This is the second of aamora’s series of columns titled “Crystal on You” featuring the advice of our resident celebrity expert, Crystal Lamont:
Your critique of Michael Van der Tol’s “Stuff in my Basement” photo essay changed my life. I had never before realized how important it is to be discriminating about crap. So many nuances, so many levels, so many choices! There’s a whole world of crap out there! Now I see crap everywhere. Here’s some of it. What do you think?
Dear Mr Gerard,
I commend you on your willingness to learn about crap, especially from an expert such as I. Here, I hope, is further help for your levels and nuances and choices.
11-29-09 (Pink Balloon, 4-53PM)
The party’s over and nothing says it like a solitary pink balloon befriending some cold street furniture. (Boy, have I been there. In fact, I think I was hanging onto this very pole the other night whilst waiting for the No. 5 to Mimico). But do you really want to shoot apres-soiree pictures? Why not a shot of the life of the party? Just so long as he or she is well dressed and accessorized, I think that would make a more interesting and entertaining photo.
11-30-09 (Rock, Half Moon Bay Ca)
Crystal sez: Rock on, Mr G. Now the question is: rock on what? I mean, grey concrete?! You know, you say you’ve learned a lot about crap but this photo is desperate to prove you wrong. The rock in itself is not bad but you might have done well to place it on something like chartreuse velour or gold lame. Rocks are pretty dull photo material, so you have to jazz ’em up some. Unless, of course, they are the rocks one wears on one’s fingers and earlobes. “Square-cut or pear-shaped, those rocks won’t lose their shape… diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” Those stones make great photos (and gifts).
12-1-09 (Christmas tree, Rockaway Beach Ca)
Here’s a photo that speaks volumes. I’m not sure what it’s saying but it’s volumes. Or maybe it’s forests. Yes, this shot speaks forests. Or the lack of them. Now, I’m no environmentalist (well, I’m into my own environment: from the plastic Elvis in my boudoir to the pink flamingo on my balcony, I like my surroundings completely inorganic) but since I’m singing songs today, here’s one for this shot: “Took all the trees/put ‘em in a tree museum/and they charged the people a dollar and a half just to see em…Paved paradise, put up a parking lot.” (Mr G, my favourite performer’s Tony Bennett and I don’t think he ever recorded this particular tune so I don’t know why I’m quoting it here – For Heaven Sakes, I wasn’t even ALIVE in the 60s when purportedly some backwater Canadian type wrote it!) So…I’m going to give you one kudo for capturing an “issue”, but you have to ask yourself: Do I really want to take boring issue-oriented photos? Or do I want to shoot exciting frivolous escapist shots? I’ve always been for the latter but this photo may be changing my mind.
Crystal On You – Critique on Alexis Gerard
Crystal Lamont photographiste, actress, filmmaker, commentator and celebrity is a distinguished aamora.com member. Crystal’s a reknowned expert on all things aesthetic.
Aamora member Alexis Gerard co-authored Going Visual, founded Future Image and 6Sight® & is a member of the International Advisory Council of the George Eastman House. View his Flickr photostream or his aamora contributions.