A juried international photography exhibition
June 1-22, 2014
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Throughout the history of photography contrast has persistently remained one of the significant expressive features of photographic images. Indeed, since contrast is a powerful visual communicative means of black and white and color photography as well, many photographers use contrast in the most creative ways in their work. Contrast may constitute the key compositional feature of an image on the formal aesthetic level, but it may also emphasize some of the important aspects of the content of the photograph.
Exhibiting photographers: Slim Blanks (Toronto, Canada), Joan E. Bowers (Seattle, WA, USA), Harry Longstreet (Bainbridge Island, WA, USA), Alex Nyerges (Richmond, VA, USA), Paul Nyerges (Solana Beach, CA, USA), Christine Pearl (Washington, DC, USA), Sita Spada (Milan, Italy), Krystina Stimakovits (London, UK), Yosuke Terada (New York, NY, USA), Rupert Vandervell (London, UK)
Please click on the names to see contact information (website or e-mail) where available.
High quality (ProLine Pearl Photo paper) exhibition catalogue is published with Blurb Books. (Please note that for some reason Blurb's preview is low resolution. It is suitable for studying the design and layout of the catalogue, but it does not always present the photographs faithfully. The print catalogue, however, is professional high quality.)
Photographers have responded to the theme Contrast with quite unique and creative images. It is interesting to notice that many of the images interpreted the theme as a structural, compositional aspect of photographs, although some of them explicitly diverged towards other interpretations. Possibly as a result of concentrating on the compositional strength of the images, traditional black and white photography dominated the responses.
Juror’s choice Christine Pearl’s Tranquility stands strong both as a single photograph, and also as part of a group along with two other images by Pearl in the exhibition. Tranquility exemplifies the expressive power of contrast on several levels of photographic communication. The viewer cannot but immediately appreciate the sharp tonal contrast of the outside world and the inner life of shapes and lines. Our eyes are forcefully drawn to the bottom left corner of the upper window both by the parapet leading up to the corner on the left, and also by the horizontal line of the construction leading from the right. The square of the upper window rhythmically echoes the square of the image itself, breaking down into the numerous rectangular shapes inside the window and on the walls of the building. Rectangularity is softened, however, by the circular light coming in from the outside, continuing in the inside, and reflecting on the left wall and the parapet. The geometry of the composition, however, does not exhaust our exploration of what this photograph has to offer us. Close to the focus point of the corner of the window, and just a little off the geometrical centre, a human shape stands in mystical independence from the surrounding tranquil environment. Emanating and absorbing calm peace at the same time, the figure captures us, and we have the impression as if time truly slows down and stands still for the moment while we are lost in this entrancing photograph.
The honourable mention photograph Baltimore Harbor by Alex Nyerges presents a beautifully off-balanced composition. The smooth curves of the unearthly container are broken by the metal tubes on the left and the scary shadow at the bottom of the image. The aestheticized glamour of the sturdy industrial has just received a fascinating novel interpretation by Nyerges. Contrast of Time, Ellora, India by Sita Spada interprets contrast both thematically and compositionally. The striking contrast of the ancient and the contemporary is formulated both in terms of the materials of stone and plastic and the surface qualities of rustic and smooth. We might wonder about the contrasting ways of life and philosophies producing and surrounding us with these materials set by worlds apart, yet inhabiting the same environment today. Our third honourable mention, Krystina Stimakovits’ Hide & Seek No. 3 is part of a series concentrating on the inexhaustable theme of light and shadow contrast. A unique feature of this image (and the series as well) is the divergence from the black and white, and the introduction of the myriad of subdued shades of colours. Monochromatic at first impression, yet coulourful in its playful patterns, almost arriving at the abstract, Stimankovits’ image truly deserves our careful attention.
Slim Blanks’ two untitled works make us perceiving the forms and outlines in a way our vision does not allow us to perceive, while Yosuke Terada helps us reinterpret our appreciation of colours by presenting us the everyday in a unique colour-transformed way. Rupert Vandervell’s lonely people in the spotlights make us want to learn their predicaments, so human in their fragility.
All the mentioned and unmentioned photographs of this exhibition are sensitive, able interpretations of the unlimited shades of contrast. I hope you enjoy contemplating them.