Photography is a particularly challenging art form because it serves not only as a vehicle to stimulate our senses, but as a way to document the world around us. So a photographer doesn't just have to possess an artistic flair--an ability to frame shapes and colors to make a visual impact--but he or she must also have a knack for identifying that which needs to be preserved, and making the viewer understand the importance of an image without a single accompanying word. Many people fail to see this and thus do not deem documentary photography as art, but a glance through the portfolio of Annie Griffiths would surely change their minds. Even her strictest documentary work (featured in National Geographic and elsewhere) contains brilliantly composed and ethereally lit shots of ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances. Griffiths' work is alternately haunting and inspiring, and the people she's met and places she's seen definitely make her one hell of a storyteller. Griffiths, who authored the fascinating A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel, can speak to the artist, the journalist, the globetrotter and the working parent in all of us. Her engagement at the Winspear Opera Center, 2403 Flora St., combines all of those experiences in an discussion that will leave the lines between journalistic imagery and art beautifully blurred. Griffiths speaks at 8 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $20 to $150 and may be purchased at tickets.attpac.org.
Mon., Jan. 10, 8 p.m., 2011