What’s Mew Pussycat?; More Readers’ Websites To Enjoy Page 2

For a change of pace, take a look at Lucy D. Allen’s (mostly) black-and-white street photographs that are made in the finest traditions of the genre and feature images made in and around New York City. Her site contains five galleries that have easy-to-use navigation and display her photographs in the best possible way. Calling Allen’s work street photography is a bit of a misnomer because it has a raw, cinematic feel that reminds me of early Scorsese or even Fellini and possesses a living vitality, not just flat pictures on a page or screen. The images in her “entropic blur” gallery show people in Leone-style close-ups or two shots that are vibrant and brimming with life force. Curiously and with rare exception, her few color images here are McLuhanesque, “cooler” in style when compared to the high-energy monochrome images.

© 2009, Lucy D. Allen, All Rights Reserved

When you pop into the “anhedonia” (an inability to experience pleasure from normally pleasurable life events) gallery, Allen’s few color images take on a painterly tone with a definite Edward Hopper vibe while her black-and-white images are relentless in their, what else, anhedonia. In the “just-I-see-I-shoot” gallery her color images come alive, taking on a life of their own by combining images of the street, working people, and life in Weegee’s Naked City style that even that old curmudgeon would have to admire. The “3 hours same place” gallery is classic street photography with only occasional splashes of the brilliance that populates the rest of Allen’s photography. The last gallery is called “iPhone distractions” and I’m guessing that the images were made with her iPhone but they have an impressionistic quality that’s quite different from her sharply focused street photography. Allen is clearly a major talent waiting to be discovered and I hope that someone, somewhere reading this will help give her the gallery exposure her work demands.

Another site this month that turns conventional site design on its ear is one from John Vlahakis that appears simple yet took me three different looks to figure out. The secret, boys and girls, can be found in the little “dashes” under the photographs in his “landscapes” and “portraits” galleries. There are even a few of them on the splash page. When you click on the dashes, all of the images slide to the left revealing new ones! And oh what great photos the process reveals. Vlahakis’s landscapes are big, bold, and colorful. The photographs are delightfully cluttered at one turn and deceptively uncomplicated at another, constantly surprising but always charming. His seascapes soar with subtle color and mist and are the stuff murals are made from, to quote the Bard. Within this context, his attempt at street photography seems incongruous but his moody digital infrared images do not. Because Vlahakis sees in wide angles, his best portraits are necessarily of the environmental variety and the mostly candid photographs of people and one of cows make a jarring juxtaposition. The standout image is a woodcarver producing what looks like decorative decoys. There are not a great number of images here but all are worth a good, long, hard look.

© 2010, John Vlahakis, All Rights Reserved