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Partners' Picks of the Show

Black & White Invitational 2020


Gallery Partners have chosen their "Picks of the Show"

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All images copyright by the individual photographers

Partners' Picks of Featured and Guest Photographers
Interior, Marriot Hotel by David Braitsch

Interior, Marriot Hotel, Atlanta, GA
by Dave Braitsch

Dave has presented us with an eclectic collection of B&W photographs, but it’s the architectural photos in the center of his presentation that attract me. Especially the Marriott Interior! I could wax on about the wonderful lines in this photo and the extraordinary symmetry, but it’s the image created by my own imagination that fascinates me the most. I feel like I’m lying on my back and a giant futuristic, many legged, metallic creature is marching over me. A scene from a sci-fi movie perhaps. You don’t see that? Back to reality. Isn’t it interesting that Dave can take a photo of a vertical subject and, at least one person (me), can see it as if it was overhead… like on a ceiling?

Dave remarks that “Black and White imaging helps focus on line, shape, and often essence of the subject.”  That is certainly the case here. Notice that all the lines bring us to one of two people that are in this photograph. Can you find the other? These people help us to understand the scale in this scene.  It always amazes me that very few pixels in a photograph can help understand the entire scene.  A great image Dave. Congratulations!

Misty Island by Michael Keaton


Misty Island
by Michael Keaton

Michael in his Artist’s Statement talks about how Black and White photography reduces the "color pallet" to blacks, whites and articulated grays…the basic elements of an image.  Color is stripped out of the photograph, focusing on this “skeleton” of light. 

Misty Island is a wonderful example of Michael’s photography. The viewer focuses on the interplay of shadows and muted highlights making the island with its four trees an almost silhouette against the grays of the misty landscape.   

The reflections in the water create a strong graphic element, symmetrical in nature but not centered so that the eye is initially drawn to the actual island and trees, then moves to observe the reflections in the water. 

The mist isolates the subject, removing it from its environment, but showing enough of it so that the image is grounded in reality. 

The lack of a “pure white” component in this image reinforces the title Misty Island, providing a soothing and peaceful view of the trees and the grasses. A beautiful photograph.

Winter Kill by Tom Kredo


Winter View
by Tom Kredo

Tom Kredo’s own words “somber, ominous” tell a part of the story, and there’s so much more. 

The repeating geometry of the squares and triangles is wonderfully captured.  There is also a sense of imbalance brought about with the triangles, snow-covered, and the fact that the top row has only two squares, as if the building had really been asking for all but was let down.

The viewer is asked the questions: What is their function? What is inside?  Where do they lead?  Each of the squares is outlined with a brick border, a frame.    

There is a lot of visual confusion brought by the triangular shapes, as though it would be so much easier to look at if each of the openings were simply a square.   Tom's composition provides tension in the structure – even as its starkness leads to a feeling of the “ominous.”   To establish scale of this building, the size of all the squares & triangles openings becomes apparent looking at the “small door” at the base.   

It’s an image which challenges us to make sense of it and may leave us with questions.   This is the mark of an excellent photograph.

Feminine Mystique by Nikhil Nagane


Feminine Mystique
by Nikhil Nagane

The mark of an excellent photograph is that sometimes the subject expresses more than just a record of it, but can be interpreted to be much more.

Nikhil Nagane’s Feminine Mystique is a wonderful example of this.  Although a photograph from the Great Sand Dunes Park in Colorado it is so much more.

Gentle, curved surfaces with a flowing softness abruptly transition to descent carrying the lined texture.  Even that is softened by the long gentle curve.

There is a mystery in this photograph.  Nikhil captures the light creating the high-contrast edge at the top of the sand dune at the edge near the bottom of the image.  There is a gentle gradient from brightness to black.   

This photograph demonstrates how the use of natural lighting can create a dramatic “portrait” of a sand dune. 

The viewer can see both the beauty of natural light as well as letting their mind wander as to why the title was chosen by the photographer.

Abstract Harp by Bob Simon


Abstract Harp
by Bob Simon

From landscapes, urban landscapes, portraits, abstracts that Bob believes will speak to the viewers emotions and inner senses in black and white much better than their color versions.

The image that caught my attention was Abstract Harp that brought me back to high school math class and the parabolic curve. I enjoyed the basics of geometry and space but got lost when it became time to do the calculus. I much prefer Bob’s image as a visual illustration of the concept.  

Composition is an important part of Bob’s photo. Bob makes sure that your focus is on the strings of the harp by focusing on them and leaving the base of the harp blurry. One usually wants the foreground to be sharp, but in this case it’s more important to focus on the middle ground. The parabolic curve created by the strings is mirrored in the shape of the harp’s curve as it rests on the floor. There is another repetition of this in the holes in the base that continue from left to right. A viewer may also spend some time with this photo by seeing the different geometric shapes created within the arrangement of the strings.

Thank you, Bob, for creating this wonderful artwork that presents some many different images. I can even hear the lovely sound of the strings.

Song of the Sky


Song of the Sky
by d dargan teska

d dargan teska reminds us that we don’t actually “see” in black and white, so the photographer has to imagine what the results will be as they take the photograph. Of course, many cameras allow us to view the B&W image in our viewfinder. I’m not sure this is possible with an IR converted camera. Often the photographer has predetermined what this would look like regardless. In order for teska to make these infrared photos she had to have a DSLR converted for this purpose.  Without delving into the science of infrared photography, let’s look at teska’s photograph, Song of the Sky.  This is a wonderful photo of the south west looking up the rock face into the blue sky. Note the diagonal lines created by the rock surface and the misty cloud. This forces movement in a zig-zag pattern and also creates several triangles in the image.  The texture of the rock contrasts with the wispy cloud formation which stands out against the dark sky of the south west.  The bare tree stands alone as if it’s leaves have been stripped away by that cloud formation moving to the right. The bush to the right, with its now white foliage, balances the scene. The infrared treatment creates a mysterious interpretation. Spend some time with this photograph. There is a lot going on here! Thanks for sharing Deb.

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