A few days back, I attended the gallery talk at Glave Kocen Gallery.  The current show is the “Click II” photography exhibition, of which I have the honor of being a part.  For some reason, BJ Kocen has been very supportive of my fine art photography;  he is an enthusiastic, positive person, and I am grateful to have him behind me.  In fact, there is much wonderful photography talent in this town, and to be included in such a show as this is humbling, and I thank BJ as well as Scott Elmquist and Travis Fullerton, the other curators of the show.

I wanted to demonstrate my gratitude and support, and plus had a genuine interest in seeing what transpired at the gallery talk, and so made my way to the gallery on a sunny Saturday morning.  With about 20 folks in attendance, the discussion meandered from processes of and inspirations behind specific pieces in the show, to more general principles of photography.

A young lady brought up the invasion of the world of photography by the “Instagram” and iPhone culture, and queried as to what may differentiate the snapshooter from the fine art photographer.  It is an important question I think many of us are struggling with.  Talent was mentioned, but then quickly apologized for, as it is a bit of a rote answer.  Someone in the group mentioned that Intent was a distinguishing factor- with that I agree, as the impetus behind image making is crucial to the process.  Later in the discussion, after seeing a particularly striking portrait made by Scott Elmquist, I brought up Intimacy as an element that contributes to the value of a photo as fine art.  I feel it is worth remembering that detailed examination requires intimacy, and that it is possible to become intimate with not only the person on the other side of your lens, but also the broad and distant landscape, the weathered and crumbling ivy covered house, or the elephant ear leaf brought into the studio.  In fact, to properly perform our duties and shed our own light on the subject, it is imperative.

Elephant Ear, ©Jeff S. Saxman.

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