Not All Photography Is Equal

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One of the things that frustrates me as a professional photographer is the all too common belief that great photography is just a simple matter of pointing the camera and pressing the button and then, maybe, adding some weird, digital filter to the final photo.  Photography is a skill, an art, a passion.  Some have it and some don’t.  There is a difference between taking a photograph and making a photograph.

Ice formation on Parker Brook in Stokes State Forest
©Dawn J. Benko

I arrived at this spot (above) on a cold, February morning, somewhere between 8 and 9 o’clock.  I didn’t like the light, so I moved on, wandering up and down the brook all day taking photos.  I would come back to this scene every so often to see if it was ready for it’s closeup.  This photograph was, finally, created around 5pm.  I had about a ten minute window to setup my tripod and camera and find the angle I wanted.

Similarly, I arrived at this swamp between 8 and 9 am.  This shot was made around 5:30pm.  In reality, it took days, weeks, even months of sitting in (yes, IN) the swamp watching, and waiting.  That time was also spent learning.  And once the action began, I had to find ways to get my photos without interfering with the natural process.

I had posted this photo on Facebook, and a friend remarked on what a lucky shot it was.  After I explained what it took to get the shot, another friend remarked, “It’s hard work being that lucky.”

Indeed.

 

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Treasures Along the Delaware

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If you’d like info about waterfalls in the area, you can get a guide to waterfalls along the Delaware HERE

“The Canvas I Call Home”

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Marie Liu has been painting images of Pike County since moving to Milford in 2009. Captivated by the rugged and pristine landscape, waterfalls and history, she set herself on a course to learn about and depict the region, to the exclusion of all else. “There is a quality to this place that is almost indescribable and haunting.  When you tap into it, becomes an obsession. A happy obsession as it provides me with endless inspiration and focus for my work.”

 

After graduating from the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver, she returned to the Northeast where she was raised. Working in the high end silkscreen wallpaper industry for a decade, then as co-owner of Star gallery in Middletown NY for the next decade. She has been a partner of the ARTery, a cooperative gallery in Milford for 7 years and has recently finished a year long term as the Resident Artist of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. She presents her research on the history of art of the region at local venues and museums.