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Peter's Picks of the Month

August 12- September 6,2009

Portfolio Showcase 2009 

Peter Marr picked his favorite photos of the show
by the featured photographers selected for the Portfolio Showcase 2009.


All images copyright by the individual photographers


Sailing Lake Ontario by Matthias Boettrich 

Sailing Lake Ontario
by Matthias Boettrich

On a delightful early evening along the waterfront, listening to the band playing Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, we lovingly take in this idyllic wide-angled vista of colorful sailing boats “racing”, under the panoply of an incredible cloud formation. The setting is magical, resplendently seen and captured by the photographer.  We marvel at the vibrant colors of the sails as they reach for every breath of wind, whilst other boats proudly display their spinnakers to catch every gasp on this seemingly breathless evening. Over everything, Nature has given us an imperial, majestic sky formation, so imposing, that even the combatants in the sailing boats have stopped to gaze in wonderment. As we intently look, take in, and admire this excellent image, we note that the band has finished Mendelssohn’s overture, we have a quiet inwardness of peace and solitude, realizing that the racing must now continue, so it is our cue to move further along the waterfront.


  At the Dog Show by Robert Clemens


At the Dog Show
y Robert Clemens

Together with “Main Street Yard”, we are privileged to be captivated by two outstanding Black and White images in the author’s portfolio. I would love to comment on both these excellent photographs, but I have to restrict myself to only one, so I have chosen “At the Dog Show”. This is a picture that Elliott Erwitt would have been proud to have taken, especially as it illustrates one of his favorite tenets, namely, that many people look, but few see. Here, Bob has truly captured the humor and the decisive moment in exemplary fashion. One is lead to believe that a dog and its owner share many similar characteristics, usually facial ones, which of course we are not able to explore in this image. Obviously, it is the dichotomy of size differential that immediately grabs our attention, and is the origin of the incredible humor that we all experience here. It is not just the vast expanse of the woman compared to the tiny dog that captures all of our attention, for one has to include the massive arm and hand, exerting a fearsome grip on the little dog, reminiscent of a power shovel scooping up a clod of dirt from the pavement. This dramatic moment has been exquisitely seen and captured by the author. This hilarious print could, and should, grace any photographic magazine or gallery for all to admire and be humored by. One final note, this outstanding image only works in black-and-white, for it would completely lose its impact if it were in color.


Orphan by Chris Kogut 

by Chris Kogut

Of all of Chris Kogut’s outstanding images, this was the one that was most meaningful to me. Not only is it a superb photograph, it has a sadness and poignancy that captures eloquently, passionately, and emotionally the plight of the people of Myanmar. “Orphan” is an incomparable and memorable image, with an exceptional use of artistic design and placement. The striking design is richly complemented by the powerful red color of the boy’s robe and the companion red splashes on the spindles and horizontal rail.   It is however, the face of the young boy that dramatically holds our attention as the most telling and moving element in the picture. We desperately  want to see the look of enlightenment on his face, transcending from the interactions and teachings of the monks.  Unfortunately, we only see sadness, and we sense despair. We know from the author’s caption, that sadly, the boy has nowhere else to go, and that he is there of necessity. What we all hope for, is that deep down, there is a light that burns for freedom from oppression, not just in him, but in the millions of his people throughout Myanmar. We certainly admire the courage and dedication of Chris Kogut who has used her consummate photographic talents to show us this extraordinary portfolio of prints. The day of enlightenment will surely come, hopefully in the near future for this beautiful but oppressed country.  We truly need that “Leap of Faith”.



Monkshood by Susan C Larkin 

by Susan C. Larkin

Susan has certainly inherited the artistic talents from her parents, and her portfolio of prints magically shows us the beauty and intricacies of nature in a different and most illuminating way. We can certainly marvel at nature’s abstraction, and in “Monkshood” we see a picture of sublime beauty and melodious emotion. I love the powerful vertical format, which with the dramatic lighting and black background, enables us to clearly see every shape, structure, detail and design of this delightful plant. Artistically, the five sepals or “hoods” and the stems are beautifully placed in the frame. For me, I do not see this extremely detailed image as a static one.  I see this plant in constant motion, twisting and turning gracefully as it reaches into the sky.  The more that I look at this fascinating image, the more I hear music, soft, melodious and sensuous, and all the time the plant slowly and majestically sways with every changing chord. This is certainly a lovely image, one to keep looking at, to absorb, to wonder at, and maybe to dance to the music with.



