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Frank Stewart at the Phillips: An Excellent Lesson in Story-Telling Composition!

Learn the principles of composition by studying the work of African American Frank Stewart

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One of the best contemporary African-American photographers in our country is Frank Stewart, (b. 1949, Nashville). Stewart has emerged as a sensitive voice in documenting spontaneous scenes of world culture and Black life, including spontaneous scenes of food, dance, music, and the environment. His work reflects the impact of such artists as Romaire Bearden, Roy de Carava, Henri Cartier Bresson, Amiri Baraka, and musician Wynton Marsalis.

Using different camera bodies and lenses in film and digital cameras, Stewart has photographed the effects of climate change, has done improvisational street photography, and was also lead photographer and road manager for the Jazz at Lincoln Center program from 1990 to 2020.

We are privileged to have dozens of these photographs now on display in the Phillips Collection museum, home to one of the greatest collections of French impressionists outside of Paris, and we will use them to teach you all the most important elements of photographic composition: leading lines, rule of thirds, of foreground element, getting low and close, candid photography, posed photography, and pictures that tell a story without words.

Here are some samples of his work that you will capture on this safari:

We begin our Safari in the hallway of the 21st Street entrance to the Phillips, with a discussion of all the elements of composition and story-telling photography by architectural photographer and Washington Photo Safari Director E. David Luria.

We then go inside the Stewart exhibit and examine each photograph from the point of view of the lessons that it teaches us in composition, especially in black and white photography, and then we wander through other exhibits of the gallery, ending up in front of the famous “Luncheon of the Boating Party” painting by **Auguste Renoir**, exclusively shown at the Phillips.

In short, this is a safari to help you become a more astute critic of your own photos by studying and documenting the works of the great masters. We also teach you how to use your camera or smartphone to shoot artwork in low-light situations without flash or tripod, getting the right exposure and white balance, a skill that will come in handy in all your future travels to museums and galleries.

This Safari is led by architectural photographer E. David Luria who studied photography in Paris at The Parsons School of Design with a protege of the French photographer Henri Cartier Bresson, famous for capturing the “decisive moment” in his classic works.

Your safari fee includes admission fee to the museum. No flash, no tripod, no backpacks. Limited to first 5 people who register.