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Peter's and Gallery Picks of the Show
A Sense of Peace
by Tom Dwyer
January 28 - February 23, 2014
Peter Marr and Gallery partners have made a selection of their favorites
from the Featured and Guest Photographers in the exhibit.
click here to return to the details of the exhibit
All images copyright by the individual photographers
Peter's Picks of the Exhibit
Set against a backdrop of impressive mature trees, where the morning mist hangs gracefully in the air, a young, lone sapling elegantly reaches upward, culminating in a burst of new green foliage. The cascading leaves, caressed in part with gentle drops of dew, have a delicacy that is enhanced by the soft light and the absence of shadows, and nature has arranged their distribution to combine aesthetically with the strong verticals of the background trees, to create an inspiring visual and ecological statement. It is important to note that trees are the stately and eloquent voices of nature. They do not scream for attention, but peace comes to those who are aware of their voices, and who stop to listen. Trees are the embodiment of grace and spirituality. Here in solitude, we are entirely absorbed by their presence, away from all of the distractions of what we accept as the real world. The scattering of the sun’s rays by the mist reduces the contrast between light and dark hues, and softens the lines, shapes and textures, evoking a sense of mystery that captures our imagination. The solitary tree in the foreground seems to glow as though illuminated from within, stimulating our emotional response. One is very aware that this young tree has profound ambitions, to mature in size to rival the giants that grow so precariously near the edge of the steep gorge, we fondly hope that it will succeed. It is certainly pertinent to add that the soft lighting has resulted in a breathtaking color palette from delicate greens all the way to gorgeous browns and neutral hues, resulting in a superb landscape, that is both awesome and uplifting.
This sublime image is truly a magical moment in time, as the sun rises over the horizon and its gentle rays brush the foreground trees, whilst a gentle mist rises from the valley floor, resulting in a lyrical landscape that is a picture of poetic delicacy. One witnesses the calming and soothing presence of nature, one in which there is a sacredness that the environment is still alive, and for every observer, there will be an enthusiasm and an immediate emotional response to the scene. The soft lighting is simply gorgeous, resulting in an idyllic landscape of peace and serenity. What is really extraordinary is that although the light intensity is not strong, it is able to reveal incredible detail in the forest of trees in the background, all the way from the tree trunks and canopies, to the consummate green foliage. Where the light has touched the foreground trees, the end result is a radiant warmth and glow, together with impressive detail in the elegant conifers and deciduous trees that grow in harmony and in unison on the slopes of the valley. Against this inspiring panorama, occupying a towering presence in the foreground is a truly imposing and stately deciduous tree. This monarch of the valley could not have been painted in more spectacular fashion by an artist. Being backlit, the tree’s outline dramatically enhances every feature, from the trunk to the limbs and branches. Close inspection of the very tips of each branch reveals dormant buds that are anxiously awaiting that moment in springtime, when the leaves will burst forth with both strength and beauty, to join their honored place in this serene environment. It is a great credit to the artist, that this exquisite landscape has been seen and artistically captured, as a result of countless hours of waiting and watching, for just that small moment in time when the lighting and the mist combined to reveal a magical scene, that he captured so inspiringly. It is certainly worth noting that this outstanding image was creatively matted and framed for every viewer to enjoy to the fullest.
It is very apparent that the artist has developed the power to see his subjects in a truly personal way, experiencing the excitement of creative work that has made a direct appeal to his own passion and interest. The inspired concept of projecting images onto the human form has resulted in his display of fascinating and unique prints. The portraits are not meant to be a likeness of the subject, but a new reality, whose meaning resides as much in what it evokes as in what it actually portrays. Like an artist who begins with a blank canvas, Jim uses a nude model as a transitory surface onto which he projects his graphic designs, resulting in images that he skillfully creates in the camera viewfinder. In Aurora, the flowing, mesmerizing designs are artistically displayed on the model, whose back faces the camera. The distinctive patterns are set against a tapestry of warm reddish hues and positively glow with a creative ambience. It is as though the model was dressed in a skin-tight dress, and the geometric patterns reflected the flowing folds of the dress, whilst also emphasizing her body’s graceful contours. The more that one studies this striking image, the more that one is aware of four distinct areas where the warm hues have been supplanted with green and aqua colors, and more importantly, by a significant area of the model’s lower back which resembles a dark brown, almost black horizontal shield. These areas are certainly part of the overall design, but their significance is a definite conversion topic for viewer discussion. I would like to add my own personal comment as to the mystery of the “shield”. Unlike the graceful, flowing lines in the rest of the projected pattern, this dark area has distinctive edges, and its hue is more reflective of the dark black background which serves as an ideal backdrop for the overall colorful image. I would surmise that this “shield” is the last piece of the memorable jigsaw puzzle, that the artist has deliberately left out for every viewer to decide what really fits into this space. Aurora is a very creative and masterly print, a great tribute to Jim’s inspiring vision and technique.
|Gallery Picks of the Exhibit|
Tired and Rusty
We are all drawn to photographs of old cars and trucks. Often times these pictures simply document the subject. Dick has coupled this interest along strong photographic creativity, with finding wonderful representatives of vehicles that dramatically show their age. With Tired and Rusty, he presents the counterpoint of two cars of the same color, with their strong red-orange tones that complements the rust patina that has been created over the years with being outside. These cars become organic as Dick has shown how weeds have surrounded the cars in an attempt return them to the earth. Strong composition, nostalgia, and decay all combine to make this a very striking photograph. One can both imagine these classic cars in their prime as well as observing them in their state today!
Submerged Leaves #3
Kamil Kozan has produced an excellent photographic portfolio of leaves beneath moving water in his series titled, Submerged Leaves. While several of his images could justifiably be awarded an Image City Gallery Pick, we have selected his Submerged Leaves #3 image for the award.
Kamil creatively photographs autumn leaves filtered through the turbulence of flowing water. The result is a grouping of subtlety colored images resembling water colored abstracts. The common photographic practice in shooting this kind of subject matter is to focus on a particular area and contrast these sharply focused areas against softly slurred water. Kamil’s creative approach is unique in that he emphasizes balance of soft color and uses only limited sharpness to maintain interest and give some grounding to the photograph.
Moving water images are difficult to photograph. The glare on moving water tends to shut down meter readings thus producing dark underexposed prints. Kamil has skillfully mastered the art of opening up his camera’s exposures to produce brightly colored images.
Another difficulty that Kamil has creatively mastered is selecting shutter speeds so that the moving water creates some softness but not total blur. In Submerged Leaves #3, Kamil uses a shutter speed that captures the pleasantly curved horizontal lines of the moving water. The interaction between the water lines and the leaves is quite pleasing. Although the yellow leaf is somewhat centered, the two adjacent orange leaves create a good feeling of balance.
In this photograph John displays his skills in capturing the essence of a lovely young girl. Instead of simply showing a single portrait, John shows a diptych of the same model facing herself but in a very clever way. When people close their eyes and are photographed they often show a completely different and sometimes mystical look. Photographs of subjects with their eyes closed are a very effective technique in portrait photography. Coupling this image with an additional photograph of the same model with her eyes wide open and a very compelling gesture with her hand makes for an excellent contrast. As with many of John’s photographs, the viewer cannot simply look at it and walk away, but is encouraged to spend time with this photograph and think about the personality and the thoughts of the model. In this series of diptychs John clearly moves away from the traditional portrait and has developed a wonderful way to capture his impressions of the models with whom he works.