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ZION NATIONAL PARK UTAH This image was made during the fall of 2015 in SW Utah. It was one of three parks that we visited on this tri...

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Photograph Courtesy Va Historical Society


END OF AN ERA: The Photography of Jack Jeffers

Richmond, VA

Opens February 20, 2012 and runs through August 26

“This exhibition displays large-format black-and-white prints of people and landscapes from the Appalachian region of western Virginia taken by award-winning photographer Jack Jeffers. Before Jeffers moved to Wyoming, the Virginia artist donated 123 monumental images to the Virginia Historical Society. Jeffers stated in 1996, “What you have represents almost thirty years of my life. Much of what I have recorded is already past history and most of the people I photographed are either dead or close to it.”

“The show will consist of two dozen of the photographs you so kindly donated to the Society. Our designer and I decided that we best give your powerful images room to breathe -- and not stack them like the walls of the Louvre in past centuries. We are confident that the 24 images we selected will make a very powerful impact indeed! So too will the labels, because, aside from an introductory panel, we are using your words entirely. We obviously have utilized your website, and we make reference to it in the introductory label so that visitors to the VHS can discover it.” ---Dr. William Rasmussen

Virginia Historical Society

428 N. Boulevard
Richmond, VA

Thursday, January 5, 2012



Go to the next post to read the Story Behind the Scene

Left click on the image above to view a larger image.


This image is also posted about midway through my blog, and I noticed this morning that it had received an earlier comment. It went like this. "I would have put more open field than hillside if I were to shoot the same subject."

Had this been a painting, I would have seen some merit to the statement because the painting could have been altered and changed during the initial concept. The painter could have repositioned the old truck, changed the foreground and altered the background depending on his or her creative process.

I captured this image as I envisioned it, and I used a normal 80 mm lens on my medium format camera to make the exposure. All of the elements came together in my mind and they were about as near perfect as one could imagine. Lastly, Mother Nature tossed in another snow shower just as I was setting up my tripod and camera, This completed my composition.

The person doing the critique did not seem to understand that I could not have moved any further back because I had already run out of space, and I chose not to move any further left or right or it would have upset the balance and lead-in which had already been established by the artist. In other words, I liked this landscape just as it was, and to add one further note, I do not "shoot" my subjects. I photograph them. Leave the shooting to the gun lovers.

A final note--there were many other potential close-up images in and around this old farm scene. This, however, was my favorite, and a scene such as this provides many potentially nice concepts for the camera or brush artist.


There is another nice image in this blog which received some criticism from a fellow photographer way back when---about 1979, I believe. This guy was almost nasty about his critique. I will post the image which I title, "Horse & Fence just ahead of this one so that you can clearly see what we are talking about.

To capture an image such as this, you must anticipate, and then at the precise moment, you execute. This has often been referred to as the "Decisive Moment."

I stopped along a back country road in central Virginia and watched this scene develop as the horse approached the fence. By then I had the camera set up and ready to go. I even had a plastic bag placed over it to prevent the snow from melting on the lens. I made the exposure precisely when the horse turned it's head and looked to it's left. Or, from my standpoint, to the right. That is what made this image a total success. Had I made the exposure with the horse looking straight at me or in the opposite direction, the image would have been unacceptable.

The fellow making the open critique told me that the image was split into two halves, linked together only by a fence. It should NOT have that open space which is partially occupied by the horse between the two trees. The key to this is the fact that the horse, by turning it's head to the left, leads the viewers eye into the presentation and beyond. How simple it is, and it has been one of my favorite images over the years. This is the only criticism that I know of which was ever personally directed at me regarding the horse and fence. But, people are funny.

I have continually told up-and-coming artists to react to their gut feeling. "If the concept feels right, push that shudder release, and nine times out of ten, you will be right on target."

This artist prefers to think of "Rules" as guidelines. In the art world, rules are made to be broken. But be careful not to overwork a piece of art.

In the old days when I was still into serious printing, the trash can in my lab was often overflowing with test strips resulting from futile attempts to make a finished print turn out just the way I had originally envisioned it.