Friday, September 12, 2008

Lois Greenfield

Lois Greenfield is best known for her dance photography. She has an amazing ability to capture a person’s natural movement.
Lois was born in 1948. She graduated from Brandeis University in 1970 with degrees in Anthropology and Film Making. After college, she originally wanted to take pictures for National Geographic due to her love of traveling and the community service projects that she was involved in. That dream didn’t last long.
One night, Lois was assigned to cover a dance concert. She didn’t know the first thing about photographing movement or the dance world. She learned fast, and by 1973, had mastered the technique and was well on her way to become one of the most well known dance photographers in the world.
Today, Lois has published a couple photography collections and is one of the most sought after dance photographers in the world.
They are called the Carmen de Lavallade collection. The subject is choreographer Carmen de Lavallade. Greenfield did a really good job capturing the movement of de Lavallade's skirt. The skirt creates lines that give the photographs more expression than if she would have been dancing in street clothes.
The central focus of the photographs is obviously the dancer. She is performing a West-Indian influenced dance where a story is told mainly using hand movements.
The value is extremely noticeable in the first picture. The light is coming from the top left corner and draws the viewer's eyes to her arms.
I wish that Greenfield would have gotten all of the skirt in the frame in the third picture. It would have given the photograph more of a symmetric feel.
Greenfield chose a good vantage point when taking the photographs. When taking dance photography, it is hard to get the subject centered because they move around a lot, but she was front and center when she took these.
The background also adds to the collection. The fact that it is the bare minimum makes the viewer focus that much more on the subject and he/she isn't distracted by other objects that could've been in the shot.
Overall, Greenfield did an amazing job with these photographs. I believe her goal was to capture the emotion and strength that de Lavallade portrays when she dances. She captured the dancer's spirit and then some in these photographs.

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