From the current exhibit, Peter Marr has chosen and commented on four photographs as his "Peter's Picks" of the show. Gallery Partners have selected four photographs by Guest Photographs in the show as "Gallery Picks". To see the picks on our website and read Peter Marr's bio, click here.
Peter's Pick -- Evening Panorama - by Dick Bennett. The photographer cannot convey his understanding and appreciation of his subject with a single image, so these exquisite and masterly prints in this exhibition, give the viewer a wonderful insight into Dick's response, his artistic prowess, and his love for the Genesee River and its environs. These are images of affirmation, grace, energy and sheer beauty. The Image Gallery has exhibited many images of the Rochester skyline and the Genesee River, but in my mind, Evening Panorama is one of the very best that I have ever seen. The print is unsurpassed in color and detail, with a magical glow that is just breathtaking. The artist has captured this impressive cityscape not only from a superb viewpoint, but at an exceptional time of day when the river exhibits an aura of tranquility in support of an idyllic landscape. There is an air of calmness and serenity that is just sublime, an exceptional moment when time has stopped, so that the viewer can experience Rochester and the Genesee River in majestic harmony The imposing Genesee Falls enters gracefully into the river, leaving only a delicate tracery on the water's surface. The river skillfully follows its chosen path in almost rippleless fashion, before disappearing from view, as the sun's last rays create a shimmering texture on its surface. The lovely green hues of the trees and surrounding vegetation herald their elegant presence before the evening closes in. Above what nature has so inspiringly given us, one is captivated by the splendid sweep of the Rochester skyline, which rises up under the last beams of sunlight into a picturesque sky, ever darkening as the sun goes down below the expressive cloud formations. All of the credit for this captivating panoramic print of Rochester and the Genesee River goes to the photographer, who has seen, captured and printed this outstanding image for everyone to see and enjoy.
Peter's Pick -- Winter Snow by Dick Bennett - What is so memorable regarding Dick's impressive images of the Genesee River and the major bridges that span it, is that these prints offer the viewer distinct and spectacular scenes that many of them have never been aware of. We are indeed fortunate that the author has lived in this area for a long time, and he has used his local knowledge to record matchless scenes throughout all seasons of the year. Winter Snow captures a spectacular view of the lower Genesee Falls in mid-winter, taken in early morning light after a snowstorm, and before the snow has had a chance to melt. Apart from a couple of small spots of color, the image is essentially a B/W print, a media that totally supports the grandeur and essence of this creative and imposing scene. The snow on the tree branches magically captures one of nature's more expressive and beautiful moments in wintertime. On the left hand side of the print the tree limbs are bowed under the weight of pristine swathes of thick, heavy snow, whilst across the river, the snow has been mostly blown away, leaving a delicate tracery of fine snow on each tree limb, resulting in a winter wonderland that shimmers and glistens, even though the sun's rays have not yet penetrated the valley. There is a tranquility in the air and in the water, a quietness that is only broken by the presence of two fishermen, dressed for the winter conditions, who are apparently trying to persuade fish to be attracted to their lures, instead of their remaining in the warmer depths of the river. Above the water, astonishingly, the Genesee Falls has been virtually stopped in its downward flow path, the once mighty cascade has been transformed into beautiful ice formations like picturesque stalactites suspended in time. Above this scenic splendor, the Driving Park Bridge dominates the skyline. Although the bridge looks dark and foreboding against the winter's featureless, cold sky, its true beauty is revealed by the gracefully curved support span that arcs majestically over the frozen falls, although even this structure exhibits its own display of groups of icicles. The latter are smaller in stature, and cannot match the grandeur of those of the falls itself This superb print is a tribute to the designer and builder of the bridge, and to nature who has choreographed this winter scene so magnificently, and of course to the consummate artist who has so skillfully braved the elements to capture such an awe-inspiring image.
Peter's Pick -- Arisaig Lighthouse -- by Carl Crumley - What makes this image of Arisaig Lighthouse so imposing, is the dramatic way the artist has captured the subject matter squarely in the center of the frame. In addition, the entire background is filled with a spectacular sky, consisting of a magnificent array of puffy white cirrus clouds that move in tight diagonal formations that allow only brief spaces for the blue sky to appear through. Against this magical backdrop, the lovely soft, non-directional illumination results in the impressive lighthouse structure taking on an almost 3-dimensional appearance. This phenomena is enhanced by the fact that every important physical element in the building is painted a deep, saturated red color. Every architectural feature is dynamically displayed in red, even right down to the 2 outside benches. All of the horizontal, vertical and diagonal red lines integrate into a delightful and striking graphic design framework. One might question the reason for the two benches, for surely, the objective for visitors is to enter the imposing front door, in order to explore everything inside. There is certainly an aura of mystery regarding this lighthouse. Firstly, there is no evidence that this building overlooks the sea or possible navigational hazards, except for the small boulders in the immediate foreground, and secondly, the imposing 2007 date displayed over the doorway, suggests that this lighthouse is a replica of an earlier working one that may have fallen into disrepair. None of these thoughts, however, detract from the fact that this is a superb photograph of an amazing lighthouse. It is fascinating to point out that throughout history, there is a high degree of determination and pride in keeping lighthouses such as this one in immaculate order, both inside and out, and the operators spend countless hours to achieve this, so that this discipline will reflect on their ever-readiness to warn of impending dangers. The exact parallel can be found in every fire station in the country, where every fireman spends a great deal of time in cleaning and polishing their fire truck before, and especially after being called to a working fire. A truly stunning image, imaginatively seen, photographed and printed.
