Big fat flakes of snow are blowing around outside. They seems to hover just before hitting the ground, then linger there for a few moments until they are just a plain old drop of water or two on a blade of brown grass.
Its nights like last night that make me wish I had a better camera. The sliver of moon was visible in short glimpses through dark and gray, wispy clouds. The kind of shot that your eye can see, but that my cheap digital camera would capture as a small blurry light in an otherwise black screen. No hint of clouds, no depth to the picture, and most importantly, no sense of the natural beauty that my own eyes can see. I don’t get upset when I can’t get these shots with my camera. Most of the time it’s enough just to witness the scene, but I do desire to share some of these moments. » Continue Reading.
Long considered beautiful photographs of the Adirondack landscape, Seneca Ray Stoddard’s views also serve as documents of the plants that inhabited the region in the 19th century. Since he was rediscovered in the late 1970s, Stoddard’s work has been featured in numerous exhibits that explored the history of 19th century life in the Adirondacks. A survey of the 3,000 images in the Chapman Historical Museum archives, however, revealed hundreds of images that are purely natural landscapes. The subject matter is the Adirondack environment – not great hotels, steamers, camp scenes or other obvious evidence of human activity. » Continue Reading.
Glenn L. Pearsall’s Echoes in these Mountains, is subtitled “Historic Sites and Stories Disappearing in Johnsburg, an Adirondack Community,” but thanks to Pearsall, a tireless advocate for local history, those historic sites and stories are being remembered.
The geography of Johnsburg, the largest township in New York State, is central to Echoes in these Mountains. The book is arranged in chapters highlighting various historic sites, all with handy maps to help locate them on the landscape. That approach – locating historical stories around town on the landscape – is part of what drives Pearsall’s personal exploration of his town’s history, and what led to the answer to an interesting historical question. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Placid Institute for Arts and Humanities is inviting all high school students in the Adirondack region to participate in a visual interpretation of their surroundings in the Institute’s program: “24 Hours – A Photographic Interpretation of Life in the Adirondacks”.
Photos must be taken within the Adirondack Park, from April 14, 2011 through April 15, 2012 and represent one hour of a day in the Adirondack Park. Each photo must be accompanied by a brief description of when, where and why the artist chose to photograph that particular scene or subject. Entries will be accepted beginning March 1, 2012 and must be postmarked or submitted on-line no later than April 15, 2012. Entries must include the photographer’s name, age, grade, the hour the photo was taken, date taken, location of the photo, type of camera used, and the name of the supervising teacher. Photos must be able to be replicated in 11” by 14” formats. Entries should be sent to: [email protected]
Capturing the Adirondacks in winter is something that only the hardiest of hikers and Adirondack photographers do. Painters will sometimes take on the weather, but the stillness of winter is really for photographers.
The days are short, the air is cold, and the light falls in slants through the bare trees. This is the time and place that belongs to Carl Heilman, II, a photographer who has been roaming the mountains for more than three decades, producing spectacular panoramas from the frozen lakeshores to the frosted tips of the peaks. So who better to learn from? Heilman has been leading treks through the Adirondacks as long as he has been taking photographs, and through his workshops, he has shared the secrets to his wonderous photography with others who, in their own way, help to carry on the Adirondack tradition.
On January 28th, Heilman will be teaching the photography workshop, “Nature in Winter” from 9 am – 5 pm at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. The morning will be devoted to seminar instruction and Q&A to prepare participants for an afternoon of shooting on the Wild Center property and at nearby locations.
The Wild Center workshop is $125 to members and $138 to nonmembers for the day, and includes the free use of snowshoes. Notification of other equipment and recommended clothing will be provided upon registration. Register directly by contacting Sally Gross: [email protected], (518) 359-7800, ext 116.
Photo by Carl Heilman, II.
