Natural Perspectives: Photography exhibit filled with eye-catching shots

The Photographic Society of Orange County has an exhibit of photos at the Huntington Beach Central Library that features some fine works of art. (Some of my photos are hanging there as well.) There will be a reception at the library gallery from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Vic and I went to see the show at the library last Saturday. This is not a juried show. That means that nobody is going to judge the entries, so no one will win any prizes or ribbons. The Photographic Society of Orange County isn't into competition. Its goals are to help members reach their full creative potentials, and they do that without competition.

When you visit, I'm sure you'll find that some images stay with you long after you leave. The image of swirling, colorful guitars by Cheryl Del Toro still haunts me. I have no idea how she created that amazing picture. Another memorable photo is the tight close-up of a young woman whose face is painted for the Day of the Dead festival in Los Angeles. Robert Blayden took that evocative image.

The photos of Charlie Brac are real standouts. Using multiple images overlaid on top of one another, he created haunting scenes of the Orient that never existed in real time and space. In contrast, the soft-focus, black-and-white photo by Wendy Hill of old-fashioned nightclothes hung on pegs evokes a sense of a real time and place.

Ron Knievel has certainly mastered the art of HDR (high dynamic range) photography. To create HDR images, a photographer uses multiple images, bracketing the exposures, and merges them on the computer into one image. The range of lighting that can be captured with this technique is amazing. Knievel's landscape photos are so sharp that they look like they were cut with a laser.

Mike Whitmore's image of a male gorilla stands out in my mind as well. The close-up portrait of the old silverback glows with purple and gold highlights. Glen Buto's image of a tern in flight is also well done. Catching birds in flight is a photographic skill that seems to elude me, so I envy photographers like Buto and Mark Singer who have some great bird-in-flight photos on exhibit.

Nature is a recurring theme in members' photos. Mike Glosecki has a great image of a white pelican on black water with a rippling reflection that just makes that photo snap.

Hanging a show is part of the art, and George Hagen did a fabulous job of choosing placement of the images. A good example is the juxtaposition of two of Pam Degarimore's shots. One is a tight close-up of an angelic young girl with a peaches-and-cream complexion that was taken at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. The other is a cranky-looking, wrinkled old Cuban woman who is smoking and glaring into the camera. What a contrast.

I noticed that many of the photos in this exhibit were taken on club field trips. I recognized photos from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Cambria, Morro Bay, San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Olvera Street in Los Angeles. One of the really neat things about this group is the fabulous outdoor settings that we visit together.

Vic commented that one of Hagen's shots was his favorite. I replied, "Oh, yeah, his extreme close-up of the night-blooming cereus."

Vic gave me that long-suffering look that only spouses are capable of projecting.

"No," he said incredulously, "the photo of the red and orange rocks in Utah."

I had been so taken with the close-up of the ornate pistil and stamens of the flower that I hadn't even noticed the photo of the beautiful, swirling rock formation above it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

There is an air of frenzied excitement in a home as the resident photographer prepares to enter a show. I was doubly busy last week, first with framing my four entries for the show at the library, and then electronically entering Vic's and my photos into competition at the OC Fair. The deadline for entry was last Friday.

Now comes the hard part — the waiting. We won't know whether or not our photos were accepted until June 15. If any are accepted, there will be another frantic round of framing as we prepare our photos for delivery to the fair on June 29.

For those of you who are into photographic competition, the city of Huntington Beach is sponsoring a photo contest. Called "Parks Make Life Better!", it is part of a statewide effort to promote parks.

The contest closes June 30; photographic entries must be accompanied by a short essay on why parks make life better. Entry forms are available at community centers or online. For more information, contact or (714) 374-1710.

VIC LEIPZIG and LOU MURRAY are Huntington Beach residents and environmentalists. They can be reached at

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