Art & Design, Arts & Culture

My Favorite Things: Portraits of Statues

September 28, 2015 • By

Do you start to notice themes when you look over your travel photos?

I have a huge collection of “portraits” of statues.

Even through the lens, I realize that I love to shoot sculpture in the same way that I like to take photos of models.  Sometimes I even feel myself having an internal discussion with them.  You know what I mean, “…good, good, a bit more to the left, yes. Perfect…”

A Sculpture at Atlanta's High Museum

A Sculpture at Atlanta’s High Museum

I’ve done it for years.

I once spent several hours in the gardens of the Organization of American States in Washington, DC, photographing the statuary in great detail. The hands, faces, silhouettes.

Eventually I noticed the security cameras had started to follow me – then a guard came out to ask what I was doing. After we spoke, he invited me inside and let me photograph inside the building, too.  Maybe one day I’ll post that whole series. But on that day, I was shooting film – so it will take a full day of scanning before I can share.

Historic house museums are often filled with statuary and I’m always thrilled when they allow photos. Here, I managed to catch some star-crossed lovers…of course, they ran away as soon as they saw me.

Lovers captured inside Hearst Castle in California

Lovers captured inside Hearst Castle in California

A beautiful sculpture really does speak to the camera.  (O is it just me?)

Look at this one. Don’t you feel that she’s just about to turn, and then she’ll gaze right at the camera. I’m sure of it. But all in her own time.

Photographed at the Carmel Mission in Carmel, California

Photographed at the Carmel Mission in Carmel, California

The sculptures inside the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia are definitely some of my favorites. These neo-classical marbles by William Wetmore Story seem to glow – and I love the minimal background. (Like seamless paper at a fashion shoot.)

More of the High Museum's Sculpture Collection

More of the High Museum’s Sculpture Collection

 

Of course, statuary may be at its most classic surrounded by greenery. The Huntington Garden & Library in Pasadena, California if full of amazing pieces that seem to be moving in the landscape.

 

Pasadena's Huntington Gardens & Library

Pasadena’s Huntington Gardens & Library

Sometimes I manipulate the photos a bit, just for fun. Like this “Sepia Angel” I shot while walking around the narrow streets of Bergamo, Italy.  I donated this print to a local charity auction.

Sepia Angel in Bergamo, Italy

Sepia Angel in Bergamo, Italy

And sometimes I manipulate them a lot – like this image that’s part of our new SmithHönig collection that will launch in January. (Stay tuned for details on that…)

Flora by SmithHönig

Flora by SmithHönig

Believe it or not, the image of Flora was shot in my sister’s back yard. Isn’t she beautiful?

Occasionally, my statuary portraits are of animals – like this cat sitting a ledge in Neve Tzedek – a chic, historic neighborhood in Tel Aviv.

Street Art in Neve Tzedek

Street Art in Neve Tzedek

Or this buffalo in Salt Lake City. (Okay, he may not technically be a statue – but he gave me a great look as I aimed up at him, don’t you think? He’s working the camera, for sure.)

Salt Lake City: Sometimes, You've Got to Look Up to Get the Shot

Salt Lake City: Sometimes, You’ve Got to Look Up to Get the Shot

Sometimes, the statuary is part of the street ballet that goes on in big cities. And nowhere are there better dancers than in New York City.

Streets of Manhattan

Streets of Manhattan

And sometimes, I keep getting drawn back to the same subject over and over…season after season. These angels are the highlight of my walks through my local historic cemetery. And they always have something to say.

Snow Angel

Snow Angel

Cemetery Angel

Cemetery Angel

Lastly – I came across this fine lady at an amazing antiques store in Denmark — (Denmark, South Carolina that is!)  The spider web is super creepy and beautiful and intriguing, all at the same time.

What Kind of Spider Did Her Hair?

What Kind of Spider Did Her Hair?

So. I’ll leave it at that.

I have so many more portraits of statues – I may have to do another post later. (I don’t want anyone to feel left out.)

But the spider web lady seems the perfect place to end as we get ready to head into the spooky month.

Do you find any unexpected or unusual themes in your travel photos? I’d love to hear about it!

Portraits of Statues, the Sculpture or Statuary becomes your model for portraits - an interesting theme for travel photography

Portraits of Statues, the Sculpture or Statuary becomes your model for portraits – an interesting theme for travel photography