Linda J. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts wherever they take her. Her general art/writing/film/photography musings on can be found at her own blog Arts Enclave
Long considered beautiful photographs of the Adirondack landscape, Seneca Ray Stoddard’s views also serve well as documents of the plants that inhabited the region in the 19th century. The Glens Falls Historical Society’s Chapman Historical Museum’s summer exhibit, S.R. Stoddard’s Natural Views, which will run from May 4 through September 2, will feature fifty enlarged photographs of different Adirondack settings – lake shores, marshes, meadows, riverbanks and mountainsides. Highlighted in modern color images will be examples of the plants discovered in Stoddard’s photographs — from small flowers to shrubs and trees. Since he was rediscovered in the late 1970s, Stoddard’s work has been featured in numerous exhibits that explored the history of 19th century life in the Adirondacks. A survey of the 3000 images in the Chapman archives, however, revealed hundreds of images that are purely natural landscapes. The subject matter is the Adirondack environment – not great hotels, steamers, camp scenes or other obvious evidence of human activity.
The summer 2012 exhibit will examine these photographs as documents of the history of ecological habitats, providing an opportunity to compare the present environment with the past. To address this issue the museum is consulting with Paul Smith’s College biologist, Daun Reuter, who will identify botanical species in Stoddard’s photographs, and exploring 19th century biological fieldwork records housed at the New York State Museum.
By bringing attention to a group of Stoddard photographs that have been overlooked but are significant examples of his work, the exhibit will give visitors the opportunity to discover and reflect on the changing environment – a topic of urgent concern in the region. Through their experience visitors will gain greater understanding not only to Stoddard’s photographic vision but also of the natural world of the Adirondacks.
Photos: Above, Silver Cascade, Elizabethtown by S.R. Stoddard, ca. 1890. Below: modern color photo of Wild Raisin by Dawn Reuter, Biology Dept., Paul Smith’s College.
On my way through the Adirondacks, while traveling for the holidays, I stopped at View, the Arts Center in Old Forge, to see “Adirondack View Finders: Farb, Battaglia, Bowie, Heilman”. As I walked through the galleries of photos I kept waiting for one to jump out at me – to say “hey, this is new and different – look at me” and it wasn’t happening.
Don’t get me wrong, this is an outstanding exhibition of photographs. Nathan Farb’s work can take your breath away with the incredible details. Nancie Battaglia is exhibiting some striking sepia tone images. Mark Bowie has some low light nighttime exposures with amazing results and Carl Heilman’s panoramas pull you into the space so much you feel like you are right there with him on a mountain summit. All good – but all things I had seen before. In adjoining galleries there are additional photographs: “Emerging Views,” featuring works by Johnathan A Esper – who sometimes climbs up big white pines to get some wonderful panoramic views; Leslie Dixon and Clark Lubbs, both of whom are showing lovely, intimate views of the natural world.
Finally, there are photos from an exhibit called “Teacher’s Turn: Instructors from the Adirondack Photography Institute.” Another batch of terrific images from Eric Dresser, Joe LeFevre, John Radigan and Carl Rubino. Here is where my inner spirit was moved. We’ve all seen cute bear cub photos, or monster buck images that make you wonder if the photographer was shooting animals contained on a game preserve. Eric Dresser’s photos seem to just take you to the place – you feel like you were stepping softly through the forest and chanced upon these animals without disturbing them. Not overly cute, nor dramatic, just a beautifully composed, captured moments in the life of wild creatures.
However the photos that made me stop and walk back to look at them again were some relatively small images perhaps in the 12×18” size, by John Radigan. Not dramatic, nor extreme in detail or view, but subtle, soft painterly moments in time. In fact they looked more like paintings than photographs – printed on lovely paper with torn edges. I thought they were something like polaroid transfer prints, but after contacting the artist, he explained that “the series of images for the View exhibit were made using an Epson archival inkjet printer on watercolor stock. The image edges were made manually using Photoshop to approximate edge effects like an acid burn, etc. The paper edges are hand torn. The images themselves were captured using various in-camera techniques such as multi-exposure, long exposure blur and image overlay. No computer tricks were used.”
This photography exhibit is definitely worth seeing for it’s breadth, depth, and excellence. And if the opportunity to wander through the Adirondacks via the captured images of all these photographers is not enough, then consider the sixty-eight pieces of native stone sculptures tastefully placed throughout the galleries by Keene Valley artist Matt Horner. Soft, organic forms of hard Adirondack rock! A final bonus is a slide show in an adjoining gallery of Nathan Farb’s striking images of the devastation of Hurricane Irene. Worth seeing as a reminder of the awesome power of nature. The overwhelming response to this natural disaster cleaned things up so quickly it’s easy to forget how bad it really was.
