When you live in San Luis Obispo County and you’ve got a camera phone on you at all times, and you start taking pictures of the umpteen heartbreakingly beautiful scenes you see around here every day, you will start to think of yourself as a photographer. But are you? Maybe you’re really an archivist — an archivist of heartbreakingly beautiful scenes.
I don’t mean to pick on you or your photos — I’ve just been thinking about how fine art photographers often get the biggest kick out of seeing the world differently than the rest of us.
Photographer Robert Frear gets on this train of thought, too. He curated “The Framing Vision” on display now at Allied Arts Association in Cambria. He says he believes contemporary fine art photographers “return our world to us with fresh and startling perspectives, uncovering unseen realities or creating new and deeper ways of perceiving and understanding. Such a practice transcends mere documentation and composing pleasant vistas.”
For the three photographers (and art educators) in the exhibit, that sometimes means starting with a pretty bleak foundation. Kristopher Stallworth of Bakersfield finds “sublime beauty” in generic shopping malls, industrial zones and construction sites. Shopping carts in a parking lot are definitely more intriguing through his camera lens than through our car windows in “Toys R Us.”
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A black and white photo of tilled soil would actually be pretty neat on its own, but Ventura’s Ricardo Rodriguez put a rectangular frame around it and other landscapes for a new perspective.
Steve Dzerigian of Fresno starts with photos of his feet and tripod as the foundation for his vertical triptychs in the show. The photos in his series include three shots of historical and religious sites — one looking up, one out and one down.
The exhibit of 20 photos was organized by the Central California Museum of Art.
Former Tribune photojournalist Tony Hertz was the juror for the Central Coast Photographic Society’s member exhibit at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. For “Highlights and Shadows,” Hertz said he was looking for the right combination of both. “Lighting is a creative element of composition and shadows are key in defining form in images,” he said in his curator’s statement.
The exhibit featuring 16 photographic society members will be in SLOMA’s McMeen Gallery, 1010 Broad St., San Luis Obispo, daily through July 29. Call 543-8562.
Contact freelance writer Monica Fiscalini at Monica_Jane2000@yahoo.com.