  Palouse #1 by Rick Mearns  

Palouse #1
by Rick

This is an impressive landscape, beautifully seen and captured by the artist.  The color palette is outstanding, encompassing rich saturated hues all the way to delicate pastels, a great example of light and color dancing together.  The ever-changing patterns of shadow and light, due to the sun’s rays being filtered in and out by the scattered cumulous clouds, gives a spectacular collection of shapes and textures that eagerly play against one another.  The result is that your eyes can tirelessly move across the scene, horizontally, vertically and diagonally, exploring endlessly the lovely colors and textures that have been so strikingly captured in this photograph.  With the constantly changing light, the author has made the most of his opportunity, by capturing a fleeting moment, resulting in an exquisite landscape that is both captivating and inspiring.


Beach Pals, Antigua by Daniel J. Nolan 


Beach Pals, Antigua
by Daniel J. Nolan

Posed pictures rarely have as much impact as spontaneous images, and that is certainly true with this outstanding photograph. After asking the children to sit down so that he could take their picture, the author was only able to get a single shot before they all ran off, but what a shot it was. Fill-flash was obviously a great help, but what is truly remarkable is that you could have posed these children for countless hours, and taken many hundreds of exposures, yet I am sure none of these shots would have been as exquisite as this one.  Everyone of these young subjects has a story to tell, everyone of them is reacting differently, whether it is from innocence, curiosity, happiness, apprehension, shyness or just a reaction that asks “why does this man want to take out picture?” This is a superb example of spontaneity, plus a little luck of course, but it certainly illustrates that taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every 1/100th  of a second.  As Henri Cartier-Bresson stated, “For the camera, the creative moment is brief – a collision of event and artist”  This statement, more famously known as the “decisive moment” certainly applies to Daniel’s joyous, heart- warming “portrait” of six delightful, exuberant, innocent children, enjoying life, and as far as we know, their singular moment of fame. 
Inauguration for a King by Tim Schulze 


An Inauguration for a King
by Tim Schulze

This is an extremely telling dramatic image that draws our attention to racial equality in a very original and powerful way. Obviously, a great deal of thought and planning went into this picture, and artistically and photographically, the author did a superb job. The dynamic diagonal thrust across the picture frame of the arm, with the hand holding a digital camera that displays a B/W image of Martin Luther King on its LCD screen is truly masterful.  In direct contrast to this, we witness a massive crowd scene against the backdrop of the Washington Capitol building. This scene is artistically depicted like a watercolor or oil painting. This contrast, deliberately and meaningfully, represents a true time differential between the two images of the camera and the crowd scene. Most importantly, the faces in the crowd are almost all African Americans, some of whom carry flags, one of which is the Stars and Stripes. We can certainly envisage in this impressive and memorable montage, the historical struggle for racial equality over countless decades. We can also feel the tragically slow governmental reform, and really experience the hope that the voice and image of Martin Luther King will eventually lead to true equality.This is a stunning, poignant picture, inspirationally seen, photographed and presented.

Adelie Penguin, Rainbow Sky and Icicles by Ted Tatarzyn 

Adelie Penguin, Rainbow Sky and Icicles
by Ted Tatarzyn

Antarctica, the coldest, windiest, highest and driest continent, is a place like nowhere else on earth.  For me, this sublime image is quintessential Antarctica, a truly memorable picture that reflects both the austerity and beauty of this hostile world.  The glacial icicles, the dramatic blue ice, colored blue as the compressed ice absorbs all light except blue, the gorgeous soft reflective light, the warm pastel colors in the sky all culminating in the presence of a solitary, majestic Adelie penguin. The latter poses alone, yet we all know that this striking, heroic penguin, is representing colonies of thousands of these magnificent animals, that have made this unique landscape their home.  This penguin, a living sentinel on the tip of a glacier, gives all of us hope, that although we are on the “tip” of ecological disaster due to global warming, there is still survival and life in the future, if only man can change his ways.  This is truly a magnificent, thought-provoking image.


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