"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it
make a sound?"
In another photo magazine's blog, the writer notes the passing of J.
Frederick Smith at 88 and says, "I had heard his name but wasn't
really aware of his work until recently." At first I was surprised by
this sentence since it appeared in what was otherwise a well-written obituary,
until I realized that Mr. Smith did not even rate an entry on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page),
the home of bios to many, including shiftless politicians and would-be celebrities.
There didn't seem to be many books by or about Mr. Smith until I remembered
my library contained a 1975 volume called "Photographing Sensuality"
from the "Masters of Contemporary Photography" series published
by the gone-but-not forgotten Petersen's PHOTOgraphic. Let me add my condolences
to the Smith family with a postscript that his work touched the lives of many
people and influenced many more, including a then-aspiring 34-year-old photographer.
© 2006, J. Frederick Smith, All Rights Reserved
Andrew Kornylak is one interesting dude. Check out his bio to find out what
he didn't do. He didn't attend Pratt Institute and never assisted
Annie Leibovitz; he is self-taught, but you would never know it from the stunning
editorial and commercial images filling his website. His three galleries are
called Dancers, Adventurers, and Faeries & Monsters. "Adventurers"
is full of photographs of rock climbing, mountain biking, water sports, and
a lot of other outdoorsy activities. But check out how Kornylak shows mountain
bikers during the 24 Hours of Conyers mountain bike race. You can't see
the bikes but you can witness Kornylak's talent in telling a story.
These stylistic pirouettes are continued in "Faeries & Monsters"
that includes more extreme sports activity mellowed by the presence of whimsical
imagery, the best being a photo of a 2-year-old Sam Kornylak finding a "scary
monster" in a playground. (Profanity alert for the easily offended.) The
"Dancers" collection is a modern day West Side Story, featuring
aesthetic examples of dancers strutting their stuff in urban settings. Don't
expect Broadway or even off-off Broadway; it's gritty urban realism with
an added dollop of style and grace. Kornylak built the site using liveBooks
software. As I was finishing this profile, liveBooks announced Version 5.0 that
adds new navigation and styling options, slide show movies, HTML gallery presentations,
music uploads, and a shopping cart for selling prints.
Photos © 2006, Andrew Kornylak, All Rights Reserved