there is something to be said about the impact of a finely crafted monochromatic photographic print. photographers Julian Ferreira and Steve Speer share photographs of Croatia and New York in an exhibit which highlights traditional methods of image creation, namely, silver gelatin and carbon printing.
january 31 - march 01, 2015
opening reception: january 30 | 6:00 to 9:00 pm
faces, portraits of rural China | Steve Speer
During three separate visits to China between 2007 and 2011, Steve immersed himself in rural living, staying for many weeks in Nam On village in Guangdong Province and travelling to several remote areas in Yunnan Province where he documented life in four leprosy colonies. His sensitive photographic portraits tell a story of hardship and toil yet also exhibit a sense of dignity and grace. Says Steve, "This was a life changing experience for me. I got to know these people on a very personal level and I spent time with them, working side by side in their fields planting rice, playing mahjong, eating and drinking. There was a level of comfort that was achieved before I started taking photographs and I believe it comes through in the eyes of the subjects of these portraits. There was nothing surreptitious about what I was doing; we were face-to-face, engaged, and I felt a deep sense of connection to the individuals I was photographing".
november 2 - december 15, 2013
“We could see the red glow well before we actually reached the flowing lava as we made our way in complete darkness over the rough terrain. Cresting the last high point and seeing the lava field for the first time is truly unforgettable. There was a thick blanket of vapor blowing across the hot lava and this was tinted red in places from the exposed vents where the lava was flowing a few inches below the surface. Imagine a molten river flowing at 2000 degrees beneath your feet.”
My photography has taken me from Australia to China to continental Europe and across Canada, but nothing compares to the emotional roller coaster of experiencing the lava fields of Kilauea Volcano for the first time. My photographic focus is varied but focuses mainly on landscape and environmental portraiture. I categorize these images as landscape but to me, they also encompass something more; an emotional connection to the awesome and overwhelming power of nature. As I stood on rock that was, in some cases, mere days old I was intensely aware of the magnificence of what I was shooting and it took my breath away. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience nature at this level and it is my hope that the images in this exhibition portray the essence of this one-in-a-lifetime event.
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Photography has been a common thread throughout my life. From my early forays in the mid-seventies, to the present I have had a passion for photography that has never waned; in fact, I am as excited now about my photographic pursuits as I have ever been.
Photography provides me with a sense of perpetual gratification. It is exciting to see a potential image on the ground glass or through the view finder of my camera and that excitement returns when I look at the freshly developed negative or raw digital file. Each progressive step (from the first work print to the finished fine image that is framed and hung on the wall to share with others) adds to this sense of excitement. I exhibit some of my work in colour but prefer to work in black and white because when you strip away the “crutch of colour” only the key elements of composition and ‘quality of light’ remain. It is an exciting challenge to work within these constraints to create an image which is strong enough to draw in a viewer and resonate with their sense of connection.