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Portfolio Review: “Infra Vision”

by Lexi Nemeth

Lexi Nemeth

One of the greatest opportunities at the Houston Photographic Society and a measure of our own assignments is the yearly Portfolio Review.

I try to complete my portfolio every year. However, when I start to work on something challenging and new for myself, I just need more time so that my in-progress portfolio will shift to the following year.

As a long-time HPS member, I received many useful suggestions from my fellow HPS members, respected peers and our Portfolio Review critique/discussion judges. They all helped me fine tune my vision, think more about my images, and have inspired me to improve my photography and interpret my images better. This resulted in my successful participation on group and solo exhibitions, art shows and print sales.

My best images are part of my “Drops”, “Reflections” and “Doors and Windows” portfolios.

I tried to do something different in 2010, and presented my “Infra Vision” in-progress portfolio.

Portfolio Pieces
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Artist Statement:

The “Infra Vision” series represents parts of my dreams and childhood remembrance of fairy tails and ghost stories, revealing messages from the unknown as well as the future.

The photographs were taken during this summer’s trip (2010) to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. I have been there several times. But this time, I visited the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces and the Lower Geyser Basin to record the unpredictable geothermal activity with my infrared camera.

It was amazing to see all that the infrared camera could detect in the surrounding landscape that is normally invisible to the human eye and how it translated that vision to unusual black and white images. Slowly, the mysteries and secrets of the geysers were revealed to me and I was happy to have discovered this new infrared “Infra Vision.

I always seek to explore the situations in our natural environment in which the light causes some unique effects. This portfolio of work shows a magical and secret world revealed through the infrared spectrum and challenges the viewer with a different perspective on our fragile natural surroundings.

Artist Bio:

Alexandra Nemeth is a Mohs histology technician at the Dermatology Surgery Associates during the week, and a nature photographer on the weekends. She was born and raised in Hungary, traveled throughout Europe, and the USA, finally settling with her family in Houston, Texas in 1990.

She always loved nature and she was happy when she was able to visit her Grandma in a small village near the Danube River. She met her husband, Dr. Laszlo Perlaky in a research lab. Fortunately both of them were interested in nature and liked to participate in nature protection projects. They worked in nature conservancy camps where their mission was to plant conservation ideals of our natural world into the kids.

She started to take nature and travel photographs seriously in the past ten years. She became a member of the Houston Photographic Society, where she enjoys the challenging print competitions and critiques.

She does not like to carry a big lens, especially not with a heavy tripod, so she started to photograph close-ups, landscapes, and not-too-difficult wildlife. She loves to find, observe and photograph bugs, patterns, and small things.

At the present time, she uses her Nikon DSLR system, including her infra-red DSLR camera. She has successfully participated in international photography contests, and exhibited her work at major art festivals.

My portfolio review experience

by Nathalie Brouard

Nathalie Brouard

I participated to the past two portfolio reviews (2009, 2010) and it has been a fantastic experience. But, more importantly it helped me to improve my photography.

During the monthly print critique, we receive advice and opinions on our individual images. The portfolio review brings you to a whole new level — thinking about a whole body of work.

It started for me with reflection — why do I take pictures?

Therefore, my first portfolio (2009) was a travel through time and the traces it leaves behind (Suntales of the passing time). From this first experience I learned how to focus my message and create a coherent body of work.

My second portfolio (2010) was more of a self-portrait relating my discovery of my new home (Texas Impressions). They were printed using the cyanotype process. The critiques and comments were very encouraging and I am now working on so many other projects that I’m not sure which one will make the next review.

In summary, participating to the portfolio review is wonderful way to bring your photography from individual nice pictures to the next level and develop your artistic message.

Portfolio Pieces
Click on Thumbnail to view full-size

Artist Statement

Texas Impressions (from 2010)

I was born in a country town in the heart of Normandy, France.

My studies and career took me around the world from Paris, France to Melbourne, Australia, and for the last four years, Houston, Texas.

The photographs presented here are some of my first impressions of my new home.

First came the fascination for the local fauna, and the unique landscapes. Then came the cowboys.

Moving beyond the clichés of Cowboys and Indians from movies in my childhood memories, I increasingly became aware of the hard work behind the Western wear.

Portfolio Review: online series

Artist Statement

Made with Love and Yummy for the Tummy

Taking pictures of foods I have eaten helps memories return again and again. These images are of foods my aunt prepared for Passovers over the years. She is a great cook and family is always the main course. This portfolio honors Aunt Lil.

About the Photographer

Leslie Stessel

My interest in photography began at the age of 13 years old when I received my first camera, a Brownie Hawkeye, which I still own. About 10 years ago, I decided to attend Houston Community College and finesse my photography skills. Today, I am a semi-professional part-time photographer for weddings, events, etc.

~Leslie Stessel

One of the more valuable features that membership with the Houston Photographic Society provides is what’s known as the annual Portfolio Review that takes place every second Tuesday and Thursday in October.

It is similar to what FotoFest offers. However, HPS features it yearly and it is inclusive of the yearly membership dues.

Every year, members are encouraged to put forth a portfolio of photos comprised of a cohesive body of work and exhibit them as if they would be shown at a gallery or museum.

It is wise to think in advance about such a portfolio prior to starting it instead of simply collecting bodies of work that are lying around. It can take several months to photograph and prepare for proper presentation.

The porfolio must have a common theme with a continuity of printing and presentation including an artist statement.

If you would like to know how to better prepare your own portfolio, please refer to our Portfolio Review section of the website or speak with HPS Portfolio Review Chairman Jim Fife, as he is always happy to share his wisdom in this area.

We will be featuring previous year portfolios online now from our membership who wish to share. The goal is to feature one or two per month to give members and prospective members a taste of what to expect and possibly how to prepare.

This first one in this new series features Leslie Stessel.

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