Feb. 2001

President's Message

Portrait of Steve Berkowitz

Photo FAQs

President's Message

Karl Leck

Moving our meeting location after so many years promised to be a challenge for the Club. Members have reacted very well. We showed flexibility when we could not use the auditorium on several occasions and moved instead to the more intimate library. The latest challenge was the school holiday schedule. About 40 members showed up at A.I. DuPont Middle School on January 15 for Print Night to be disappointed by locked doors. Similar to our power loss night at the Academy last year, we will have a print competition with two assigned subjects on Tuesday, February 20. Why Tuesday? Monday is President's Day, a school holiday when the building will be locked again. Keep loose, we are starting to get the hang of it!

I have spent a few hours helping unpack prints and slides at Irv Klair's house. Joe Bernofsky and tireless Jeff Smith have led the effort to unpack and organize the photographs for our Wilmington International. Each year I get excited to see the photographs that come in from all over the world. Some are similar to those you have seen before like old guy smoking a pipe, pretty girl portrait, mama bird feeding young, downhill skiers, racing motorcycles, and lighthouses. They are familiar, recurring themes in every PSA exhibition. Nearly all are of an admirably high technical quality. I try to caution myself from rushing to judgment too fast on these kinds of photos and try to see if there are any new aspects that the photographer brought to an old subject. Often there are new interpretations in lighting, composition, or details to appreciate.

Many exhibitors have one technique, which they do very well in their chase for acceptances and PSA stars. Others enter just to show pictures to the world. They reach out for verification of their artistic vision. We had a package of prints from Romania this year with a note saying they could not send the entry fee for whatever reason. A club member sponsored them by paying the fee so that these interesting monochrome prints could be judged and possibly shown here. We are one of the few exhibitions still showing prints. I think prints are wonderful. A color slide is on the screen for 4 to 8 seconds, but you can stand by a print and study it as long as you like and return to see it again as often as you like. The best prints seem to offer more interest the more you look at them. Those are the kind I would rate highly and show on my own walls.

This year the photojournalism prints are limited to 8"x12". While I liked the bigger prints that we showed in past years better, I also appreciate that 8"x12" is as large as a working print is ever made in the real world of journalism. Also the small prints cost less to ship back to the exhibitor. We just have to stand closer to them to appreciate the image.

Every year we also see some truly interesting photographs that show originality and craftsmanship. There are a couple of color slides, color prints and monochrome prints this year that make me say, "Wow, I wish I would have thought of that." or "How did the photographer do that?" All of these photographs are the sparks that encourage us to improve our vision and enlarge our arsenal of technique. They get us out of our localized box. We get to see a wonderful world without the long flights or expense. The International is a local treasure. Spread the word. Invite your friends to see the show on February 18 and 25 at Arsht Hall. I hope you have acceptances of your work to show off. If not, do what I do. If I still think it's a great photo, I enter it again next year.

Thanks to everyone who is helping with this year's International. You can take a lot of pride in this contribution to the art loving community and our long-standing Exhibition tradition.