Norman Schwartz – Featured LACP Member, October 2018
In 2006, Norman Schwartz began capturing alluring photographic images incorporating his fascination with people and minute detail developed during his professional careers as a graduate engineer and attorney. Dr. Schwartz studied photography in community colleges and the extension school at UCLA where he was awarded first place in a student contest and his entry featured on the cover of the UCLA semiannual program catalog.
The series “Music and Dance” began as individual images without a thought of creating a cohesive body of work. Understanding and becoming proficient at shooting bodies in motion in low light condition was the self-imposed assignment. The eventual use of Adobe Lightroom with its key wording feature gave birth to the collection almost by accident.
The subjects are both amateurs and professionals performing in a variety of venues ranging from neighborhood schools to concert theaters to night clubs. Varied access to the stage, animated crowds and changing ambient lighting were some of the daunting challenges. After amassing numerous captures, it became evident the whole of the independent spontaneous images was greater than the sum of its individual parts.
The collection resulted but it continues as a work in progress.
Music and Dance
The collection began as individual images without regard to amassing a cohesive body of work. Understanding and becoming proficient at shooting bodies in motion in low lighting conditions was my goal.
All images were in ambient light. The artists were both amateurs and professionals performing in a variety of venues ranging from neighborhood public schools to popular night clubs. Access to the stage varied greatly even during a single session necessitating multiple rapid lens changes and camera settings. Compounding this challenge was the variety of color spot lights illuminating the stage. Converting to black and white in post processing was mandated.
It was truly a boot camp learning process. Thoughtful compositions were impossible. Like most projects, however, the deletes outnumbered the saves. The ratio began to improve with an understanding of preferred lenses and camera settings. A prime 85mm f/1.4 became the lens of choice with wide aperture and 1000 to 2000 ISO to assure clarity of the bodies in motion.
At home before the computer, I slowly recognized that the whole of these independent spontaneous “spur of the moment” compositions was greater than the sum of its parts. The collection grew over a span of years. It remains a project in progress with no ending in sight.