Peter's Pick -- Sea Caves #4 by Carl Crumley - Although I admire Carl's striking panoramas of Crepuscular Rays, I selected Sea Caves #4 to comment further on, for this dramatic image wonderfully details the epic battle between the forces of nature, that has been played out in this area over eons of time. What is so remarkable in this particular onslaught of the sea versus the land is that destruction has resulted in the formation of caves of captivating scenic splendor, an awesome feat that only nature itself could have carried out. Way back in geological times, the landscape in this area was probably one of a pristine seashore composed of impressive cliffs and dense vegetation. Because the area was subjected to huge tidal movements, it is not surprising that the shoreline was constantly eroded, and such devastation of the land will continue for a long time into the future. Happily for the viewer, and for those who have had the good fortune to visit this region, the sea and tides have sculpted out a scenic haven, highlighted by enormous caves that go deep into the cliffs. The erosion process is obviously still continuing as evidenced by the dead trees, and the exposed roots of trees which will eventually topple over and be swept away by the encroaching tide. In this uplifting print, one should not fall short in not admiring the artistic prowess of the sea in creating these immense caves. The artist has used the strong lighting to effectively reveal all of the bold and subtle colors to perfection, as well as exquisitely detailing many of the geological strata that have been exposed by the erosion. The visible sea bed is equally spectacular, where at low tide, the gently curving stream that is working its way back to the sea, separates an area of flat rocks, many of which are carpeted by green algae, from an area of smaller, irregular rocks. The scenic highlight of this area is of course the immense caves, areas to be explored for certain, but only at low tide. In closing, besides admiring this uplifting image, the more that I look at it, the more I clearly see a giant reptile, akin to a pterodactyl, which has just landed on the seashore, its giant featherless wings extended out, one whose facial features are very visible. especially the long nose and the two eyes and ears. Such a visionary comparison in no way detracts from the great image that Carl has given us for all to wonder at and enjoy.
Gallery Pick -- Rising Expectations, by Mark Butcher - Mark is a member of the Rochester Photo Editing Group which, as the name indicates, is made up of people who enjoy the post processing part of photography. One of the hardest lessons to learn when using sophisticated computer photo-editing software is to know when NOT to make some enhancements that the software is capable of making. Mark could have used software to bring out details in the dark shadows of the silhouetted tree but chose not to do that. Leaving the tree in silhouette is certainly the right choice for this image. Professional photographer Rick Sammon has a saying: "Light illuminates. Shadows define."
Mark is to be congratulated for rising early while on vacation in South Carolina to find this unusual and beautiful scene on the beach, and for having the skill to capture it so masterfully with proper focus, composition and depth of field. He is also to be congratulated for having the editing skills to know just what to do to make this image the visual delight it is.
Gallery Pick -- Hunt-2, by John Esposito - The first thing one sees when viewing this image is a rider on a horse jumping over a hurdle. However, it's a big mistake to just walk by this image without looking at it more closely. Look carefully and you will see that John uses a wonderful texture approach on a canvas print to make this image a feast for your eyes. The jockey is partially converted into a surrealistic figure and more importantly the crowd in the background is totally surrealist. The horse retains its realistic grounding, but looking at it closely one sees a very strong pattern in the body of a horse. This photograph is therefore a combination of a strong image with a fascinating post process approach making truly a photograph to enjoy.
Gallery Pick -- St. Peters in Rome, NY -- by Mike Heberger - Mike is also a member of the Rochester Photo Editing Group made up of people who enjoy the post processing part of photography. With this photograph Mike has demonstrated the skillful use of blending multiple images to achieve maximum detail in the finished photograph. The technique involves zooming in and capturing successive images as the camera is rotated. Computer software is used to "stitch" the images into a single digital file that contains far more detail than any individual image can provide. Then Mike showed his post processing skill by masterfully manipulating that single file with techniques that result in being able to see detail in the brightest part of the image as well as the shadows, using just the right touch to achieve perfect contrast and sharpness. Mike is to be congratulated for showing outstanding skill in capturing the images with perfect focus, interesting symmetrical composition and great sharpness. He is also to be congratulated for having the editing skills to produce a visually delightful result.
Gallery Pick -- Sunset -- by Michelle Turner - Photography is often called "painting with light." Michelle uses this approach very well in her image that was taken in Santorini. The late sun reflects off the side and some of the architectural elements of the old beautiful church. What makes this a very strong composition is how the yellow daisies across the road appear to reflect the sunlight emitting from the church. The interplay of these two bright areas balances this composition making it a very strong photograph. Greece offers a plethora of fascinating images to photograph and Michelle utilizes one of these great subjects and strengthens it with the careful selection of the time of day to capture it. Many photographs of Greece tend to be very bright and colorful; this photograph provides a darker more serious mood to the viewer, which is both a beautiful and different approach.