Winter 2022 Exhibition Juror selections

(use this link to view the entire exhibit)

Cindy Wilson, juror comments

I want to thank the board of the Newport Photo Guild for the opportunity to be the juror for this year’s Member’s show. It was not an easy task to evaluate the work of my peers, some so much more accomplished than I. The range of work was wide and shows the strength and diversity of our NPG members. In selecting the images to receive recognition, I looked for photos that had a clear intention/story, those that made me see from a different perspective, stimulated an emotion, and left something to the imagination. My first response was on an aesthetic level, then looking at the technical vehicle that delivered it. I applaud the artists whose images were submitted; the overall quality made this a very difficult process indeed.

 

Calla Lily by Candace Morgenstern

First Place

My choice for the 1st place image, Calla Lily, is a testament to the form, beauty, and perfection of nature, and how, when captured with the macro-like technique, creates an image that is quite like the human eyeful of the art of seeing. Symbolically, we know this to be a flower, but there is allusion to other natural organic forms. Compositionally, the use of contrast of color, texture, and sharpness are enhanced by the soft lighting. The point of view defines the shape of abstracted simplicity. The shallow depth of field makes the subject tactile giving the leading edge a sharpness, allowing the form to dissipate the complimentary negative space. Placement in the frame is slightly off center gives more dynamism and balance to the image. The image is well conceived and executed.

 

The Last Dance by Paul Murray

Second Place

The 2nd place image, The Last Dance, was full of symbolism, in a beautifully composed frame. Every inch of space in this image has purpose, from the scrub in the foreground to the soft diagonals of the background. There is depth, contrast and tension between the foreground element and the immense rise of the desert in the background; depth of field plays a very nuanced role in this image, with the upward lifted tree branches standing out sharply against the reversed direction of the sloping sands of the background. We are used to seeing a horizon as the separation between the sky and land; here the land continues to rise above the floor of the desert. The importance of the gesture of the once living tree combined with the title “The Last Dance” is a metaphor to the fragility of life, echoed by the trees in the distance. And yet, with the youth and verdant green trees, there is always the circle of life.

 

Sand Petals by Donna St. Amant

Third Place

The 3rd place image, Sand Petals, is full of abstracted line, shape, depth, and pattern. It visually stimulates the imagination into seeing things that one is reminded of; I see dozens of faces stretching past the borders of the image to infinity. The black and white conversion has excellent tonal range and heightens the detail and texture. How many of us look down when out on our photo shoots? There is, as ‘Sand Petals’ illustrates, another universe beneath our feet.

Congratulations to the 1st 2nd & 3rd place images!

In no particular order, I also would like to acknowledge the honorable mentions:

Reflecting Birches by Eileen Conragan

Honorable Mention

Reflecting Birches: here is another example of the beauty we see in nature. The white birches are captured with a sense of reverence for the scene. The subtle color and repeating graphic elements diagonally winding off into the distance is a calming image full of the appreciation of nature.

 

Return to Hoarbour by Alyce Croasdale

Honorable Mention

Return to the Harbor: is full of motion and whimsy. I feel as if I am in a dream looking at this image. There is nothing concrete to grab onto, yet I feel I am experiencing the moment to its fullest. This image leaves so much to the imagination and not the way we typically capture boats.

 

A Revelation in Black by Eric Hovermale

Honorable Mention

A Revelation in Black: the quality of light and gesture stand out for me in this image. The negative space (background tones) are predominantly low key, with the subject emerging from the darkness. The even lighting on the subject is soft, subtle, and rich in content. A slight hint of motion gives a sense of timelessness to the photo.

 

Windswept by Linda LaParle

Honorable Mention

Windswept: I feel we are paying tribute a small detail of nature, yet as important as the tallest tree! The bend of the stalk from the wind speaks of resiliency and celebration in gesture. I think the black and white conversion causes us to pay closer attention to the rich detail, texture, and lighting. And always there is the outlier, that one strand of grass that goes off on its own.

 

Shaw's Farm Barn by Jane Viti

Honorable Mention

Shaw’s Farm Barn: Such a story there is in this image! First, the postprocessing really adds a flavor of nostalgia; I appreciate the image not being lightened up to honor a histogram, but to retain the feeling of the darkness in the barn. Second, the content…the dusting on the shelf indicates time has passed since the bottles were last used, left to wallow in time, the bottles seemingly randomly placed by whom? This image is a combination documentary photo and an emotional rendering of what has been left behind.

Use this link to view the entire exhibit

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