AmericaStoryTypical photojournalistic framing by James Reade Venable

The series I am presenting is of a photojournalistic nature. I used typical photojournalistic framing and imagery sometimes out of necessity, other times to get a certain aesthetic, and when the time allowed some of the images were created stand out visually.

I want to share things I encounter with the world, so that the world can see what they may have otherwise never experienced, and secondly, because I love it and it feels natural to me.

The series I am presenting is of a photojournalistic nature. I used typical photojournalistic framing and imagery sometimes out of necessity, other times to get a certain aesthetic, and when the time allowed some of the images were created stand out visually. One I composed of an Ironic nature is “The Lynching Of Stonewall Jackson”….I tried to compose it so the crane ropes signified a noose lynching him, a form of murder I am sure he was witness to as a officer in the Confederate South.

This series started out in Astoria, Queens with a Black Lives Matter protest shortly after the death of George Floyd. Other photos are taken over a course of weeks in Richmond, Virginia. I headed down there to care for my father who had the Coronavirus. On my free time I headed to Monument avenue where I knew the protests were happening. There was something electric in the air at the first protest I experienced in Queens, NY, but being in the south, in the Confederate capital I knew it was a powder keg waiting to explode. Over weeks the young and righteous people took to the streets and grafittied,and tore down the remnants of the old confederacy. I tried to capture as much as I could. This series to me is about triumph.

The world still has racism and it always will, even now with the uncertainty of the George Floyd Murder Trial, and young persons of color being murdered by cops to this day, I want to get these images to a large audience to show them that protesting that took place did make a difference and a change, especially those monuments in Richmond coming down, and what they stand for. They are all gone except for the Robert E. Lee one which is privately owned, but my image “Robert E. Lee, Black Lives Matter!” with George Floyd’s face projected onto it and BLM is something that is permanent, and hopefully that statue will come down too. But my photo I hope is an example of the protestors triumph.

A lot street shots I took also show a lot of the black population express themselves in the wake of the movement and just moments. Triumph. I want this piece to speak of me as a protester with my camera, with my eye. I could of chanted and shouted but it didn’t feel right. It wasn’t my protest because to be honest I have no idea the challenges it is to be a minority. I am white. So I felt my camera was my protest. To capture the black community and the messages they were saying. I want this to speak of me as an artist who cares and wants to capture history when accessible. I support the Black Lives Matter movement and this is my chant. I take many different types of photos but the ones that capture historical moments in time have a special place. Especially if they raise emotions. I take photos because it keeps me alive spiritually. Photography for me has been a history teacher and insight into people’s pathos. I am just a guy with a camera trying to capture something special. My work as a whole to be honest is all over the place from photojournalism, to surrealistic cityscapes, to abstract. I don’t like to label myself. I want the world to see these photos and I hope these photos raise positive emotions, they could possibly be upsetting. I hope you enjoy these moments in time.

  

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