Welcome to the Grapevine

News you can use, share and Tweet! - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Light, angles and nostalgia; lots of nostalgia

The St. Stephen's Art Show and  Coconut Grove Arts Festival are February 16-18, 2019. We'll be profiling some of the artists who are participating this year. 

Larry Shane, photo by Nick Ondarza

Larry Shane, local photographer, is known for his photos of iconic Miami places that are now gone or on their way out. The nostalgia and his eye for the perfect shot have made him quite popular on the art show circuit. Larry will be part of the St. Stephen's Show this year. I asked him about his art.

GRAPEVINE: Your photography is one of the most popular at the art shows, what gave you the idea to start photographing these old places before they were totally gone? 
LARRY: Believe it or not I started with tulips from Holland along with some various Miami architecture (odd combination). My work morphed into what it is today largely due to my having chronicled the end days and subsequent demolition of the Orange Bowl. I was merely documenting it for my own archive, however, it was after the fact that I realized I had some marketable shots. 

I've always been attracted to roadside architecture, neon signs and remnants of the past. I began to realize that things were disappearing at an ever increasing rate, and I felt it important to capture them before it was too late. We drive by things every day and they're always there,  until one day you go by and it's gone. I take great joy in the smiles and memories that my work evokes in those that stop by during art shows. It's a large reason why I do what I do. 
GRAPEVINE: Which is the most popular image you sell? What sells the most? 
LARRY: My most popular images these days tend to be Fox's Lounge, Tobacco Road, Jimbo's Shrimp and Scotty's Landing (after the Orange Bowl lol ).
GRAPEVINE: Other than Scotty's Landing, have you photographed any other images in Coconut Grove? Which ones from the past? Which ones are in danger of being gone soon? 
LARRY: I absolutely love shooting the Grove. I grew up hanging out there as a teen and lived in the Grove in the '90s. Aside from being my go to happy place at the Marina for sunset's and sailboats I've gathered shots of the Taurus, The Playhouse, Plymouth Church, Carrollton School, Vizcaya, the now shuttered Planetarium, businesses that have been around a long time such as Maya Hatcha, The Tavern, Robin in the Grove, etc. I've also shot Cocowalk before it's current massive reconstruction effort, as well as other familiar Grove architecture and scenes. I have also shot in the West Grove, from the Bahamian cottages to the shameful substandard apartment blocks that line Grand Avenue. As for endangered, of course, the Playhouse tops the list. After that I'm concerned about Maya Hatcha, Tavern and Robin in the Grove since the building has recently changed hands which usually signals exorbitant rent increases. I'm also not overjoyed with the excessive commercial and residential development that has transformed Miami's most charming village into what it is today. 
GRAPEVINE:  Do you work digitally or with old fashioned film? 
LARRY: It's all digital these days (for me at least). That allows me to shoot 1000-1500 images in a day or weekend without having to worry about the cost of film.
GRAPEVINE: The angles of the shots are what make the images art, along with the nostalgic value. Do you edit while shooting or later after in Photoshop? 
LARRY: It's always about the 'angle' (composition) and light. Many people may shoot the same thing but if you can get it 'different' it will stand out. I like to fill up the frame and have developed a style where I shoot from a down low position which gives my subject a more dramatic presence, I feel. As for post production editing, I don't like to over process or create something that wasn't there to begin with. I may do slight color and/or light correction, a bit of cropping as needed and a small boost to saturate color (which often times the camera doesn't capture the way our eyes see it).  

Larry at last week's Beaux Arts Festival

GRAPEVINE: What famous photographer would you like to have photograph you? 
GRAPEVINE: If you could go back in time and save just one structure that is now long gone, which would it be? 
LARRY: Oh my, what a question. I hate to come full circle but it has to be the one that evokes the most passion and emotion and that is, of course, the Orange Bowl. It's the one place that has touched most everyone's life here in South Florida; whether your high school played there, or you were in the band, a cheerleader,  the legendary Dolphins and Canes history, concerts and even it's use during crisis situations. It's the place that has touched an overwhelming majority of Miami in so many ways.
GRAPEVINE: I see you at all hours posting photos online from one end of the county to the other. I've seen you inside the demolition of the Miami Herald and also in the Florida Keys. When do you sleep?
LARRY: Ha ha ! As this is my passion there is never a moment when I couldn't just head out and shoot till I run out of battery. I am a night owl so I do tend to sleep in on weekends which is not great because the best light is in the morning and later in the afternoon when the sun is at an angle. So, to answer your question, I try and get my 8 on weekends and typically 6 or 7 during the week.
GRAPEVINE: Thanks, Larry! See you at the Art Show next month!

Subscribe to the Grapevine and receive it daily in your email.  ==> Use this link.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Robert Sullivan said...

Armando Colls??? Larry, you're killing me! LOL ;)

January 16, 2019 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry, I would love to meet you. I am somewhat of an artist & would love your input. Maybe you will be in the POSTER tent???
Anyway I must say, the winning poster art is NOT my favourite, but BECAUSE it will have so much history of the Grove....I will buy a poster at the show.& YES I weep for the GOING-AWAY of the beautiful Coconut Grove that I live in & love so much.........Sonia

February 01, 2019 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article. Thanks for sharing! I'm glad to see that the artist will also be at the South Miami Rotary Art Festival on February 23-24.

February 08, 2019 4:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home