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Porfolio Review – Final Reminder

The Annual Houston Photographic Society Portfolio Review is upon us. Please review the message from Portfolio Review Chairperson Jim Fife below.

Exhibit Night
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 from 7-9 p.m.
This is the evening where all the members who have put together a portfolio can exhibit their work. This program is open to the public so bring and invite family, friends, neighbors, relatives, etc. There should be approximately 200 plus images based on the current number of confirmed participants. The members who are exhibiting should plan to arrive by 6:30 p.m. so that they will have time to set up their portfolio display. Please remember to bring your artist statement to go with your portfolio exhibit. This should be a fun evening and there will be plenty of time to ask the various exhibitors questions about their work. Refreshments will also be served.

Review Night
Thursday, October 11, 2012 beginning 6 p.m. (note the start time)
This evening is for the Portfolio Review participants ONLY. This is NOT open to the public or the general membership. Please arrive at the Tracy Gee Community Center by 6 p.m. (by 6:15 p.m. at the latest) as numbers will be drawn for the order in which you will sign up for the various reviewers. Please look over the brief biography/profile of each reviewer you were sent so you can better select someone who will be best suited for your work and intent. We are on a very tight schedule so please come prepared so the selection procedure can move along smoothly.

If you have questions, please contact Jim Fife.

Scenes from the 2011 Annual Portfolio Review

Images of the 2011 Annual Portfolio Review from the Houston Photographic Society. The review took place at the Tracy Gee Community Center on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. Photos courtesy of HPS member Leslie Stessel.

Annual Portfolio Review

The 2011 Annual Portfolio Review Exhibit takes place Tuesday, October 11th from 7-9 p.m. at the Tracy Gee Community Center.

Those HPS members who have previously signed up with the portfolio chairman will bring a themed cohesive body of matted photographic prints to display. On display will be approximately 200 or so images from different members. Exhibitors, arrive early so you will have time to set up before the exhibit begins. This is open to the public so friends and family are invited. Refreshments will be served.

Then, the next day, Wednesday, October 12th beginning 6 p.m. is the Portfolio Review where only the exhibiting participants are invited to return to have several esteemed reviewers from the field examine the portfolios on an individual basis. They will provide valuable feedback and suggestions on the body of work to the exhibitors’ so they may learn from the experience.

This is a meeting all will want to see as it’s unique and a great opportunity to see the hard work and artistry of the exhibitors!

Portfolio Review – Color, Form, Shape and Texture in Nature

by Bob Jump Bob Jump

I have participated in the last three portfolios and have found them to be an excellent learning experience. I received detailed critiques of 8-10 images by 4-5 reviewers each year. That’s from 32 to 50 critiques in one evening.

Compared to the maximum of 22 image critiques during the regular competition meetings, that makes the portfolio review one of the best learning experiences the club offers it’s members, especially since it is included in the $35 annual dues.

If your goal is to improve your photographic skills, you should make the effort to assemble a portfolio and participate as often as possible in this program.

My first portfolio was titled “Fall Color in the Lost Maples Natural Area.” These images were my attempt to capture the brilliant color of fall foliage. The beauty found in nature has always moved me, and it is the motivating force for most of my photographic efforts.

The subject to my second portfolio was “The Geysers of Yellowstone.” The images in this portfolio portray the power, beauty and dynamic nature of the various geysers I encountered during two trips to Yellowstone National Park.

For last year’s portfolio I returned to the theme in my first one, namely color in nature. This time I captured the color to be found in several of the mushrooms that grow during the fall in nearby nature areas.

Portfolio Pieces Click on Thumbnail to view full-size

Artist Statement:

Color, Form, Shape and Texture in Nature

My favorite photographic subjects are found in nature. Indeed, the beauty and diversity of nature is a motivating force for most of my work. I am especially fascinated by the colors, forms, shapes and textures found in nature.

In the past I have concentrated mostly on capturing these features with landscape images. The images presented here take a different approach by moving in close in order to isolate the features of a single plant. For this portfolio, I have chosen to concentrate on mushrooms, which I find to be one of nature’s more interesting plants.

Mushrooms come in a wide variety of colors from bright reds and yellows to more subdued browns and oranges. Many have interesting textures and shapes. Most mushrooms grow very close to the ground and are surrounded by a chaotic and dull background. In order to emphasize the various features of mushrooms and to show the bright colors more effectively, I have isolated them from their distracting backgrounds by replacing their natural background with solid black.

My primary goal in taking these images was to illustrate the beauty of a variety of mushrooms. To this end, I have chosen to concentrate on their color, shape and texture, treating them more as abstract objects rather than showing them in their environment.

