushing in front of an oxcart so it will line up perfectly with a temple when it passes by.

Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art  illustrates a different kind of art: photography as theater.

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Is it Art or is it Traffic?

Air Traffic Patterns, San Francisco Bay Area
No, this is not the work of some unknown abstract impressionist. Underneath the pattern is an aerial map of San Francisco Bay and the lines represent a day of air traffic to and from San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose airports. The different colors represent arrivals and departures by airport. (Courtesy of Michael McCarron, San Francisco Airport)

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