Photographer of the Month. 2019 - 2020
Sept. Dominick Creaco Scroll down for Dominick's response
Oct. Paul Oresky Please scroll down for Paul's response
Nov. Pat Walsh
I would like to thank the staff at the SSCC for nominating me for this award. I am honored and thrilled to accept it. Also to note there are many fine photographers at both levels in the club who also very deserve to be recognized for this award as well. As for the questions, I will attempt to answer them as follows:
(1) From your point of view, what makes a good photograph?
From an artistic point of view, a good photograph should impart a strong emotional response in the viewers mind. This could be a nostalgic, surprise, beauty, personal subject identity, happiness/sadness, love (etc.) feelings that the image evokes to the viewer. Also the image should reflect a good compositional quality that leads the viewer to and around the image.
From a technical point of view the image should be well lit, sharp and well exposed and possessing a good tonal range and harmonious colors. Also there should be no distracting elements in the image that would lead the viewer away from the subject I am sure there are other items, but these are the main things that come to mind.
I think of the photographer with an artist’s eye whose paintbrush is the camera and the processing computer or darkroom.
(2) Who influenced you the most to become a photographer?
I would say it was my High School Photography teacher, Mr. Mel Saltzman who saw some potential that I had, that I did not know of. He showed interest in my work and encouraged me to improve and was a great teacher!
(3) What does photography mean to you?
Photography should produce a personal emotional response to an image. A good image will always be cherished or remembered. For me, creating such an image gives me great satisfaction.
Oct. Photographer of the month.
First, I thank Marty and staff for this special mention from among all the
members of our camera club.
1) From your point of view, what makes a good photograph?
This is a trick question! It is impossible to describe a ‘good’ photograph
short of writing at least a brochure. However…in a nutshell, the depiction of an
image must make sense ‘in the eye of the beholder’, the rules of the
competition, the needs of the publisher/advertiser, and the atmosphere in
which it is to be placed. The image must provide closure or understanding,
whether literal or abstract, grounded in good photographic technique and/or
the photographer’s feelings/emotional reaction to the subject. Depicting a
‘gray day’ in black and white may not result in a black to white tonal range;
after all, it was a gray day.
A good photograph must also be printed. The maker should be brave
enough to commit the digital image to some permanence for others to see.
Images can either be printed or shown. When shown, the viewer can never be
sure of the maker’s intent (the actual image) due to the differences in the
equipment used to show and the ‘screen’ used (a photographic screen, a wall,
etcetera). I hear complaints from image makers in competitions that the
images on their screens are different from what was projected.
2) Who influenced you the most to become a photographer?
Of course there were many influences and influencers.
First, Gary Langer: a neighborhood friend living across the street who
burst into my home while I was working on a college paper, insisting I come
to see something in his basement. To humor him, I consented. He led me
into a dark room, turned on a red light, shut it off, flipped a switch causing
a momentary flash of light to emanate for some tall contraption followed
by the return of the red light. He then took a sheet of paper from beneath
the contraption and placed it in a tray of liquid. Shortly an image began to
appear. Two more trays of liquid and it was hung up to dry. I purchased my
own dark room within the month and began printing any negatives I could
get my hands on; I did not own a camera.
Second, I became involved with a group of C. W. Post College
professors while taking a class in photography. They had formed the 11 th
Street Photo Gallery in Manhattan and I accepted their invitation to join
them. I had my first b/w photo exhibited in their group show in Woodstock,
N. Y. (a tiger in the newly opened Bronx Zoo cageless viewing area
accessible only by monorail to zoogoers). I was the only nature/wildlife
photographer. Unfortunately the cost of maintaining the gallery became
prohibitive and we had to close it.
Third, several years later on a trip to Alaska with my girlfriend and a
Mamaiya Sekor with a 135mm lens, one of the campers needed someone
to row his canoe while he scouted a lake for eagles to photograph. I
volunteered and took my first real wildlife picture. It was then that I
realized the importance of having the appropriate equipment. I could not
enlarge the image of the eagle perched at the top of a tree enough to make
it recognizable, given the film grain. But, I decided that I would concentrate
on nature and wildlife subjects in the future and the equipment was
Fourth, a few years later we were driving along in Yellowstone
National Park when I noticed a fox hunting a distance away. After pulling
over, we managed to get ahead of the fox, which wasn’t really paying much
attention to us, and I was able to photograph the fox leaping into the air
and coming up with a mouse in its mouth. Shortly after our return, I was
informed that a new stock agency, Animals Animals, was opening and
looking for images. I made an appointment and showed the work I had.
Even though the fox was taken on Ektachrome 400 film, I was offered
representation – a 50/50 split on sales dollars, which I foolishly turned
down out of ignorance. After all, I reasoned, I was laying out the cost of the
trip, the time, the equipment and so should receive better than 50% of the
sale. Having been selected, however, was quite motivating.
I also would be highly remiss in not mentioning my friend Howard
Eichenbaum with whom I became acquainted when I took a photography
‘class’ he was offering. I was seeking to get back into photography following
a long hiatus during which digital photography had pretty much replaced
the use of film. We began photographing together and I started to learn the
digital printing process.
Last, but certainly not least among my influences, is the South Shore
Camera Club. Being among the variety of wonderful photographer
members and their images has pushed me to try new approaches and
subject matter. I’m even attempting to learn Photoshop Elements.
3)What does photography mean to you?
As a kid my best friends were terrific at drawing. (One of them won a
matchbook cover contest scholarship at a school in California and shortly
thereafter, his parents moved to California.) I was mediocre at best. Gary’s
magic opened a window into the arts and I entered a field in which I felt
that I could express my desire to be ‘artistic’. It has become a means by
which I can show, literally and artistically, others the wonders of the parts
of the world, local and distant, which I visit.
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