With the advent of high-end camera phones, taking pictures is easier than ever, but really great photography remains the domain of a select few, and many of them will gather this week in Charlottesville for the tenth annual Look3 Festival of the Photograph. Sandy Hausman has more on the professional shutterbugs who will show their work.
Look3 was started by Michael Nichols, a National Geographic photographer who lives in the country, west of Charlottesville. The event was originally dubbed Three Days of Peace, Love and Photography.
"A generation of photographers would get together and share carousels of slides, projected on the sides of Michael Nichols’ house," says Mary Virginia Swanson, the festival’s executive director.
"You could bring your carousels and sleeping bag and spend the weekend talking about photography, and when the downtown mall began to be developed and Look3 was getting so large, the festival kind of grew up and moved downtown."
Now in its tenth year, the festival will feature the works of others who have filled the magazine.
Photojournalist Ed Kashi and National Geographic write Don Belt will speak about their ten years of covering issues for Geographic in Syria.
Hanging from the trees on the downtown mall are giant photos of vinyl – pictures of landscapes and wildlife taken by Frans Lanting who will speak Wednesday at the Paramount Theater. And at that same location on Saturday, Christopher Morris, a photographer who has distinguished himself in war, politics and fashion.
"He’s someone whose career has spanned working in the most intense conflict zones in the 80’s and 90’s," says Swanson. "He asked his editor to take him out of the conflict zones and get him to safety, and he was reassigned to the Bush White House and the Obama White House, and his style of working drew the attention of the Italian fashion industry of all things."
You might remember Morris from a recent visit to Radford where he was taking pictures of a Black Lives Matter demonstration when he got into a shouting match and scuffle with a Secret Service agent.
On a gentler note, the festival promises family fun on Sunday at the Jefferson School with two of the sponsors spending Father's Day providing 8 by 10-inch portraits of anyone who stops by. There will also be a room dedicated to children's activities.
Wildlife lovers can see the works of Nick Brandt, who’s spent 30 years taking pictures of animals in Africa. There’s another show featuring photos of national parks taken using 19th century technology and a show that documents ten years of animal migration across Yellowstone National Park.
And Friday night at nine, the public is invited to a free showing of photographs from the archives of Time Magazine at the pavilion of Charlottesville’s downtown mall.
For more information go to www.look3.org