The community is invited to take a look at what some of the top photographers in the area are seeing through their lenses when the Shafer Gallery hosts an opening reception for its next event, a juried photography show titled “Exposure Time,” 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15.
There will be music, refreshments and an extended juror’s gallery talk and critique by photographer Fred Lassmann. There will also be a selection of Lassmann’s work on display that will include some landscape pieces he took of the area while visiting recently.
Gallery Director Dave Barnes said photography exhibits afford people a unique opportunity to focus on the artistic nature of photos instead of just looking “at” them.
“People tend to miss the artistry in photographs, but they are very much like a painting or sculpture and the composition and attention to contrast and other visual elements is just as important to photographers,” he said. “People think of photos as just a representation of reality and often times they don’t realize all the formal choices that a photographer makes.”
The exhibit will run through Feb. 19. The Shafer Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is always free. For more information, contact Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-792-9342.
Retired aviation engineer Fred Lassmann of rural Augusta has been taking pictures for decades. He developed an interest in it because his mom always had a camera.
He worked for Cessna Aviation for most of his professional life, but he ran his own studio for several years in the 1960s and specialized in weddings and portrait photography and was proficient in darkroom editing. He then returned to the aviation world in 1969 and retired in 2009.
A few years before retiring, he went on a week-long photography excursion in northwest Oklahoma, which reignited his interest. By the time he retired he had amassed a nice collection of images and began having his photos sold in the L’image store in the Town East Mall in Wichita and continues to feature his work there and online.
Lassmann said he has a very down-to-earth relationship with photography.
“My love is being out in the open with a camera in front of my face,” he said. “Whether I push a button or not, it’s that communion with nature that I really like.”
Lassmann enjoys shooting landscapes, cityscapes, older architecture and historical site work, which includes the opportunity to get access to areas that have never been photographed.
Despite his lengthy residency in the photography world, Lassmann has never been a juror for a show, and he is excited about the process.
The seasoned veteran had some words of advice for aspiring photographers.
“The first thing I tell people is not to worry about things like composition if they are new to it. They need to study it eventually, but the bottom line is if it looks good in your mind, it’s probably following some of the rules of composition anyways.”
Lassmann also said new photographers should try not to lean so much on technology when producing images.
“Everybody is scared of going out of automatic these days,” he said. “It makes them shake, and it’s really not that difficult. There is a lot of free information online to learn about settings. Digital cameras have made pictures look really good for 75 percent of the pictures people take, but it’s not those pictures that they really need to understand, it’s what do you do when it gets tough and you don’t have that automatic system to give you back up. They’ve got to be able to get out of automatic and they’ll start getting better pictures.”
For more information on Lassmann visit fjLassmann.artstorefronts.com or fred-Lassmann.artistwebsites.com.