The Adirondack Artists Guild of Saranac Lake will host an opening reception, showcasing the work of photographer Barry Lobdell, on September 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. This year represents Lobdell’s 50th as a photographic artist and 24th as a member of the Guild.
Lobdell’s love of photography began in 1968, when he walked out of a pawn shop in Ocean View, Virginia with a used 35mm half-frame camera. The camera cost him $20 and its half-frame format allowed him to shoot 72 exposures on a 36 exposure roll of film, a great help to his limited budget. He used the camera for several years while he was in the Air Force, taking snapshots of friends and places he visited.
Later, in 1972 while in college at SUNY Albany, Barry got serious about his photography. He bought his first SLR camera and took several courses where he learned the technical aspects of processing film and making prints in the darkroom. It was also during these courses that he got his first exposure to criticism and a deeper understanding of the art of photography. Some additional training came when he attended a workshop with Photographer Eva Rubenstein at the Maine Photographic Workshops, during which a continuing discussion about the “why we take the photographs we take” was central.
Aside from formal classes, his training has all been on the job, working both as a self-employed photographer shooting weddings, portraits and a wide variety of other subjects including a 12 – year stint doing “novelty souvenir” photography at Saratoga Race Track. He also held down a long – term job as a Staff Development Specialist for New York State, which involved both photography and video production work among his duties.
Now, 50 years after 1972, Lobdell has assembled an exhibition of photographs which have been taken since his introduction to the art of photography. Approximately half of the photos represent his concentration on “street photography”- candid images of people and their creations, mainly in black and white and taken during the first half of this 50-year period. The remainder of the show is made up almost exclusively of landscape images, mostly of the Adirondacks, where he has lived for the past 26 years.
He counts the works in this exhibit among his favorites and all of them are newly created, whether from original negatives and slides or digital files. The images were made with a variety of cameras, both film-based and digital. Specialized cameras among his hardware have been Hasselblad and Noblex panoramic cameras as well as a Fujifilm X100 model, which is modified for infrared shooting.
Regardless of equipment in use or subject, Lobdell looks for those special moments and compositions to which his eye and heart are drawn. The art of making the most rewarding photographs is in the recognition of the best of those moments.
His photography has been featured in exhibitions ranging from Texas to Massachusetts, as well as most galleries within and near the Blue Line. He has taken awards in many competitions, including Best of Show at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the Gibson Gallery and the NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery.
The Adirondack Artists Guild is a cooperative retail art gallery representing a diverse group of artists residing and working in the Tri-Lakes region of the Adirondack Park. The gallery is located at 52 Main St, Saranac Lake, 518 891-2615. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 until 5, and 11-3 on Sundays. The Guild is on Facebook, Instagram, and on the web at www.adirondackartistsguild.
Photo at top: “Eavesdropping with Prometheus” by Barry Lobdell. Photo provided by Eleanor Sweeney.
Leave a Reply