Artist Bio:

I have been interested in photography since I was quite young. During those early years and up through high school, I shot only black and white and enjoyed processing the images in a darkroom. During college and while pursuing a career in computer engineering education, I never seemed to have much time for this hobby.

Just as I retired, several things happened that restored my interest in photography. I now had the time and resources to pursue this hobby aggressively. Digital cameras and image processing programs such as Adobe Photoshop allowed me to recapture much of the fun I used to have in the darkroom, but now with both color and black and white images. For these reasons, photography has once again become an important part of my life.

I am a member of four photographic organizations in Houston: the Houston Photographic Society, Houston Camera Club, Houston Photographic Study Group, and the Houston Center for Photography. I have taken several continuing education courses, both at the Houston Center for Photography and Rice University. I attend club meetings regularly and participate in their various competitions whenever possible.

Portfolio Review – “Water Dance”

by Laszlo Perlaky

Laszlo Perlaky

One of the reasons I joined the Houston Photographic Society was for the Annual Portfolio Review, where members can show a body of work and can solicit critiques from fellow members as well as a panel of reviewers.

I remember when I showed my best images from my first portfolio, "Nature is My Friend." One of the respected HPS Fellows came to me and politely remarked that the photos were nice, but that it was not a portfolio. I had to think about this a lot, and I finally understood, accepted the teaching behind the opinion, and then re-evaluated my definition about what constitutes a portfolio.

This really challenged me to push myself and I started to work hard for my next year portfolio, "Legs to Wings." This was more of a body of work. However, one of the reviewers picked four images out of my twelve and said to me, "these are the images which I wish to see as a portfolio."

Once again, I received another strong critique which helped me to better review my own works, deepen my connection with nature, create previsualized images containing a story board, and I then presented my revised portfolio, "On Wings," the following year.

"On Wings" was a great success and generated many other new successful portfolios such as: "Nature Softies," "Hide and Seek," "Ripple Dance," "Invisible Angels," "Wichita Scapes," "Wabi-Sabi," and "Fragmented."

In 2010, on our summer photography trip, I tried something different. That is, I previsualized a series of images when I heard the music stemming from the water and rocks and I recorded this dance in an imaginative series of photographs. Nobody believed at that time that I photographed my "Water Dance" portfolio.

Portfolio Pieces
Click on Thumbnail to view full-size

Artist Statement:

"Water Dance" is part of my visual experiment to translate the sights and sounds of the dancing ripples of mountain springs, exploring the softness and beauty of our intimate natural world.

This series of images was taken on a recent photography trip to the Rocky Mountains at Snowy Range, Wyoming. The orchestra of the splashing, gurgling, running water over the colorful rocks lit by afternoon rays turned the scene into a ballroom where I heard a gentle voice ask me to dance. I was under this magical spell as I waded into the ice-cold, crystal-clear alpine creek. I heard the music of the water and rocks and started to move slowly, recording my feelings with each step – unique forms, colors and shapes documenting our dance in an imaginative series of photographs.

In all aspects of our natural environments, I seek and attempt to observe and feel the invisible. Each image captures fleeting moments and preserves them in a dream blur of color and shapes. The work represents a new direction in perceiving nature and challenges the viewer to enter into their own dance with our fascinating and always changing natural world.

My Mission is to observe, understand, accept, and create art which communicates between humans and nature.

Artist Bio:

Laszlo Perlaky is a Baylor College of Medicine faculty member at Texas Children’s Cancer Center during the week and an avid nature photographer on the weekends. He born and raised in Hungary, traveled throughout Europe, Japan, and the USA, finally settling with his wife, Alexandra Nemeth, and two children in Houston in 1990.

His high affinity towards both the natural environment and the camera helped him pursue photography and gradually perfect his craft. After 20 years of black and white photography, he has transitioned to and mastered the chrome medium, working with it exclusively for the past 15 years. At the present time, he uses a Nikon D-SLR system and for his landscapes, 4×5 and 8×10 large format field cameras, scans his color films or processes his high-resolution digital captures, and produces archival, pigment ink digital prints.

He is a member of several national and international photographic organizations and loves to teach photography. He leads monthly Photo-walks at Brazos Bend State Park, conducts his Naturalperl workshops, and teaches regularly at the Houston Center for Photography. He is the past editor and publisher of the Silver Image (2001, 2003) and Field Contributor to Nature Photographer magazine. He has successfully participated and awarded in international photography contests, published his images in magazines, books, calendars, and exhibited his work at major art festivals and print sales.

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