Yesterday an amazing exhibit opened at the Venice Arts Gallery. Every image by renowned photographer Jim Hubbard, the Creative Director Special Projects, tells a story without using one word. Is it writing? In my mind the answer is a resounding “yes” because as I walked through the gallery, stopping by each image, I knew exactly what Hubbard was telling us…what he was recording for others to see. The exhibit runs through November 30, 2010, 1702 Lincoln Blvd., Venice CA 90291.
Writing without words is a very special talent possessed by some photojournalists and photographers. Body language, the expression in a subject’s eyes, the background, the light, the depth of field…that and more are the words a photographer uses as the writer uses nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. In this day of digital camera equipment, many think because they have a camera they can capture the same type of images. Sure, they might record an incident or shoot a lovely closeup, but the ability to use a camera to instantly tell the story without writing or uttering a single word is a combination of talent and skill. Jim Hubbard’s images are breathtaking, and should be seen if you have the chance.
Hubbard’s career developed from a young photojournalist covering the ’67 Detroit Riots, through his current work from Palestine. He also photographed five presidents as a member of the White House Press Corps. This exhibit includes extraordinary portraits of Bobby Kennedy interacting with an adoring public in Indianapolis shortly before his assassination in 1968. One look at Robert Kennedy’s face, as captured in Hubbard’s image, and the story is told. The weight of the world is on his shoulders and those adoring crowds are looking for him to make things right. The collection also includes intimate portraits of Hubbard’s mother during her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
As a staff photographer for United International Press (UPI) in the 1980’s Jim Hubbard began documenting the lives of the homeless. Whenever he took pictures of the families, children wanted to hold and look through his camera. Seeing this, Hubbard established a program that would enable the homeless children to learn photographic skills and document their world.
Shooting Back, an organization created by Hubbard in 1989, is dedicated to empowering children at risk by teaching them photography. When one of the young participants in the program: asked why he was photographing his own world, the homeless child responded, “I’m shooting back,” and that became the name of the organization.
Hubbard’s books include: “Lives Turned Upside Down: Homeless Children in Their Own Words and Photographs”
For more information: Visit the websites above, and if at all possible, see the exhibit.
More information about Morgan St. James: www.morganstjames-author.com
Morgan writes Spotlight every Wednesday in the Los Angeles edition of echoflam.com, and every Tuesday in the Las Vegas Edition.
Read her Writers Tricks of the trade every Friday in the Los Angeles edition and every Thursday in the Las Vegas edition.
The subject matter in both editions is different. View links for all past articles: Los Angeles; Las Vegas