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If you are unable to visit our gallery and would like to purchase photographs from this preview or others in the gallery, please contact the gallery and call 585-271-2540.


Peter's and Gallery Picks of the Show

Black & White Invitational

November 4 - November 30, 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

Railing and Snow #2 by DG Adams

Railing and Snow #2
by D. G. Adams

This creative and magical print is a wonderful example where cross lighting imparts a breathtaking luminosity that is dimensionally unmatched. It is enthralling to see the light pattern of the dark railings contrasted against the much larger and more delicate shadow patterns. Using such a large imbalance of tonality intentionally, results in the creation of tension within the viewer. Spectacularly, there are two distinct overall movements as the eye scans the image. Firstly, there is vertical movement from the lower right to the left, which falls short of reaching the middle of the frame. To maintain balance, there is a much greater weight placed on the right hand side. Secondly, the side lighting creates a moving shadow pattern of the black railings, and this elegant tracery moves not just from the right to left, but almost vertically before it disappears, along with the railing over the horizon. The perspective line of the railing consists of a sequence of closely related forms to create a visual pattern, and in counterpoint to this, the shadows set up a second design. There are distinct tonal variations between the railing and the shadow, resulting in a magical interplay between the two. The blowing snow has largely obliterated the series of steps to the right of the rail support, the steps becoming more evident towards the top of the rise. Where the steps are more clearly seen, one can envisage a series of crosses, although they are not visible in the lovely shadows at the left. I hope that every viewer will take the time to both admire and sense the serenity and quietness of the overall scene, and appreciate how the artist has transformed the harshness of winter into an idyllic masterpiece of peacefulness and grace, quiet beauty that is both creative and uplifting.

Peter A. Marr   


Bouts by Tim Fuss

by Tim Fuss

 As he states in his short biography, Tim portrays the elements of music visually by using the shapes of musical instruments. Many of his outstanding images incorporate a minimalist abstraction approach, often displaying somewhat sensuous curve relationships that are truly fascinating.

I chose Bouts to comment further on, because this print has much more information on the instruments, which additionally allows the viewer to have a true appreciation of the fine craftsmanship of the instrument makers. The studio lighting has been superbly controlled in terms of intensity and direction, leaving only the artist’s imagination to create wonderful patterns and interesting variations. The instruments follow diagonal lines which creates powerful compositional effects because of their inherent instability. The high contrast lighting beautifully meshes with the mood and ambience in the image and the flowing curves enhances the visual relationships, which in turn, gives rise to visual harmonies. Although the instruments are at rest, there is an expressive movement and depth with the pattern variations that reflects on rhythms, timbres and harmonies that one can almost hear coming out of the print. Artfully arranged, these magnificent instruments, probably violins, suggest that they have been carefully laid down by members of the string section, possibly during an orchestral intermission. It is left to the viewer to provide their own score to listen to as they study this entrancing image. My own thoughts gravitate to Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.”  The viewer can also stay longer to listen to what music will be played on these violins after the intermission.

Peter Marr

Asclepias tuberosa by Susan C. Larkin

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
by Susan C. Larkin

This is an amazing image of a plant bursting forth in all its glory and delicacy, captured at a peak moment in an incomparable manner by an artist who has an unsurpassed love and passion for nature, particularly taking superb close-ups that reveal extraordinary fine detail that few have been privileged to see. One would yearn to learn of the plant’s life story and to understand its language, but of course at this time it is not possible. Thankfully, we have Susan’s remarkable print that illustrates the last stages of this narrative. Here we experience a large seed pod, powerfully displayed on an entrancing diagonal line, bursting forth to release its seeds. This is a pod that has lovingly sheltered its precious cargo through an infinite range of climatic conditions, and has fostered a protective-paternalistic feeling for the seeds for a considerable time. The artist has captured the magical moment when the pod opens, and the seeds, with their silky parachutes that are superbly captured in this image are left to dance playfully together, before the wind plucks them into the air. One by one, the progeny of the plant drift off to an unknown destination, all hoping for a soft landing in perhaps moist soil, where they can eventually take root and successfully propagate the species. There is an impressive interplay of tonalities as well as the inspired use of the positive and negative space from the incorporation of the vibrant foreground and the black background. The vivid whites play against the dark grays and the black surround to create an artistic setting that results in a dramatic impact, together with the fact that the high contrast adds to the overall brilliancy of the image. Nature would be incredibly proud if they could see this print, that one of its magnificent creations has been captured so artistically and so inspiringly.

