The 16th annual Magic of Light 2023 Show at Image City Photography Gallery features 76 photographers who were juried into the show. One of the award-winning photographers is David Ridley who started developing his interest in photography when he hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1977. At that time he was shooting Kodachrome 64 color slides with a Kodak Pony Rangefinder.
David’s photo entitled Dichotomy Series #4 received the Lumiere Photo Award provided by Lumiere Photo (https://www.lumierephoto.com). This photo is part of a series of photos that David photographed several years ago at one of his past workplaces. David says, “I was amazed at the interesting and unique shapes, form, line and texture that I found.” The title is a play on the contrast between the substance and the genre of the photo.
The second annual Red Show will be coming back to Image City during the month of February. Participating photographers select one photo that shows their own interpretation of the Red theme. We hope that you consider participating in this show!
What do we know about the color red? We know that it attracts attention and elicits strong emotions such as love or anger; it is the color of drama and passion. It is stimulating, vibrant and exciting. Red inspires desire. The Partners at Image City are excited about seeing your visions in red.
Recently when a guest was visiting the Holiday Show at Image City Photography Gallery, we became immersed in a conversation about the titles of some of the displayed photos. She mentioned that after reading the title of Steve Levinson’s photo series, Dancing Flames, as she stared at the images, she could actually start to see dancers within the flames. After our discussion, I began to wonder just how important is a title for our photos?
As I thought about it, I realized that deciding on a title is often a challenging task for a photographer. How might you create a title that is appealing, intriguing and relates to the art itself?
Walter Jakubowski’s intriguing photography exhibit which includes many abstract images from his ongoing series entitled “A Stranger in a Strange Land,” is on display at Image City Photography Gallery during the Holiday Show from November 29-December 23, 2022.
Though Walter mainly considers himself a landscape photographer, his interest in photographers such as Eliot Porter, Ernst Haas, David Muench and illustrator Maxfield Parrish inspired his photography. Porter and Muench’s work awakened him to the more intimate vs. grand landscape tradition. Over time his compositions started to lean more into the abstract.
Recently a visitor at Image City Photography Gallery and I had a conversation about the photos created by guest artists Michael Tomb and Marcia Zach. After viewing their images, the visitor came out of the Neuberger Gallery and said that the photos had “touched her heart and brought tears to her eyes.” We discussed how some photos seem to have a WOW factor.
Anyone who loves gardening or photography are in for a fabulous treat during November, when visiting the Neuberger Gallery, located within Image City Photography Gallery. Messages from the Urban Garden is a collection of photos created by Michael Tomb and Marcia Zach of https://studiomichaelino.com Intimate details of flowers and vegetables have been lovingly and creatively captured by Michael and Marcia throughout their exhibit.
Something inside James Christopher Knight ignited him as he made his way up the creaking old staircase of the woman’s Parisian apartment on Rue du Fauborg Saint-Martin. In the doorway, they embraced. At that moment he knew he loved her.
According to James, the photos in his series, Paris Love Affair, on display at Image City Photography Gallery, until the end of October, is “a love story of images burning inside my heart, the heart of a lover who will never forget his passionate courtship with an enchanting, green-eyed girl, from the City of Lights.”
When photographers consider the possibility of displaying their photos at Image City Photography Gallery or at other venues, a question that often is asked is “What makes an effective photo exhibit?” There are no hard fast rules, but the following are some guidelines that may help in selecting images for your exhibit.
If you are a visitor to Image City Photography Gallery, you might remember seeing photo exhibits by Phyllis and Gary Thompson, who are retiring as partners and participants at Image City. Gary and Phyllis were among the first to join Ed Vesneske as founding partners and were very instrumental in the initial investment and renovation of the Gallery facility in 2005. Gary served as president and Phyllis as secretary. They are very accomplished photographers having traveled to 49 states to capture the glorious landscape of the United States.
A question often comes up regarding how much editing a photographer should do to a photo. Often when a photographer first discovers the power of Lightroom, Photoshop or multiple other editing software products, the result might end up in over-processed photos that look unnatural. It’s really an art to figure out when you have done enough editing, and when you have done too much. The instinct comes with practice, but there are some items to consider when you are editing your images. Of course, don’t take any of these as strict rules but rather some things to consider. What looks good in editing is mainly a matter of personal preference.
One indication that you have over-edited is when your adjustments start to distract from the photo you captured. This can happen with any number of modifications, but there are some that are particularly important to keep in mind.
DODGING AND BURNING (Lightening and Darkening)
When lightening and darkening parts of your image, consider that less is more. When brightening up the subject, if there is a large bright halo surrounding the subject, it might be viewed as a sloppy edit. Another example can be seen when bringing down the highlights too far, for example in a sunset scene, which might result in a dark ring around the bright sun. Additionally, when removing all the shadows from an image, if it starts to look flat, it might be getting over-edited.
OVER-SHARPENING AND CLARITY
When used well, the clarity slider can help to bring some edge contrast back to a photo. On the other hand, when used poorly, it could create terrible color, and cause halos around strong lines. According to Pro landscaper photographer, Mark Denney, “When I first got into photography, even if I had an image that was sharp, I would end up applying too much sharpness or too much clarity to where the image had a kind of gritty, rough, over-texturized quality to it, which just looks awful.”
Saturation describes the intensity of the color in your photo. Some photos are naturally more saturated than others, but how much you decide to add depends on your subject and your intention. If you are creating a surreal image, you might feel comfortable making large shifts in saturation. Some photographers enjoy over-saturating certain parts of an image to create a specific effect. Photographers interested in showing a more natural image, might consider using saturation with care. Sometimes an oversaturated photo looks unrealistic. It might leave skin tones looking orange, trees looking neon and oceans looking an unrealistic shade of blue. Mark Denney has done a great deal of research over the years trying to find a way to determine when a photographer has gone too far with saturation and he says that the only way he has discovered is “When you zoom all the way into a photo and look closely, if you have started to lose the details, you have oversaturated the color.” Sometimes it might be more effective to use the Vibrance slider rather than the Saturation slider. The Saturation slider increases all the colors in a photo; whereas the Vibrance slider adjusts the intensity of only the less saturated colors in a photo. Consider your intent of the photo. If you want to capture a foggy, misty Adirondack morning, you might find that low saturation adds a dreamy look to the image. In other cases, for example in a photo of a girl in a red dress, perhaps you want a fiery feel; in that case it might benefit to increase the saturation of the dress. Think about the story you are telling.
Small shifts in your editing can have big effects on your photos. Learn how to make changes in post-processing to get the look that you want and always keep in mind that you are the artist, and ultimately what your intent is should influence your editing decisions the most.
There are countless videos and resources out there to help you if you are interested in honing your editing skills. If you are interested in seeing Mark Denney describe his thoughts on over editing landscape photos, check out the brief video below.
How do you decide when you’ve done too much editing? Do you look for any signs while you are processing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.