“Fire or No Fire We’re Picking Pumpkins,” a large photo printed on metal by Terry Smith, reveals two children in front of a pumpkin patch wearing face masks to protect them from smoke during Napa’s 2017 fires. This photo, part of the Napa Valley Photographic Society’s (NVPS) annual show, is on exhibit at the Napa Main Library throughout October.
The 30 images in the exhibit were taken by 24 of the society’s members for the annual NVPS show. These images were selected by professional photographers Neil and Susan Silverman, who served as judges. From the 48 photographs submitted by members, the judges chose 24 plus an additional six for the library show.
An opening wine and hors d’oeuvres reception for the photographic show is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 11 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
An art talk at 6:30 p.m. will be led by NVPS board president Gary Sampson, who will share information about the club and introduce four photographers to talk about their specific images.
Judd Howell, Elizabeth Bush, Philip Venable and Roland Dumas will each give a five-minute talk while showing 10 slides.
Sampson said that this year’s annual photo show is a community event and an “outreach” to students, educators and others who have an interest in photography.
“We are encouraging them to take a look at our members varied photographic images and styles during the library’s regular hours and to attend the artists reception art talk to find out more about Napa Valley Photographic Society. They are welcome to come to a meeting as a guest one time and we encourage interested photographers to join.”
Napa Valley Photographic Society, founded in 1998, promotes the art and science of photography, promotes education, image appreciation, inspiration and exchange of technology information, Sampson said. “The club” fosters personal growth, creative expression, excellence in all aspects of photographic endeavors, and the ability to mingle with “fellow photographers.”
There is abundant variety in this exhibit with a number of photographs printed on metal. These provide an interesting contrast to a few black and white photos that evoke an earlier time in photography. Some photos in the exhibit have a painterly quality. The common denominator for all 30 images is that each photo has a story behind it.
Roland Dumas, one of the photographers who will speak during the art talk, is a retired management consultant. He has a Ph.D in cognitive neuroscience with additional practice areas of computer science and statistics.
Dumas said that his photography is “about everything other than long-term thinking and rationality.” His images are about “being in the immediate present and capturing moments as they occur—not seeking out images as much as being prepared when they occur.”
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In the photo “The Tech Pitch,” Dumas reveals a technology executive “passionately presenting the breakthrough artificial intelligence method of his company” and the areas where this can improve the quality of life for people with various disabilities.
“The image captures the intensity and focus or the executive in mid-pitch,” Dumas said. “These kinds of portraits are best as candid shots rather than as set up portraits, so an iPhone was brought into play.”
“With photography, I’m focusing more on being in the moment,” Dumas said. “Seeing what is right in front of me right now. (It is) not staged or processed.”
Dumas, who has two photos in the exhibit, said he will talk about “the wonders of digital” that allows a photographer to take “lots of pictures and just throw away the bad ones. The cycling shoot is a very good example of find the one in 500 – I had four keepers in that pile.”
Philip Venable, deputy sheriff with Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, will talk about his process and the connections of light and shadow to life.
“One of my photographic interests is the interplay of light and shadows,” Philip Venable wrote. “I recently lost my wife and I look at this interplay as analogous to the light and dark phases of life. As we walk through light and shadows within buildings, parks, etc. we walk through the highs and lows of life, loss of a life, birth of a life, bad times and good times. Shadow and light.”
Research wildlife ecologist Judd Howell, who is currently engaged with the studies and effects of wind energy development, will speak about his process during the art talk.
“Photographing wildlife is a challenge and a true joy when a special image is captured,” Howell said. “My goal is to transport the audience to the ‘Land Down Under’ and take them through the process of capturing the image ‘Out of the Blue.’ The image presents an opportunity to be up close and personal with an animal we may see at a distance.”
In her art talk, Elizabeth Bush, who has been president of GeoCentral, a national/international wholesaler in the gift industry for 30 years, will connect her background in art and photography to what she is currently doing with her photography. A NVPS member since 2009, Bush will encourage those interested in photography to join “the club” and will also speak about what her “very different images” in the show have in common.
“I’ll describe how I zeroed in on the subjects and ultimately crafted them to the versions on display,” Bush said.