Roy DeCarava – great American photographer
Though both Letter to Jane and Time’s Looking Around, I’ve learned that a great American photographer died this week: Roy DeCarava. These three sites can give you a better appreciation of why he is a great photographer. Looking at his work, I love his mastery of shadow as in this photo:
Indeed, a lack of light is a major element of this work, be it from the darkness of the room or the opaqueness of the window. I find my eye working harder to draw what little light there is in this photograph. The lack of light is one of the things that engages me when I see this image. (It’s a great composition, generally, with the parallel angles formed by the clothes lines and pot handle, the parallels again of the water tower and the pot, the way the stove “connects” on an angle with the middle line of the window, giving the photo depth, and the tryptch quality that comes from the three “panels” formed by the window on the left and middle and the wall on the right.)
One of the things I love about Manet’s paintings is how well he is able to use the colour black in his work. Not just as one more colour, but as a major element of the composition that changes the way you look at the work. DeCarava does that well too. And so much more.
Great works of photography. Go (re)visit.
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