Peter Marr



False Kiva by Dave Valvo

Places of Power- False Kiva
by Dave Valvo

All of Dave’s breathtaking landscapes exhibit a power and majesty that is so appropriate for the areas where they were photographed. These prints visually excite us because they convey the excitement and the deep personal feelings experienced by the artist, when he is faced with the challenges of making memorable images from such momentous opportunities. “False Kiva” is a panorama of exalted inspiration, a natural expanse that to the Anasazi probably looked closer to paradise, a sheer temple of grandeur, one that no hand of man could have built. The author’s love and real enthusiasm for the subject matter, reminds me of what Frederick Sommer once stated, namely, “Subject matter is subject that matters,” As a result of the extreme exposure and dynamic range of the scene, the artist had to do considerable manipulation in the digital darkroom in order to come up with the wonderful final print. This is an awesome landscape which exhibits a magical glow befitting the grandeur and nobility of nature. It is very obvious that Dave has deep personal conviction, insight and emotion, and his years of experience in photography have resulted in him “seeing in B/W,” and he has been moved to produce such meaningful work. The middle and light gray tonalities dominate this image, but any tonal imbalance has been artistically corrected in the digital darkroom. The viewer cannot help but be astounded by the outstanding detail, the tremendous feeling of three dimensionality from the Kiva perched high on an escarpment, all the way through the canyons to the remote structures in the background. If that were not enough, the impressive and somewhat menacing clouds add a realism that is compelling and powerful. The only other important detail that I would like to add, is that this print and all of Dave’s other works are beautifully matted and framed, in keeping with such an outstanding exhibition.  

Peter Marr     


Peter MarrWe are very grateful to Peter for his thorough review and selection for Peter's Picks. Peter was born in England in 1935 and came to live in the United States in 1968. He worked for the Eastman Kodak Company for 34 years, retiring in 1998. During his employment and continuing into retirement, he has been an enthusiastic photographer. His photography has won him numerous awards throughout Kodak and in International Salons, including 5 George Eastman Medals, which is the top honor awarded to the most outstanding picture in the Annual Kodak International Salon. He has served as a judge in both local and international photographic competitions for the past 20 years, and is a Past president of the Kodak Camera Club and past chairman of many of the Kodak Camera Club organizations. In the past five years or so, he has devoted his photographic skills and interest into nature photography, notably bird photography. His bird photography has been the subject of several one-person exhibits, the most recent being at Ding Darling NWR, in Sanibel, Florida, The Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, and at the Webster Public Library in Webster, NY.

Gallery  Picks of the Exhibit 

Along the Creek #7 by Bruno Chalifour


Along the Creek #7
by Bruno Chalifour

This is a wonderfully complex image with an active interplay between light and shade, each distinct and delicate.  Together they create an almost magical space along the creek.   Following the light can draw us from the foreground gently through a visual opening to the more distant creek, the small waterfall and the quiet space in front of it.    The light brings us back along the creek, and from there up into the canopy above.

These images are reflections of the artist’s childhood experience, seen with young, curious and exploring eyes.  When we allow ourselves to see this image through those eyes, the image becomes even more alive,  and we can explore it and the magic it has captured.   Spend some time letting your eyes follow the light around this image, and see what you discover.   You may find yourself “along the creek.”


Lost by Mary Ellen Hill

by Mary Ellen Hill

Backgrounds are often not among the primary features of photography; in fact many times they can detract from a photograph---think of a snapshot of a friend with a "tree growing out of his head" due to poor composition.


Mary Ellen succeeds wonderfully in making the background a key feature of her photograph, having a background that is mysterious, beautiful and one that integrates so strongly with the two people on the water.  The people’s pose is somewhat reminiscent of a Gondolier in Venice, however this is clearly not the subject....where are two people going?  Who are they and what is their relationship? How does the beautiful but abstract background help us understand this image?


Photographs can sometimes just show a subject, however Mary Ellen creates a mystery which entices the viewer to look, think, look and think again.  Her use of scale of the people versus the background really underscores the title Lost which this photograph so aptly bears. This picture is just one of an entire series that Mary Ellen exhibits in her show, reinforcing her creativity.


Morning Light by John Solberg

Morning Light, Near Njera Spain
by John Solberg

John Solberg has a marvelous series of images taken in 2013 on a 500 mile 34 day walk across northern Spain along the Camino de Santiago. We are invited to walk along with him and his wife, Louise as they walked from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

This particular path of the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James) is one of a series of ancient pilgrimage routes followed by people since the early Middle Ages to view the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. St. James, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, is the patron saint of Spain.

The path itself is said to be relatively easy – fairly flat on good paths. We today, however don’t experience the physicality and spirituality of walking as the only means of reaching your destination. To get an idea of the distances I checked out Google maps. A walk from the Gallery to Eastview Mall is about 12 miles down University Ave and eventually to Route 96. To the west, you make your way through the city and down State St. to Lyell Ave. and Route 31, the town of Spencerport is about 12 miles away. John and Louise averaged 15 miles per day over the more than 30 days that they walked.

I selected this image because of what it represents – the start of a new day, crisp light and fresh air, the path forward with vistas of a dirt road, fields of vegetation and some slight hills.  The road, the grasses on the right, the plowed rows of crops and the fellow travelers already on the road, as well as the hills in the background lead us into John’s image. We can only imagine the sights and sounds and smells the day will hold. John controls the harsh morning light in the sky and balances the light and dark areas in the foreground and background. The composition is well balanced and places the viewer in John and Louise’s shoes, as they are about to embark on a day like no other. We are thankful to John for allowing us to walk along side him and Louise on their wonderful pilgrimage of spirituality.

 Image City Photography Gallery  ♦   722 University Avenue  ♦   Rochester, NY 14607 ♦ 585.271.2540
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