These exhibits will be on display until January 29 at View in Old Forge. Correction: “Adirondack Viewfinders” will remain on exhibit until March 3. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 – 4, Friday and Saturday from 10 – 5, and Sunday from noon to 4 pm. Admission is $10/$5 for members. 315-369-6411.
In modern times, photographs accompanying newspaper stories are sent around the world in digital format, utilizing the latest technology. But for half a century, from 1935 to 1989, the Wirephoto Service of the Associated Press was the industry standard. Prior to that time, the text of stories was sent by wire, but photographs for newsprint were shipped the same way mail and other urgent items were: by train or by plane.
Even by the speediest of methods, it could take more than three days for photographs to arrive. When the dramatic advancement came in 1935 to an instant process, the Adirondacks were linked forever with communications’ history. » Continue Reading.
Nature photography is a naturally booming business in the Adirondacks, where a number of talented photographers have worked to elevate their craft to new levels. Four of the best Adirondack photographers—Nathan Farb, Mark Bowie, Nancie Battaglia, and Carl Heilman—have combined their work for a unique show, Adirondack View Finders, opening December 2nd at View in Old Forge, NY.
The View building itself is a wonderful new LEEDS-approved green venue that hosts events and workshops in a variety of arts and crafts, and offers a special home to the well developed craft of Adirondack photography. Bowie and Heilman are both very well known in the Adirondacks and beyond for their stunning panoramic landscapes, while Battaglia has assembled an extensive portfolio of Adirondack sports and action photos and Farb brings his journalistic senses to exploring this timeless landscape. All four voices sing together in beautifully harmony to convey the majestic vision of the Adirondacks as only artists living in these mountains can.
The show also debuts new talents, including Johnathan A. Esper, Lesley Dixion, and Clark Lubbs, and features a showing of the works of the instructors at View in a special exhibit called “Teachers Turn.”
The opening reception for all of this is Friday, December 2nd from 5-7pm. On Saturday, December 3rd, Mark Bowie will present his photos and discuss techniques in “Night at North Country,” at 11:00 am. Admission to the special presentation and the entire exhibit is $10 for nonmembers and $5 for members of the View. Children under 12 are free. The show continues through March 3, 2012 for the same admission.
For more information, visit the website or call 315-369-6411.
Photos courtesy of the View at Old Forge. Above by Mark Bowie; Below by Nancie Battaglia.
Linda J. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts wherever they take her. You can read more of her general art musings (including writing, photography, film, and painting) on her blog: Arts Enclave.
The 7444 Gallery in Saranac Lake will host a ‘Meet the Artists’ opening reception Saturday, August 13 at 5 p.m. for f-Stop Fitzgerald and Richard McCaffrey. Their photographs will be on display until October 6.
The exhibit features more than 25 canvas-print photographs drawn from a book to be published by Rizzoli this fall, Adirondack Style: Great Camps and Rustic Lodges.
Adirondack Style describes the architecture, design, and natural beauty of Adirondack great camps and rustic camps. The structures make use of the materials readily available in the area — rough-hewn log exteriors that contrast with sometimes lavish and elegant interiors featuring intricate stonework and hand-carved furniture.
The book’s introduction is by Adirondack preservationist Dr. Howard Kirschenbaum; the foreward is by Laura S. Rice, chief curator of the Adirondack Museum; and text is by Adirondack Life contributors Jane Mackintosh and Lynn Woods.
Natural elements such as tree roots, twigs, and bark often played an integral part in the décor, and the simple yet elegant Adirondack chair has become an international symbol of leisure. Many camps had boathouses, teahouses, game rooms, and even bowling alleys, and several were designed by top architects of the era and incorporated their international influences: Pine Knot resembled a Swiss chalet; the architectural flourishes of Santanoni were Japanese-inspired; and The Hedges had Dutch doors.
