Photographer Says It's Not All Black And White

By: Lindsay Shively
By: Lindsay Shively

The Aaron Douglas Art Fair highlights the history of a Topeka neighborhood, but also gives new artists a chance to bloom. Meet one of those artists.

When Maxine Bermudez went to Washburn University to become a paralegal, she wanted to take some fun classes.

"I couldn't see myself taking a bunch of english classes, but I saw a black and white photography class so i took it," Bermudez says.

From there, a natural talent flourished through the viewfinder of maxine's camera lens -- with a natural eye for what makes a great picture.

"This one, I kept driving along a road and saw this vine growing," Bermudez describes a black and white photo of a telephone pole shining in the sun with several power lines stretched across the frame. "I had my camera in the back and I thought, I'll just grab it."

The camera she grabbed is called a Holga. A camera so simple but yields complicated results.

"They call it a toy camera because its plastic. if I drop it, I don't worry about it. If you look through the view finder, you're not necessarily gonna get what you envisioned. It has some very dramatic effects. it'll double expose for you," adds Bermudez.

She uses everyday things for her subjects, including her grandkids. One of her favorites shows one of her granddaughters perched over a pumpkin on the ground. The black and white photo has calm flashes of color because Bermudez colored two of the pumpkins in the shot.

"Actually, she's kind of angry at the pumpkin," Bermudez laughed. "We didn't realize it had pricklies on the stems so apparently it had pricked her and she was mad it."

Considering the complicated process she endures as a photographer, Bermudez passes along some words of wisdom for any aspiring artists.

"With the age of digital, its not hard to be a photographer. However, for it to be art, you need to think about how people will perceive it."


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