Photography: Pinhole to iPhone
This year's cornerstone exhibit explores the evolution and
How many photos did you take today? How convenient was it to snap that shot of your perfectly decorated latte or that cute puppy in the park?
Did you scroll through your friend's vacation photos on Facebook? Upload some of your favorite shots to Instagram.com and add digital filters to mimic an old Polaroid image?
Photography is one of the most talked about and utilized art forms, and its evolution is as fascinating as the photo-taking capabilities your cellphone has today.
'Photography: Pinhole to iPhone' is this year's cornerstone exhibit at the 49th annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts and is presented by Umpqua Bank.
The more than 3,000-square-foot exhibit, which runs June 22, 23 and 24 in the lower level of the Lakewood Center for the Arts - located at 368 S. State Street in Lake Oswego - will explore the evolution and innovation of photography from the traditional darkroom to digital photography and beyond.
Thirteen invited photographers - and 52 juried photographers - will show approximately 180 pieces of work and share their methods through interactive demonstrations.
This year's featured artist is New York photographer Dan Burkholder, whose techniques reach many through his online tutorial videos on how to take great photos using a iPhone.
'Let's be honest,' Burkholder said, 'photography is easier than at any previous time. To be more specific, it's easier to make a fine capture and competent print. But to stand out in this crowded, socially connected world of images takes that much more creativity, hard work and control of the technical options.'
And, while he will have work on display, Burkholder - along with Julia Dolan from the Portland Art Museum and Charles A. Hartman with Charles A. Hartman Fine Art - also judged the show.
'If the final image can move, inspire or challenge the viewer, the photographer has succeeded,' Burkholder said of the various styles to be featured - pinhole, gelatin, silver prints, platinum/palladium prints, archival inkjet and more.
'On the one hand, images that reflect attention to the classic attributes - like craftsmanship, visual intrigue and beauty - are always welcome,' Burkholder said. 'On the other hand, photographers who display a passion for the newest technologies and aesthetics in the medium are also embraced. Finally, the quest isn't to make a perfectly exposed or perfectly sharp image. Making an image with soul and spirit always scores big points.'
This year, learn from varied photographers such as:
• Anna Engstrom, who takes photos underwater;
• Phil Bard, who works with large-format cameras for his digital prints.
• Susan de Witt, who uses the lith printing process to layer multiple images;
• David Lorenz Winston, known for his nature photography and best-selling 'Solitude' image of a snow covered fence in Philadelphia that has sold more than 300,000 posters; and
• Peter Gomena, a former commercial photographer who now concentrates on fine-art landscape work and teaching photography.
'There will be educational components on display, which will give the images a historical context and demonstrations of a few of the photographic processes as well,' said photographer Loren Nelson, who is curator of the exhibition and began his photography career with a Deardorff view camera.
Depth of field
While at the exhibit:
• Step inside the camera obscura exhibit and experience the magic of how photography works using a darkened room and optical device that projects an image through a hole upside-down on a screen. The invention led to photography and the camera.
• View a wall exhibit that will showcase how artists produce images using both antique and modern processes - and how the computer links them all.
• Watch a picture appear before your eyes as photographers Ray Bidegain and Don Nelson
demonstrate cyanotype printing using large negatives and ultraviolet light.
• Learn from members of the Cascade Stereoscopic Club, who will be available to explain the history of three-dimensional
pictures through displays and hands-on demonstrations.
Developing a new way
Photographer Jan Sonnenmair also takes and exhibits photos of people and places using
an iPhone, both for its convenience and its picture quality.
'That is the camera in my pocket all the time - and a darn good camera that is fun and easy to use,' Sonnenmair said. 'Unlike that ever present point-and-shoot, there is no lagtime on the shutter - if you do it right.'
Sonnenmair uses the Camera+ iPhone application to create a sharp canvas before adding digital filters to her photographs.
Adding more perspective to all things digital, Nelson hopes "patrons learn that digital is not the be-all and end-all of photographic processes. Rather, it is another tool photographers use to make images. Film photography is having a resurgence, as young people with only digital experiences are rediscovering the old processes.'
Nelson continued, 'There is a huge movement amongst photographers to combine digital with so-called 'alternative processes' to express themselves in exciting new ways.'
Today, more than 200 million pictures are taken daily on mobile devices and uploaded to popular social networking sites like Facebook. Let's capture another photo - of you. Before you leave the festival, get your portrait taken at the photobooth located in the Pavilion Tent. Take home your own print on 3-by-4-inch Fuji Instant film, along with some new tricks and a weekend of memories. Additional support provided by Kathy and David Bussman, Crowne Plaza Portland Lake Oswego and Realty Trust Group.