Saturday, August 8, 2009

More Photography: Steve Dixon @ Reflective Image Studios

For a little over a year, a new gallery located a stone's throw from South Coast Plaza has been devoting itself to the art of photography, exhibiting the work of local and national artists. Ludo and Barbara Leideritz, themselves photographic artists, gathered together a number of Orange County's best art photographers and created an exhibit space in which to showcase the breadth of their work, Reflective Image Studios Gallery.

Last night, their latest exhibition, traditional black and white photography by artist Steve Dixon, debuted. Ludo Leideritz met Dixon at a photography workshop in Yosemite, where the ghost of Ansel Adams looms large. Dixon, a North Carolina news photographer shared with us the story of how he returned to art photography fairly recently and how it's been an arduous yet rewarding process of discovery.

The show is entitled, "Memories in Silver: Traditional Black and White Photographs," and it reminds us of the intense beauty that only black and white photos can truly deliver.

At the opening, however, I was reminded of the technical prowess that true photographers possess: questions of the artist from other photographers referenced the timing of exposures and f-stop settings, "dodging," multiple "burns" of prints and other techniques in the toolbox of experts--all a far cry from point-and-shoot digital snapshots taken from a cellphone.

Dixon spoke of re-learning patience--that it takes a long time to plan and set up a photograph, sometimes requiring multiple visits to the location, and that it is always time consuming to print effectively even the most artistic of shots.

Not only was it great to see that so many are still dedicated to real photography, but also to learn that Orange County's photographic community is especially robust--for instance, Ludo was well aware of the Hal Robert Myers exhibit at the Irvine Fine Arts Center and the Barbara Higgins exhibit at the Wyndham Hotel Gallery--both are photographers he knows and greatly respects. And he also knew of the Polaroid exhibit at Fullerton's Hibbleton Gallery.

4 important photographic shows running concurrently in Orange County is something worth celebrating.

"Memories in Silver" continues through September 30th, and the gallery is located at 211 E. Columbine Av., just north of MacArthur Blvd. and is open every weekend.

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