Created stories

“Watering Hole” copyright of Amy Stein

I had an opportunity to review a local exhibit that inculded the work of Amy Stein and a couple of other photographers. In my role as the editor of the The Photo Exchange, I am more of a reporter versus a true reviewer. Perhaps that will evolve over time.

But here in this place, you get to read my thoughts about the photograpers and exhibit. You unlucky devils;- )

There were three photographers who stood out in this exhibit, but clearly Stein was head and shoulders over the others. I was not aware of which photographers were chosen for the exhibit and on the way over, I had hoped that Watering Hole was one of them. It is becoming an icon image of Stein’s and I had not had the opportunity to see it in print yet.

Interestingly, I had a reviewed a photograph earlier today that included a child with the face somewhat obsecured as in Watering Hole. Sometimes it is a matter of inches in the composition that can make a difference. For those who are not aware, Stein’s photographs are ‘created’, e.g. constructed. The photograph was not made by chance, but to be part of a story.

Unlike the work by Crewdson, she is not heavy handed with overly lite and binging in the dramatic effects. She is a different kind of story director. The photographs work well on their own. You think that this is actually happening and then you realize, oh-oh, the photographer is on the same side of the fence as the bear! Extremly engaging.

Also in this exhibit are the dark, moody and criptic photographs by Susan Burnstine. Burnstine has created little poems while Stein has created short stories. For Burnstein, I have to get in a mood to get into her work, while with Stein, I can easily free associate and easily become engaged. And as the two photographers have a similar themed photograph hanging next to each other, it makes it all that much easier to compare the two.

At the moment, I am the found photograph photograrpher, a sense of discovery of seeing what is there. But I like the idea of creating photograph projects, as a story, and it was a delight to see Stein’s work where the creation process is not so heavy handed and obvious. Wonderful food for thought;- )

Best regards, Doug

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