|Ken Windsor Internet Art Journalist
All good things have to come to an end, and I guess I have had a good run for my money as the saying goes. The fact is that pressure of time and constraints on actually showing individual images have conspired to make it very difficult for me to continue this series.
Over the past months I have managed to show you thousands of images from Photographers and artists world-wide. It has been a pleasure to have been a part of Pixiport, and I am sure that others will take over where I leave off. This is not the last edition, that will be next month when I present my own very personal in-depth look at the images and Photographers who feature on the Pixiport site itself, my own way of saying "thank you" to my hosts.
This month, with permission from the Photographer, I am going to take an in-depth look at a site which "hit me between the eyes" when I saw it for the first time only a week or so ago.
JACKY LEPAGE is a Photographer from Belgium who came to my notice through his images of Jazz musicians. Oh no - I can hear you moan, I know Ken likes jazz, is this going to be just an excuse to feature boring people playing what we consider to be "boring music."
Far from it folks - this is something rather special, here we will see images of grace and power, images of the famous, and the not so famous, and, well yes - people we aint even heard of.
I will look at his non jazz work a little later, but right now, straight into the images.
His jazz images are arranged in 33 special galleries, and each gallery looks a little different, but many look like this.
Now, let us take a look at his Photographs of one of the greatest jazz legends of all time, Chet Baker. Chet was a tortured soul, a man whose life was ruled by drugs, a man who in his young days had the looks of a male film star pin-up, but who in later years looked like someone twice his real age. Chet lost his life in a mysterious fall from an Amsterdam hotel window, the true facts of which have never been established.
To get close to this man was difficult, and even more difficult was to try to capture the essence of this man in a photograph. Jacky Lepage did this - just take a look
Sometimes there is a need for a different treatment, and the sepia look on these is also unique.
Being a non-smoker I do not like images which glorify "The habit." However, it seems that the tradition of the jazz player has necessitated the need for them to partake in this dubious past-time, and sometimes the mood captured by the Photographer just states the obvious lifestyle enjoyed by these artists. Just look at these great images of Mal Waldron.
One of the great things about watching jazz musicians is that they get so immersed in their music, that their faces often take on a "life of their own" Take a look at Rosario Bonaccorso.
Framing an image "in-camera" is a neglected technique. Look at the way that Jacky has used the background to frame Gerie Allen in the top image, and then the piano in the second.
Carla Bley is an artist with very distinctive features, captured perfectly here. A touch of genius to couple these images with those of Karen Mantler, - oh those hairstyles !!
Another legend - Dizzy Gillespie - ok a Photographers dream with those billowing cheeks, but hey, could you capture images as good as this ?
Not content with the standard presentation, Jacky now gives us a compilation image - just look at that wonderful lighting.
Now many Photographers are lucky if they get maybe a dozen really good shots from a "gig" - but Jacky, well let us just say he just keeps on shooting and shooting. Take a look at these from the Jazz festival at Liege in 2003. The artists are the "Wal House of Jazz" - and I count 33 images here, all as sharp and as clear as the proverbial bell.
One of the most important things to remember when designing a web site is to "play to your audience." If, as in this case, you have a vast selection of images which are all of the same subject, it is so easy to "bore" your viewers to death. Jacky has presented his images in many different ways, black and white, sepia, close ups, group shots, and even used a variety of different ways to present his thumbnails for viewing and enlarging.
Now, just look at the way he has presented this photo of Bass player Henri Texier - wonderful originality in allowing the image to become a "part of the page itself."
Away from Jazz, Jacky still takes photos, in fact judging by the diversity of the material on his "Other works" pages he must have a camera about his person for 24 hours of the day !
Who could resist this great image
The world of Jazz photography is a "matter of fact" world, in fact true reality. Away from the constraints of this world, Jacky allows his mind to create new dimensions, allowing the creative juices to flow.
Strong colour gives this next work a sort of "in your face" effect.
Changing the mood, just look at these skies.
For a final look at his pictures, I can do no better than to direct you to his closing gallery - in one word, "stunning."
Well, that has been a sort of "one off" for me, as all my other articles have included many different Photographers, but I hope that you have enjoyed your time with me this month, and I look forward to being with you all next month, for my "Swansong" look at the Photographers that are featured on the "Pixiport" web site.
See you soon.
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