Approximately forty of these extravagant camps survive, including ten that are National Historic Landmarks. Adirondack Style will feature thirty-seven of these camps, including Pine Knot, Uncas, and Sagamore, all of which were built for William West Durant, a pioneer of the Great Camp style; Wonundra, which was built for William Avery Rockefeller and his family; and White Pine, which President Calvin Coolidge once used as his Summer White House.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS:
f-Stop Fitzgerald is a noted photographer whose work has appeared in more than 100 periodicals, including Rolling Stone, GQ, Publishers Weekly, and The Village Voice. His collaboration with Stephen King, Nightmares in the Sky, was a national best seller.
Richard McCaffrey is currently staff photographer for The Providence Phoenix. He is represented by Getty Images and his work appears in numerous national and international books and publications.
7444 Gallery is on Depot Street, near Stewart’s and the train station.
Linda Cohen and Peg Masters, both descendants of 19th-century pioneer settlers of the Old Forge region, have written Old Forge and The Fulton Chain of Lakes (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99) the latest Adirondack edition in the Images of America series. Together they compiled over 200 images from around the area, many seldom seen.
Old Forge is nestled at the foot of the Middle Branch of the Moose River, more commonly known as the Fulton Chain of Lakes. Year-round accommodations at the Forge House in 1871 and dependable rail service in 1892 led to permanent settlement of the hamlet. Within a decade, Old Forge emerged as the residential and commercial hub of the Central Adirondacks and a popular destination and gathering place for guides, sportsmen, and wilderness tourists. For the sightseer who strolls around Old Forge today or enjoys a cruise up the eight lakes in the Fulton Chain, the landscape is dotted with scores of century-old dwellings, Victorian cottages, rustic camps, and even a few grand old hotels.
Linda Cohen has been an active member of the local historical association and a board member since 2004. Peg Masters has served as the town historian for the past 10 years and conducts historic walking tours every summer.
In recognition of the importance of forests to the health and well being of society, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a contest to celebrate New York’s forests. The contest is designed to increase awareness of and appreciation for all types of forests, urban and rural, large and small, public and privately owned, across the state.
“The value of our forests cannot be underestimated,” Commissioner Joe Martens said in a prepared statement. “In addition to providing clean air, clean water and places for wildlife to live, thousands of people are employed in the forest products, outdoor recreation and tourism industries, thanks to New York’s wealth of forest.” In the 19th century conservationists recognized the importance of nature as a refuge from the noise and bustle of city life. Modern technology has disconnected many people from the outdoors. Virtual pastimes now rival natural, outdoor activities. Taking and sharing pictures is one of the most popular activities in this country. Through this contest, New Yorkers are encouraged to reconnect with the natural world.
Submitted photos should capture all aspects of forests and trees in five different categories:
Contest details, rules and necessary forms can be found on DEC’s website.
Photos must be taken in New York State. Photos will be accepted through November 1, 2011. A maximum of three photos may be submitted by a photographer, each with a submission form found on the DEC website, via e-mail or on a CD via regular mail. DEC has non-exclusive rights to use submitted photos on DEC’s website, in the Conservationist magazine, in brochures and in other publications promoting forests and DEC. The photographer will retain ownership of the photo.
The winner in each category will receive a framed print of their photo. Winning photos will be announced on or about December 1, 2011.
Photo: State Forest Boundary Sign Near Ticonderoga (John Warren Photo).
On July 8th, Mark Kurtz celebrated the Grand Opening of his new photography shop and studio at its new location, 82 Main Street in Saranac Lake, just in time for the 3rd Thursday ArtWalks that have a become such a popular summer tradition in Saranac Lake. This will be the second in a series of four this summer. And the next one is this Thursday, July 21st.
Kurtz has been a fixture in Saranac Lake for many years, where his uncluttered approach to scenic photography captures the imaginations of many visitors. His shop was originally further down Main Street, and now he can be found just a few doors down from Small Fortune Studio (at 76 Main) and the Adirondack Artists Guild (at 52 Main), two of the lynchpins of the ArtWalks events. Some 26 artists and photographers participate in the self-guided tour that runs from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Start at any venue and do the in-town loop, and then hop in the car to visit some of the outlying venues like BluSeed Studios, where an interesting multidimensional sculpture exhibit opened earlier this month, featuring Ali Della Bitta and Native American inspired art by William J. Grant. There’s also the always hip Gallery 7444, featuring the works of artist, Sandy McDonald.
