Art through a lens

Photographic Salon continues through April 22

Photographic Salon continues through April 22

February 11, 2007|by JULIE E. GREENE

Click here for the Photographic Salon slideshow

Just as impressionists don't paint a landscape as it's seen with the naked eye, Sterling "Rip" Smith doesn't create photographs showing landscapes just as they are.

The Martinsburg, W.Va., resident used a modified Nikon D100 to take an infrared image of large oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from them at South Carolina's Brookgreen Gardens in September.

Then he used his computer to change the image into a black-and-white photograph before adding a platinum tone.

The result is an old-time look with an ethereal feel and a win for best digital effects in black and white at this year's Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon at Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown's City Park.


The juried exhibition features work by more than 50 amateur and professional photographers from Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Of 268 entries, 61 prints and five slides are being exhibited.

The show opened Friday and runs through April 22.

Smith, 63, a training director for Mid-Atlantic ProTel in Martinsburg, also took first place for digital effects and first place for digital effects in color with "Fort Frederick, Maryland."

That photo shows a close-up image of the 18th-century stone fort near Big Pool. The scene's perspective looks digitally manipulated, but is not. Smith got the effect by photographing a corner of the fort close-up with a wide-angle lens.

Smith enjoys photography because he's fascinated with how light and shadow can change how photo subjects look. To see more of his photography, visit

For Smith and many photographers, the craft is their form of creative expression.

"I was looking for things that had personal expression; that were not only technically fine or outstanding, but showed some personal expression," said Verna Posever Curtis.

Curtis, a curator of photography with the Library of Congress, judged the competition. There were going to be two judges, but one of them couldn't make it at the last minute, said Meg Dameron, curatorial coordinator with the local museum.

Art photography is about more than taking a technically good photograph, she said. The choice of subject says something about the photographer and the image should reflect one's ideas, way of seeing, and feeling about an individual or subject.

Curtis liked the mystery of best-in-show winner, "Glimmer" by Kevin Logghe of Germantown, Md. The black-and-white photo shows a statue of an angel in thought.

Several other Tri-State-area photographers placed or earned honorable mention in the competition.

"Bands of Light" by Bruce Wilder of Keedysville was judged to be the best photograph by a Washington County resident and earned first place in the figure category.

The photo is of a female nude model with bands of light filtered through Venetian blinds and running across her profiled torso.

Wilder, 55, is co-owner of Turn the Page Bookstore Cafe in Boonsboro. He has been into photography for about 35 years, and began photographing nudes around eight years ago.

He said he likes the play of light on the different curves of the body. Wilder used blinds and curtains in a New York hotel suite to create the light and shadow effects in this particular piece.

The Herald-Mail does not publish photographs of nudes, but the photo can be seen at the exhibit or at

If you go ...

WHAT: 74th annual Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon, a juried exhibition featuring work by more than 50 amateur and professional photographers from Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Open through Sunday, April 22.

WHERE: Bowman and Kerstein galleries, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, Hagerstown.

COST: Requested donation for museum admission.

MORE: A public reception will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. today. Many of the participating photographers will be available to speak with visitors. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, call 301-739-5727 or go to

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