I just returned from the spectacular mountain village of Telluride, Colorado, where the first annual Telluride Photo Festival was held. It was a smashing success! During the week of September 20-26, a couple hundred photographers gathered for a week of photo workshops and seminars, evening presentations, gallery exhibits, and lots of gloriously beautiful shooting in the region’s San Juan Mountains.
The Telluride Photo Festival was a gathering of many luminaries in outdoor photography, including landscape, wildlife, conservation, adventure, and outdoor commercial photographers. Other pros leading sessions included George Lepp, Robert Glenn Ketchum, Ace Kvale, Bill Ellzey, Kathleen Norris Cook, Rob Haggart, and Tyler Stableford. In addition, Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier and many members of the International League of Conservation Photographers were present.
My exhibit, “Curious Critters,” was featured in the gallery at the historic Sheridan Opera House, the major screening location for the internationally known Telluride film festivals. During the Thursday night Gallery Walk and for the rest of the festival, photographers and townspeople strolled through the gallery, enjoying the twenty-four large format prints of all kinds of animals, all shot against white backgrounds. Some of the crowd favorites were the butterflies, especially the Baltimore Checkerspot, the Gray Treefrog, the Crested Gecko licking its lips, the Blue Jay, the Striped Skunk, the Little Brown Bat, and, one of my favorites, the Lightning Bug just taking off. Just becoming airborne, it looking quite like a twinkled-toed ballerina.
The shots in the exhibit are a tip-of-the-cap to Richard Avedon, who made popular the idea of taking portraits against white backgrounds. Unlike traditional images showing animals in their habitats, the white-background approach allows viewers to focus on subjects without distractions. Enthusiastic viewers remarked how much they liked this alternative way to view wildlife. The exhibit focuses on many common critters that we encounter in our backyards or local parks.
The Curious Critters exhibit now travels to Newark, New Jersey, where the exhibit will open on November 5, 2010 at Unique Photo. To see more images in my “Curious Critters” series, check out the slide show on my home page, www.fitzsimmonsphotography.com.
Animal Welfare Note: All animals in the Curious Critters exhibit have been handled carefully and not sedated. Some are captive specimens in rehabilitation centers and other educational facilities. Wild animals were returned safely to their habitats.
I also led two macro seminars at the Telluride Photo Festival. During these sessions I talked about creating meaningful close-up shots, best equipment to use, and specialized software such as Helicon Focus for increased depth-of field. My Saturday macro seminar was streamed live on the web. You can watch the full-length video below or go to the following website: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/9815378
In addition to the festival activities, photographers headed into the mountains to shoot autumn landscapes around Telluride. The aspens were turning blaze yellow, and a nighttime storm on Wednesday created spectacular snow-capped peaks. I particularly enjoyed the 4WD roads up to Alta Lakes and the switchbacks leading up to Bridal Veil Falls, just above the town of Telluride.
A special thanks to Telluride Photo Festival Director Eric Moore, who, with the assistance of Crystal Geise and the support of Telluride’s Ah Haa School for the Arts, created a superlative event. And hats off to Telluride community for making all of us crazy photographers feel oh-so welcome!
For more information about the Telluride Photo Festival, follow the link below:
The twenty-four image Curious Critters exhibits now moves to the Unique Photo gallery in Fairfield, New Jersey. The opening reception is November 5 at 5 PM. I will present a slide program from 5 – 6 PM that night, talking about my latest projects. On November 6 from 10 AM to 3 PM, I will lead a workshop for Unique University, demonstrating how to make your own Curious Critters shots. Part of the workshop will include the opportunity to shoot using my white backdrop setups, namely photographing inside Lastolite light tents. On Sunday, November 7 from 12 PM to 3 PM, I will work with educators on using cameras and digital imaging in their classrooms. For more information, follow the link below to Unique University:
To see more of Dave’s work or for information on bringing the Curious Critters exhibit to your venue or arranging a workshop or seminar with Sigma Pro Dave FitzSimmons, visit www.fitzsimmonsphotography.com.