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Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Feature of the Day #26: Allison Ostertag
Bikes of Philly
Today's feature goes to Allison Ostertag and her wonderful photography. Ostertag picked up her first camera when she was in the third grade. She got her degree in photography and ceramics at Alfred University, but she's also studied at Moore College of Art and The University of the Arts in Philly. Her photographic inspiration comes from animals and the earth, as well as what she sees in the city and on her travels. Even though she does dabble in painting and other various mediums, this feature will focus on her photography.
Ostertag is a capturerer of uncared for moments and places. This can be seen in her bike photography. She takes pictures of bikes because she, "wanted to make an homage to the bike, all of the great bikes on the road in Philly, the style, the design, the colors, the way people make them their own." Ostertag enjoyed the contrast of the hot pink pedals against the bright blue frame of the bike in
Bikes of Philly
(pictured above). This is a perfect example of someone who not only looks, but sees what's going on around her. The composition of the hard lines of the bike frame, juxtaposed against the wheels and spokes pull the image together and keep the eye engaged. While the blues and pink add just enough color to stand out against the bland concrete. Plus the hint of orange in another bike's reflector on the left and the cigarette butt on the ground, add just the hint of contrast that makes the image go from being just a bike in a rack, to something that's special.
This image seems to capture her artistic statement of: Really, it's all about playing and having fun.
National Park Photographs
A portion of many of Ostertag's sales are donated to environmental, social, and animal protection groups. Currently, she is donating to "Save our Gulf," through her National Park photographs.(see left) She also has items that benefit the Spring Gardens Community Garden, teachers through DonorsChoose.org and to the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia.
This is what she has to say about her National Park Photo Series (part one shown above left):
I took a few trips to the Barataria Preserve, just a quick drive from New Orleans in Marrero. This partk, part of the JEan Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, is a beautiful place to walk and see alligators, snakes, skinks, a huge swath of purple irises, cypress trees and their knees and a beauitful bayou vista at the end of the trail.
The Barataria Preserve itself, "offeres a taste of Louisiana's wild wetlands. The preserve's 20,000 acres includes bayous, swamps, marshes, forests, alligators, nutrias, and over 300 species of birds. Boardwalk and dirt trails wind through the preserve and waterways can be explored by canoe or kayak." www.nps.gov/jela/barataria-preserve.htm
Knowing that these wetlands are home to alligators, makes the image go from a peaceful scene, to a rather claustrophobic one. One's imagination can almost hear the rustling of reeds as the alligator makes its way towards the path. Since the edge of the walkway curves out of view, the eye can only go so far before becoming trapped. Overall, its a wonderful example of how an image can provoke an emotional reaction with just a little bit of background to it. Peaceful walk, or panicked chase, it's up for the viewer to decide.
These photographs barely scratch the surface of everything Ostertag has to offer in her store. Make sure to check out not only her photography:
, but her paintings:
, and her ceramics as well:
You can also follow her blog:
And check out her official website:
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Bridge and Lamps in Philadelphia
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