2017-10-12 / Arts & Entertainment News

Focused on quality

Photographic Centre opens season with its annual members’ show
Florida Weekly Correspondent

“We’ll Always Have Palouse,” by Sandi Pfeifer “We’ll Always Have Palouse,” by Sandi Pfeifer PHOTOGRAPHY HAS GONE THROUGH immense changes in a short amount of time.

The 19th-century pinhole cameras’ use of lights’ reaction to chemicals capturing silhouettes is a far cry from our modern-day use of digital technology.

In today’s digital age, most phones have a greater resolution than many cameras, and with the use of Photoshop, editing captured images can happen with a click of the mouse. No matter what the technique in capturing and enhancing images, the visual poetry known as photography brings the viewer along on a pictorial adventure.

The Palm Beach Photographic Centre Members’ 21st Annual Juried Exhibition is displaying a wide range of images to take you on a visual adventure.

Presented alongside the 71 Photo Centre members, both professional and amateur photographers, is the FOTOcamp 2017 Exhibit, which highlights photography by the evolving skills of young photographers who participated in this summer’s annual FOTOcamp program. Having the students participate in the exhibition is one of the favorite features for Carol Roberts, deputy director of the Palm Beach Photographic Centre.

“Flat Iron with a Cup of Jo,” by Dale Kirk “Flat Iron with a Cup of Jo,” by Dale Kirk “Watching the kids and the progress that they make learning at the center is truly amazing. They are like sponges soaking up everything,” she said.

Fatima NeJame, president and chief executive officer of the Photographic Centre, stressed, “Some of the kids participating in FOTOcamp this summer traveled here from all over to attend the camp. We had two sisters from the Ukraine this year, and a repeat student from Morocco. Others come annually from around the U.S., including Connecticut, California and Massachusetts, as well as from all over the state of Florida.”

“Imagination, by Leslie Slatkin 
COURTESY PHOTO “Imagination, by Leslie Slatkin COURTESY PHOTO Jurying the Members’ Exhibition this year was groundbreaking photographer John Reuter, who has collaborated with artists such as Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg, Mary Ellen Mark and Joyce Tenneson. In addition to his own photography career, Mr. Reuter has taught workshops worldwide and is working on the documentary “Camera Ready, the Polaroid 20x24 Project.”

“This exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity giving the members the opportunity to have an experienced professional critique their work,” Ms. Roberts said.

Among many qualities of the Members’ Exhibition is the variety of excellent images and the opportunity to see photographers’ unique perspectives, different subjects, various locations and styles.

Surej Kalathil shot several frames and ultimately waited for the perfect moment to capture “The Handloom Weaver” photograph of a bearded man weaving under dramatic lighting. Vivid, rich blue and purple colors are juxtaposed against the darkness of the walls and his gaze. The bright white thread being woven through the loom mimics his lengthy white beard.

“People on the Street,” by Alberto Sisso “People on the Street,” by Alberto Sisso In contrast are two extremely different images expressing rather surrealistic qualities. Art critic, curator and collage artist Bruce Helander has a photograph in the Members’ Exhibition. Mr. Helander’s photograph, “Yellow Arrow,” features an enormous painted arrow on a peeling cement peach and pink wall that embodies its own unique beauty capturing the viewer’s eye. Also reminiscent of the surrealist movement is the altered image by Jack Rosenberg titled “Three Martinis,” highlighting a close-up of metal chairs that appear to be twisting together.

One of the greatest talents that photographers can possess is the art of observation and individually capturing moments that will be gone after the picture is printed. Somewhat of a homage to an earlier history of photography is the image caught by Janis Ehlers that’s titled “Vintage Photographer” and seems to be out of another era. Ms. Ehlers’ black-and-white photograph features another photographer holding an old Crown Graphic camera with a cheeky grin on his face as he looks directly at the camera, which is capturing his own image. Dapperly dressed in timeless attire, the subject seems to be in perhaps the 1950s period. Upon further inspection, the real indication of the era is the Starbucks logo that’s perfectly framed behind him.

Sherry M. Stephens has been using her Leica and experimenting with shutter speed, which is the time the camera’s lens opening is exposing on the film or digital device. Ms. Stephens’ experimentation with the shutter speed gave a beautiful, almost impressionistic effect in her photograph

“Backyard Pyrotechnics.” The longer exposure in her images gave the opportunity to capture more movement of the fireworks’ billowing smoke, flames and of the people celebrating Independence Day in Ohio. In addition to her photographic career, Ms. Stephens also is a devoted photography professor and art department chair at Palm Beach State College.

From a front porch in Ohio in Ms. Stephens’ photograph to a stunning view of Ireland fringed by colorful flowers as seen in Carol Erenrich’s “Irish Meadow,” patrons of the exhibition will be transported to locations all around the world where photographers have traveled to snap their shutters.

That reminded me of the quote by photographer Steve McCurry. “My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.”

Viewing this exhibition has allowed us to take that voyage as well. ¦

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