Photographer and architect Michael Garner of Middletown received his first camera as a high school graduation gift. That simple 35mm Spotmatic Pentax spurred Garner to pursue photography as a hobby, something that complemented his architectural work.
While experimenting with portraits of his dog with an iPhone in 2009, Garner says in his artist's statement, he realized "picture making had little to do with the gear and everything to do with looking and seeing and having something to say."
You can see Garner's work in a new photographic exhibit in Danbury, "Orange," on view through the end of the month at Still River Editions, the fine art digital giclee printing division of Connecticut Photographics, 128 East Liberty St.
Still River Editions is hosting quarterly art shows, and Owner Mark Savoia approached the Connecticut chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers about exhibiting some of their work.
"They came up with the idea of orange," said Lys Guillorn, a fine art imaging associate, at Still River Editions, a division of Connecticut Photographics.
Garners artist's statement:
In high school I started mixing chemicals and experiencing the arcane magic of picture-making in a darkroom carved out of Mom and Dad's basement. I received a Pentax Spotmatic SLR camera as a graduation gift and I taught myself to make sense of f-stops and shutter speeds, reciprocity and ASA settings.
In the '90s I started picture-making again in earnest using point and shoot digicams. As an architect working out of a construction trailer I realized these little unassuming cameras made picture-making a fun part of my job.
Photography inspires me with its variety. I now produce the majority of my work digitally. Occasionally I revert to the refreshingly simple orthodoxy of the Holga with its non-existent learning curve and quirky results.
In 2009 my rekindled passion for photography took root in a long-term photo project involving my dog, Melky and my iPhone camera. Both the dog and the camera allowed me to realize picture making has little to do with the gear and everything to do with looking and seeing and finding something to say.
I am glad for that discovery and thankful for the many proponents of photography in my life that encourage and nurture my passion.
See more of Garner's work here.
Other photographers participating are: Nikki Alekson (Wethersfield), Rich Pomerantz (Washington Depot), Christine Chiocchio (Branford), Jim Fiora (Branford), Richard Freeda (Stamford), Carl Vernlund (Berlin), Liz Calvi (West Hartford), Edwina Stevenson (Branford), Donna Callighan (Stamford), Christopher Beuchamp (West Haven), Gale Zucker (Branford), Ronald L. Glassman (Stamford), Barry Hyman (Westport), Jane Shauck (West Hartford), Phil Nelson (Stamford), Peter Wnek (Meriden), and Pam Rouleau (Wilton).
The images include people, still lifes, nature, architecture and a cat. For more information on the exhibit, which runs through Feb. 28, click here.