Second Life is more than a popular web based community. It is a way of life for Dr. Howard Schatz, a longtime physician who took a sabbatical fourteen years ago to pursue his passion for photography. Schatz has worked as a professional photographer ever since then, and learned to incorporate his expertise as a surgeon into his photographic essays of bodies in motion.
As Dr. Schatz explains the key to his success, he works together with subjects to portray the heart of the champion. Their mutual goal becomes making the best possible image of themselves as they can.
Dr. Schatz’s medical training helps him to understand human anatomy to portray people who excel at applying their anatomy to achieve peak performance — athletes, dancers and actors. He explained his technique of highlighting the muscular skeletal system with minimal clothing, usually plain black.
One of the trade secrets that Schatz shared in the workshop is his observation that to be successful, athletes, dancers and actors have to be able to take direction. He finds directors and coaches are able to build upon that strength by understanding what motivates talent the best and using these skills to achieve peak performance. Schatz copies this approach in the photography studio to produce detailed studies of the exact motions that compose peak performance. You can see illustrations in recent art books showcasing Dr. Schatzï¿½s photography, ï¿½Passion & Lineï¿½ ï¿½Athleteï¿½ and ï¿½Character: Actors Acting.ï¿½
Schatzï¿½s hallmark is the ï¿½stroboscopic techniqueï¿½ capturing small increments of movement within fractions of a second. This photograph of guest speaker Aimee Mullins gesturing with her hand before Dr. Schatz is a very simple recreation, but should give you an idea.
If this report also gives you the idea that you too can have a second life as a photographer, yes you can. The Annenberg Space for Photography makes its exceptional ï¿½IRIS Nightsï¿½ series of presentations by world renowned photographers available to the public free of charge. Most are held Thursday nights at the gallery campus at 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City. The final program this year is Lucy Nicholson’s Shooting Sports on Thursday, December 17. The 2010 winter schedule is online at www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org.