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Gallery Picks of the Show

Alternate Realities


May 14 - June 9, 2024

Gallery Partners have chosen our "Picks of the Show"
by Guest Photographers

click here to return to the details of the exhibit

All images copyright by the individual photographers

#12 Schoodic Point, ME by Don Burkel

#12 Schoodic Point, ME
by Don Burkel

Don has a series of photos from different areas of the country that he wishes to relate his “emotion to the images and how his eye translates to something greater than just shape, form, surface, and color.” I wanted to research Schoodic Point, which is near Acadia National Park. Don has taken what appears to be a photo of granite with intrusions of basalt or volcanic rock, which gets its dark color from the composition of its minerals. So, to check my understanding of Don’s objective in photography, what is my interpretation?

At first glance, the scene appears tranquil. The bright orange color of the granite is very pleasing next to the dark bluish-black basalt. The relatively straight line across the middle divides the photo almost in half, creating a sense of balance. But that’s where the peacefulness ends. The roughness of the rock soon becomes apparent, suggesting that the print could be rough to the touch with its varied gradations of color and texture.

The bottom half of the photograph is particularly intriguing. It reminds me of a roller coaster. We don’t see the beginning of the ride on the left side of the photo, but the first downward slide is impressive, and the multiple small vertical lines on the right side remind me of the struts that support the ride. This image that I see evokes feelings of both elation and dread, reminiscent of the lack of control experienced on past roller coaster rides.

The top half is somewhat more peaceful, but again, the basalt disrupts the calmness with jagged lines and cracks that spread in many directions. This disruption of the more patterned tones of the open orange granite in the middle creates a feeling of disorder and restlessness.

This is a most wonderful photo to contemplate, as are the photographs that Don has selected for the rest of his exhibit. Thank you, Don, for an enjoyable ride. 

By Dick Bennett

The Cowboy by Rich D'Amato


The Cowboy
by Rich D’Amato

In this evocative black and white Gallery Pick photograph, aptly named The Cowboy, which is part of Rich D’Amato’s street photography exhibit, we find ourselves confronted with a scene that captivates and intrigues.  The photo presents a single figure, presumably a modern-day cowboy, seated casually at a café table. He is the embodiment of a timeless American archetype, recontextualized against the urban backdrop signified by the establishment’s sign “Coffee,” and the cowboy’s use of a cellphone.

The choice of black and white is particularly effective, casting the composition in strong contrasts, and resonating with the nostalgic essence of the cowboy image. It imbues the scene with a sense of history, suggesting a narrative that stretches beyond the confines of the frame. The cowboy’s attire----complete with a wide-brimmed hat, boots and a dark suit---provides a visual anachronism that draws the eye and piques the viewer’s curiosity.

Rich demonstrates a keen eye for the interplay of light and shadow, using it to highlight the angular pose of the cowboy and the assortment of chairs around him. The play of light adds depth to the image and guides the viewer’s gaze across the scene, from the relaxed demeanor of the cowboy to the details in the background that invite speculation about the location and time of day.

The composition’s strength lies in its simplicity and the stark contrast created by the shadows cast around the figure and the surrounding environment. It tells a story of contrasts: the Old West meets the caffeine-infused bustle of modern life. The figure, although still and silent, exudes a palpable presence that suggests an unwritten tale of urban journeys.

The Cowboy, as well as the other images in Rich’s exhibit, stands as a testament to his talent in capturing the essence of a moment, weaving together strands of Americana with the fabric of contemporary life.  The viewer is left with an invitation to ponder the intersections of past and present.

By Marie Costanza
Lines, Sun, Shadow Play by Nicholas Jospe


Lines Sun Shadow Play
by Nicholas Jospe

As Nick mentions, we all visit museums and art galleries to view the work within. We too often ignore the vessels and internal structures containing the art. We too often take the architecture for granted. In this collection of photographs Nick decided to pay attention to the staircases in museums that are often overlooked.  Of course, there are famous flights like the Spanish Steps in Rome or the Batu staircase in Malaysia, but Nick wanted to display the carefully crafted stairs in unique surroundings allowing the light and shadows to play with them and wrap around them from different angles.

Lines Sun Shadow Play is a perfect example of this technique. The angled roof line throws shadows on arched windows, bricked walls, and horizontal stairs.  Large monolithic marbled walls directly on the opposite side of the windows bounce soft light back into the photograph. Besides the obvious light and shadow, Nick has captured this image in such a way that there is a circular clockwise movement bringing life to the scene and keeping our mind unwittingly engaged.

Please read Kitty’s poems for a uniquely interpreted version of these photographs.

By Don Menges

Follies on West Main Street by Ira Srole


Follies on West Main Street
by Ira Srole

There is a real positive spirit coming from this photograph, and in a surprising way, welcomes us to be in the scene.  Our eyes are drawn to the colorful, happy, cymbal-playing woman, and recognize immediately that she’s not looking at us.  Her eyes and smile lead us to the center of the photograph, to bushes, the tree and the painting on the far wall.  And there in the distance is the Kodak tower, giving us a sense of where we are.   Is there more to see, to explore?  Where does this space lead?  If we were to follow the curiosity invited by this photograph, we’d have to be careful of the blue trash container in front of us in the lower right corner of the photograph. 

The warm colors unify this photograph – from the dominant image of the woman with the red background, to her clothing, hair, cymbals, the painting on the back wall, the orange roof beyond to the colors on the Kodak tower.  Ira chose a very interesting perspective for this photograph.  It places us, the viewers, close to the primary figure and at the same time, it hides the remainder of that side wall– only hinting at more artwork beyond.  It keeps us as viewers engaged and curious.  Well done!

By John Solberg

Dying Light by d dargan teska


Dying Light  
by d dargan teska 

This is an excellent photograph as it has many features that work together so well.  The first is that the object in the photo on the beach is not immediately obvious as to its identity.  This prevents the viewer from merely labeling it and “moving on” but forces them to ponder.  Is it a discard from a take-out package of Chinese dumplings, or a pierogie….no it is a jellyfish! 

Next we can admire the light…..how it sweeps over the beach, leaving a bright spot in the center part of the photograph.  It also emphasizes the “gesture” of the composition; its movement.   The eye is directed from the bottom left upwards to the light, offering a second opportunity to enjoy the photograph.

The color pallet is muted, as you would expect at the end of the day on the beach, but there are subtle degrees of color and texture displayed.

All of these components allow the viewer to spend some time admiring the skill in which this photograph was made.

By Steve Levinson


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