Sunday, October 6, 2013

News Coverage of Comparative Figures

Blue Greenberg, in her Herald-Sun newspaper article, shares her opinions of the work by Sam Wang and Bill McAllister entitled Comparative Figures. You can read the text of her article at: Sadly, there are no illustrations in the on-line version - but that is easily remedied by visiting

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Comparative Figures Opening Night

Friday, September 20, 2013 friends and photography lovers gathered to see 39 nudes by Sam Wang and Bill McAllister.
Visitors at the Comparative Figures reception (c) R. Duvall
The printing style varies substantially from image to image. Some of McAllister's prints are contemporary pigment prints, others from his darkroom on gelatin-silver paper. Wang's prints take an alternate tack, showing brush strokes in the margins from his hand-coated platinum and platinum over cyanotype prints. Even with the variation of printing styles the images work together.

One of the best examples of stylistic differences in composition and printing comes from Wang's print of Photographer and Model, with one of the most fluid figures I've seen. McAllister, camera in action, is included on the right side of the composition, almost blending into the boulders used for background. On the wall directly to the right of Wang's platinum over cyanotype print is a smaller pigment print by McAllister. His photograph is of the model shown in Wang's image just mentioned - but with a completely different perspective. This is also a wonderful comparison of how two artists can work within feet of one another and come away with results so different as to suggest different time, different place.
Becky New, Sam Wang, Bill McAllister (c) R. Duvall

Comparative Figures will be on display through November 9, 2013. On November 15, 2013 the first Through This Lens Members Show will go on display. For more information about the Member's Show check out this page on the gallery web site:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jesse Andrews and Tom Rankin Speak

Sunday afternoon, September 15, both artist Jesse Andrews, and special guest Tom Rankin visited Through This Lens to talk about Mr. Andrews' work.
Tom Rankin and Jesse Andrews (c) 2013 Roylee Duvall
The black and white photographs will be off the walls on Wednesday, so you have just one more day to see them - on Tuesday, September 17. Not only are these photographs traditional gelatin-silver prints, and shot on film, Mr. Andrews claims not to own a digital camera. When an audience member asked why he chose to use film, Mrs. Andrews said that the speed of the digital process was in his eyes, a disadvantage.
He is known as a thinker - an artist who puts much effort into each image, both in selection and the laborious method of making lush dark prints in his darkroom. During his talk he mentioned his admiration for Bill Brandt. Later, when I asked if there were other influences he mentioned Paul Strand and W. Eugene Smith. Another question that came up during the talk: Why are there black borders around each image on his prints? Mr. Andrews answered that the marks indicate a completely unmodified image from the way it was composed and captured.

Many old-school photographers will recognize the technique of filing out the negative carrier so that when a negative is enlarged the black line represents part of the film without an image - thus it becomes a symbol and guarantee of honesty by the artist. In the digital world, no such option or tell-tale mark exists. Maybe there is still a place in the world of photography for film - even in the 21st century.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

More Dreams Talk by Catharine Carter

March 17, 2013: Sunday afternoon Catharine Carter spoke about her exhibition More Dreams, on display at Through This Lens. The crowd was larger than expected, with many regulars and some new faces in attendance. Ms. Carter spoke about her process and the many artists and movements that have influenced her work. This show is unusual, and very appealing to anyone who enjoys illustrative visual art.
Catharine Carter speaking at Through This Lens

Although we will continue to represent Ms. Carter, this exhibition is on display only through Wednesday, March 20th - so hurry on in for a rich viewing experience.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Changing of the Walls with More Dreams

March is a bit uncommon for us because we have a short show of new work by Catharine Carter - to be followed in just over two weeks by the First Annual Will Grossman Memorial Photography Competition opening reception.

We've shown Catharine Carter's work in September/October of 2011. Some of the current work is a continuation from the previous project, but some pieces are completely new in image and process. It is late so I will revise this posting in a day or two - but please take a look at the current issue of Black and White magazine to see Ms. Carter's work featured.

Please don't forget that you still have time to enter work into the Will Grossman Photography Competition. Find out more here:
A further note to Through This Lens members: You will receive a $5 discount off the registration fee for the Will Grossman Memorial Competition. It is sponsored by an outside group, and much of the registration fee goes to replenish their fund for prizes in future years.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Workshop Success - Neither Rain, Nor Snow, etc.

Photographers can be a hearty lot - Snow, freezing roads, slush, ice-cold rain - all pretty unpleasant stuff, but for the two workshops held at Through This Lens presented by Margo Taussig Pinkerton and Arnold Zann AKA Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures - or Margo and Arnie as they are less formally known - the weather was barely a hindrance. I had memories of those three consecutive big snows when I was seven years old, that kept me out of the second grade for nearly two weeks. Those were only memories, and the recent weather was not a show stopper for the dynamic teaching duo. In fact, Sunday, January 27th, the students spent the morning at Duke Gardens shooting the frosty remnants of the snow and ice. After a couple of hours with their cameras, they returned to the gallery to edit and share their work during a compassionate but honest critique.

These were serious photo workshops and serious students. The presentations and activities were very well organized. The students came from as far away as Cincinnati. I've spent the past 20 years teaching various computer applications, yet I gained a lot from sitting in, between customers and other gallery duties. If you were not able to attend, please take a look at Margo and Arnie's web site and consider one of their workshops. You'll work hard, and be happy that you did.

For Margo and Arnie, it was their first time teaching in the Triangle area. They have not previously held their Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures workshops any closer than the Outer Banks of North Carolina - which also happens to be the subject of the current exhibition at the Through This Lens. If you want to see it, The Yin and Yang of the Outer Banks, then stop in by March 2nd. You can also see all the images in small format by going to and clicking through the links underneath each pair of Margo and Arnie's photographs.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Call for Entries in Remembrance of a Friend

Will Grossman was a personal friend, but for those of you not acquainted with him, he was a strong supporter of photography, a community activist, and many other commendable things. His friends and family want to remember him with more than praise and flowers so they put together a fund to support an annual photo event in his name: The Will Grossman Annual Photo Competition. This year is the first time for the event and I hope that all of you in the RTP community will consider taking part. Details can be found on the Through This Lens web site at:

Even if you are not an active photographer, or live outside the Triangle area, please help spread the word. This event has photography, friendship and love at its heart.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Is Salon Display Disrespectful?

Given that we've never tried this, I'm curious to know how you feel about salon style exhibitions - the format is quite old, and essentially, lots of work is displayed in a somewhat random fashion. Not the popular and common single row of images at eye level, salon displays have many rows of work and many sizes intermixed. I won't be surprised to hear complaints about lack of respect for the work - and we will surely return to the norm soon enough. For the next two weeks when you visit Through This Lens chaos is the operative display strategy. You will, however, see more work, and more variety than ever before.

Tell Me How You Think of Photography

A new year – a good time for a new direction: 
While I read ideas, opinions and technique daily I’m never settled about what photography is, or should be. This is odd in the respect that a gallerist is expected to make statements – but I search, observe and wonder.  Please tell me how you view photography. Do you believe in the journalistic perspective and/or in craft? Do you see, or appreciate  value in the artist-made print? Is pictorialism really a hundred years dead, or just represented with contemporary images? Do we need to make prints with all the screens around us? What about film? What about The Impossible Project?

Through This Lens has shown many variations of photography, and that has been part of my exploration of the medium. Please share your opinions and ideas, and ask your friends to post their ideas here too. If you have an idea for an exhibition please tell me. I’m always looking for something more, something different, or something new.