Monday, 14 March 2011

‘Up Close and Personal’

By Danielle Lancaster

The latest ‘Up Close and Personal’ Challenge on the Bluedog Facebook group got me thinking about two totally different exhibitions with part of the name ‘Up Close and Personal’ in them.

The first:
Photographs of famous faces from Martin Schoeller's Close Up exhibition were recently shown at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia from the 19 November 2010 - 13 February 2011. This was a marvellous exhibition.

This is a person that really photographs faces. Tightly cropped, often from ear to ear, chin to forehead. Some are easily recognisable while others are not. What a courageous act for those to agree to be photographed by a photographer that shows every line on the face as bulging curves leading to deep valleys only formed by the passage of life. He makes faces a landscape. Take note of the light in all the eyes – its exactly the same. Unflattering yes, but precise for exposure.

This was Martin Schoeller’s, a German-born American photographer, first exhibition in Australia, let’s hope it’s not the last.

The second:
Did you know?
Over 99% of all animal species are invertebrates (animals without a backbone). These comprise over 30 major animal groups and more than 5 million species!

Last year while on a commissioned piece for Tourism Queensland (TQ), we found this out and a little more interesting info when we viewed some spectacular imagery at the Up Close & Spineless at Underwater World at Mooloolaba.

This was a first class exhibition from a photographic competition by the Australian Museum to raise awareness of the wonderful world of invertebrates. Open to both amateur and professional photographers across four entry categories, it produced world-class imagery.

Judging criteria was said to be based upon clarity of detail, interesting behaviour, aesthetics and composition.  The Australian Museum also encouraged participants to seek out unusual and rare species.

So what are invertebrates?
Invertebrates are animals without a backbone. They include insects, crustaceans, spiders, coral, cockroaches, caterpillars. Invertebrates are found in all aquatic and terrestrial environments and range in size from microscopic animals to giant squids.

One of our favourites!
Leaf-cutter ants from Costa Rica, Central America are busy at work.
The picture was taken at night, shooting the flash up on the leaf in the background
creating this silhouette of worker ants carrying leaves and the larger soldier ants
protecting the workers.
Finalist, Open Category, Up Close & Spineless 2009
Photographer: Michael Jensen
Rights: © Michael Jensen
Location: Costa Rica, Central America

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