I saw a fabulous exhibit of 125 years of National Geographic photos last weekend at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. And while there I had the chance to capture a few interesting shots of my own. The Annenberg Space, in Century City, is surrounded by gleaming mirrored skyscrapers and a sampling of urban life which makes for some interesting photographic subject matter.
The National Geographic exhibit, running through April 27, 2014, is aptly titled The Power of Photography. Indeed, the photos ranging from Robert Peary’s sepia prints of his early 20th century expedition to the South Pole to child brides of today to images of war-torn areas to the beauty of the natural world pack quite a wallop. The Space itself is relatively small but it manages to squeeze in enough fascinating photographs to captivate you for an afternoon. One way it does this is by the use of video walls to present rotating series of still photographs. In this exhibit some of the displays are grouped in themes of two to six photos all of which change simultaneously about once a minute. In addition, there are numerous more conventional prints covering the walls from the floors to the high ceilings. And in the center of the Space are two large high-resolution video screens which feature an outstanding documentary about the National Geographic including interviews with some of the photographers. With free admission and nearly free parking (get your ticket validated) this exhibit is an amazing offering for photographers and non-photographers alike.
After seeing an exhibit like this it would be easy to feel daunted wielding my little Fujifilm X20 in the banal environs of L.A. but fortunately I found myself stimulated and inspired instead. Emerging from the Space I was pleased to see the warm glow of late afternoon and I captured this reflection of adjacent tall buildings.
I also got this shot of a worker doing… something. What do you think he’s doing? I actually took a bunch of shots revealing the top end of his pole and then I thought better of it. So, I reframed this one which adds a bit of mystery. Which do you think would be a better photo? This one? Or a shot revealing the full story? (Click the photo to see what’s at the end of that long handle.)
And here’s another look at those buildings in the reflection above.