Kurtz has his own special exhibit of some of his clean architectural shots, his panoramic landscapes, and small themed collections of his best work, which offers a tremendous sense of form and movement. Long an advocate of the huge range offered by tradional darkroom work, Kurtz has recently begun working as often using digital processing techniques as well to create his stunning large prints. His connection to the Adirondacks and to the art community of Saranac Lake give his work a unique sense of integration of human and natural forms—so start your tour at his new photography studio to see it in person. This month, the Mark Kurtz studio also features the work of local painter, Matt Burnett.
The ArtWalks are great fun, with music, plenty of good food from local restaurants and a real sense of community. The artists will all share stories with you, and you will certainly want to return to the village by Lake Flower, Saranac Lake.
Ample parking is available on the streets as well as in lots off of Dorsey St. and between Broadway and Church Streets.
On June 22, 2011, Historic Saranac Lake will unveil a new John Black Room Exhibit, “The Little City in the Adirondacks: Historic Photographs of Saranac Lake.” Created in collaboration with the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library, the exhibit features almost fifty framed historic photographs of Saranac Lake residents and buildings during the early part of the twentieth century.
The exhibit portrays a vibrant little city with a prospering and diverse economy. Saranac Lake grew quickly in the early 1900s to accommodate thousands of health seekers that came to the village seeking the fresh air cure for tuberculosis, made famous by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau. The exhibit features the unique architecture of the village as well as photos of local residents at play and at work. The photographs represent only small portion of the rich photo collection of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library. Library curator, Michele Tucker graciously loaned the photos to Historic Saranac Lake, and a team of dedicated volunteers has worked to install the exhibit. Many of the photos were originally printed and framed by the late Barbara Parnass, who was one of the founding Board Members of Historic Saranac Lake in 1980.
The photograph exhibit replaces an earlier exhibit on World War I in Saranac Lake. The exhibit will be on display for twelve months. Plans are underway for a new, comprehensive exhibit on Saranac Lake history to be installed in the John Black Room in 2012.
The Saranac Laboratory Museum opens June 22. The public is invited to visit the new photo exhibit and the laboratory museum space during regular hours through October 7, Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 to 2:00, or any time by appointment. Admission is $5 per person, members and children free of charge.
Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Room, Saranac Lake Free Library.
Two new exhibits have opened at the Adirondack Museum: “The Adirondack World of A.F. Tait” and “Night Vision: The Wildlife Photography of Hobart V. Roberts.”
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait was the classic artist of Adirondack sport. “The Adirondack World of A.F. Tait” features paintings and prints depicting life in the Adirondack woods – images of hunters, sportsmen, guides, and settlers that include a wealth of historical detail. An ardent sportsman and lover of the outdoors, Tait lived in the region for extended periods of time near Chateaugay, Raquette and Long lakes. His images of animals and sporting adventures were among the best known in 19th-century America thanks to Currier & Ives, whose lithographs of Tait paintings helped popularize the Adirondacks as a sportsman’s paradise.
Chief Curator, Laura Rice called the exhibit, “a rare opportunity to see some of Tait’s most important works, including a few from private collections which are rarely, if ever, on exhibit.”
“Night Vision: The Wildlife Photography of Hobart V. Roberts” focuses on the work of one of the nation’s most recognized amateur wildlife photographers in the first decades of the 20th century. Roberts’ Adirondack wildlife photographs represent an important breakthrough in science and the technology of photography. He developed a thorough knowledge of Adirondack wildlife and their habits, and deer jacking inspired him to consider night photography. A feature article in the New York Times, August 26, 1928, described Roberts’ as “hunting with a camera in the Adirondacks.”
The “Night Vision” exhibit features approximately 35 original large-format photographs of Adirondack wildlife. Roberts’ cameras, equipment, colored lithographic prints, hand-colored transparencies, published works, and his many awards will also be exhibited. His work has been published in Audubon Magazine, Country Life, Modern Photography, and The National Geographic Magazine.
The museum is open through October 17, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week, including holidays. There will be an early closing on August 12, and adjusted hours on August 13; the museum will be closed on September 9. Visit www.adirondackmuseum.org for more information. All paid admissions are valid for a second visit within a one-week period.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.