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Partners' Picks of the Show

Ireland Impressions

by Steve Levinson


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
Chimney Rock by Dick Beery

Chimney Rock
by Dick Beery

It is always great to enjoy Dick Beery's photographs of the American South West.  In this show he provides stunning images from Kodachrome Basin State Park (perhaps soon to be re-named "Digitally Enhanced JPEG Park”???)

Chimney Rock, an amazing structure to start with, is a wonderful example of how a skilled photographer can present a subject in such a way as it becomes even stronger.

There is a powerful graphic sense to the strong upright rock contrasted against the amazing blue sky.  If you haven't traveled to this part of the word such skies can look "artificial",  BUT this is the actual color of the cloudless skies of Utah on a sunny day.

The detail of the rock is beautifully captured,, showing off the structure of this monolith, while still keeping its deep  black color .  Dick skillfully contrasts the Chimney Rock against the blue sky,but is broken up by the beautiful yellows and oranges of the sun at the horizon.  This makes for a very dramatic composition. 

If you look closely, you can see the crescent of the moon slightly to the right of Chimney rock....giving some counterpoint to the composition and also lending even more interest to the composition.

The ground is in deep shadows, with only a small amount of detail showing...making for a firm base for the rock jutting into the beautiful sky. 

This is a photographer that should hang on your wall!!
Charlotte Airport Skylights by John Kosboth


Charlotte Airport Sky Lights
by John Kosboth

John always challenges us with his photographs.  The 5 images on the gallery’s west front wall hang together tightly with their dark grey matts with a small white edge. That is as far as it goes. Each one of these photographs hold secrets for us to unravel.  John is one of our Visiting Artists for this and the next 2 exhibits. We will be challenged to interpret several of his works.  This time, it is the Charlotte Airport Skylights.  There is a line in John’s text that attracts me, especially when trying to decern his photographs. “We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices.”  John always leaves us room to interpret what we see, but I think he would rather have us think more deeply about his images and not necessarily be satisfied with a workable choice.

Here’s how I interpret “Charlotte Airport Skylights.”  So, the title gives away the mystery of this photo.  Let’s ignore the lights in the sky (and the ground) for a moment. We would actually have a pretty decent photo with the docked plane on the right, the passenger conduit on the left, and a very interesting pattern in the sky.  The reflected interior window lights create a vanishing perspective, as if landing lights heading in the opposite direction. This causes a contradiction for my mind to deal with. Are we coming or are we going? These skylights are cleverly hidden in the clouds as if they actually belong there.  This is one of John’s stories; creating a 3-dimensional effect in a 2-dimensional object. Have fun with the others.

Alone by Steve Levinson


by Steve Levinson

Steve’s photographic collection of Irish Impressions from the land and water to the art and architecture to the people brings a deep appreciation, not only of the subject itself, but also the skill and creativity of the artist-photographer.  The collection has a unity enhanced by the color

tone that softens otherwise black and white images and brings about a kind of intimacy.  That intimate feeling is so very present in this image, Alone.   The man stands facing the sea – an expanse extending to the unbroken horizon and a sky filled with a majestic and powerful cloud.  He stands alone, accompanied in that vast space of nature by the distant bird, wings outstretched. 

It’s sometimes hard to know just why an image has the power it does, so I’ll just have to share my own sense of it.  Others may have a different experience.  The wonderful softness of the color and the wide range of “grays” creates an almost dreamlike quality.  There are no bright colors to distract, and there are only a few elements in the photograph allowing it to be almost symbolic. The short wall at the bottom of the photograph, with all its detail, brings me close, but I remain an observer, blocked from direct access.  The high contrast of the man against the receding clouds gives him a dominant presence, and the texture of the jacket makes him even more real.  It is as if I’m standing not too far behind him.  I look past him to the sea and above him to the towering white cloud. All of a sudden, I’m sharing this space, and I’m alone there, too.  What’s it like for you?

The dramatic power of a photograph is often its ability to draw the viewer in, to invite them to be a part of the scene.  This photograph as that power.  Hats off to Steve!

Grizzly Bear by Zachariah Mein

Grizzly Bear
by Zachariah Mein

Photographs of animals are always a wonderful subject. Zachariah Mein’s Grizzly Bear works so well as the bear is looking the viewer directly into their eyes (or at least seems that way). Any animal that does this becomes the subject of “anthropomorphism”…assigning to an animal “human” traits.

 The bear looks like a calm, quiet, reserved animal, without a hint of aggression. One could imagine walking up to the log, taking a seat and scratching behind one of its ears. (So much for imagining.) 

It is a wonderful portrait.The lush golden-brown color, the flow of the fur down either side of the head, the wet black nose and the straight-ahead eyes looking directly at the viewer. The texture of the log and the face brings our attention there, and the use of the selective focus technique keeps our attention there.

The finish of the photograph is wonderful, large prints seem to more often resonate with the viewer than smaller prints.

Zach has captured an intimate picture of a bear known for its power and dominance. 

 But don’t be fooled. He’s still a Grizzly bear. Hats off to Zachariah, getting this photography without becoming dinner!

Java Moment by Michael Shoemaker

Java Moment
by Michael Shoemaker

Michael Shoemaker is presenting a series of four photos he took in New York City on a bright sunny day in December. Instead of taking bright sunny photos, he decides to use the light judiciously. Photography is all about seeing light and using it to highlight a feeling, mood or tell a story. Michael uses the strong directional light in a very subtle way to focus your attention to the contours and outlines of the subjects. The one that most caught my eye was Java Moment. Less than 10% of the photo is light, yet that light illuminates much about the subject. The light is focused just slightly off center. The subject is tilting forward suggesting movement. The nearly monotone earth tones of a brunette and a camel colored, perhaps wool, coat with the hand holding the ubiquitous green and white Starbucks cup of coffee. The colors enhance to softness of the coat, that would likely not be as apparent in a black and white photo. He even has a lens flare that, rather than detract from the image, draws the eyes’ attention to the beverage. The light catches the 90-degree arm holding the coffee and the bunching up of the coat has a number of geometrically fascinating shapes. It’s most certainly morning, especially from the direction of the light and someone may be off to work. I can almost visualize the steam coming off the coffee, if the constricting top were not on. This is a very good example of using just enough light to create a wonderful image. Well done, Michael.

Key of Life by Michelle Turner 


Key of Life
by Michelle Turner

When you walk into the Neuberger Gallery you are immediately surrounded by a consistently rich and deeply saturated collection of photographs from Egypt.  Michelle did not attempt to provide us the expected travelogue of photos with camels, pyramids, and sand… lots of sand.  Rather she titled her grouping “Another Look at Egypt,” and concentrated instead on the people performing their ordinary daily chores which in many cases was to support the tourist trade. She’s correct, of course, that these could have been take many years ago as life on the Egyptian street has changed little.

The photo that captured the Gallery’s attention is Key of Life.  The Egyptian cross, also known as Ankh, was originally an Egyptian hieroglyph used to represent the word “life”. By extension, this cross became primarily a symbol of life. Egyptian belief in an after life give us reason to imagine that this door and its “keeper” might be an entrance to an afterlife.  The texture of the column and door, as well as the key itself play into our scenario. But what of the sentry? He seems more “modern” and therefore is our connection. His gaze seems to suggest he has a story to tell.  Spend some time in the Neuberger Gallery and study each of Michelle’s photographs. There are many stories to be told here.

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