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Camera USA 2017


Read about the Naples Art Association’s Camera USA Photo Contest and Exhibition below:


MA photographer Brian Malloy wins Camera USA 2017 photo competition (07-28-17)

Brian Malloy 04May 22 is a day that Brian Malloy will always remember. That’s the day he got the call.

Brian had submitted his image titled Grand Central to the Naples Art Association’s 7th Annual Camera USA Photo Competition and Exhibition. It’s an homage to Henri Cartier Bresson and the way in which he uses light and shadow. As with most of the images in Camera USA 2017, Malloy’s photograph is not staged. He was doing street photography in downtown Los Brian Malloy 16Angeles early one morning when he spied a man sitting at a table as light poured in through a large open door to his right.

“As I composed the image using the reflection in a stainless steel table, the mysterious figure appeared at the exact moment that I tripped the shutter,” Brian Malloy 08Malloy recalls. “The moment I captured the image, I knew I had captured something special. A slice of life that for one split second had been frozen in time.”

But still, he didn’t have a clue how special his image was.

“When Jack [O’Brien] called me, I asked him if there was something wrong with the picture. ‘Did it arrive damaged?’” Brian Malloy 12But O’Brien told Malloy that his image was absolutely fine, Brian told the crowd that had assembled at the Naples Art Association for the Camera USA preview reception. “Then I asked him if he was calling to tell me that the jurors had declined to accept it into the show. He said no again. Then I asked him if I should be sitting down. He said, ‘Maybe,’ so I put him on speaker and sat down next to my wife. It’s kind of surreal. As a photographer who shoots events and works with clients, Brian Malloy 06winning something like this was an absolute honor. I’m still pinching myself. I was waiting for Jack to call back and tell me [I was being Pranked]. But I have to say that after I got here today, walked through the show and saw all the images, I’m even more honored that I’m part of this show because of the incredible work that’s Aimee Schlehr 01represented.”

A total of 211 images were submitted for inclusion in Camera USA 2017. The jurors winnowed that number down to their top 50, and awarded Malloy Best of Show, an honor that carries with it round trip airfare, a two-night stay in Naples and a $5,000 cash prize. Malloy joins a select group of elite grand prize winners that includes:

  • Camera USA 2017 03Naples photographer Art David and his 2016 black-and-white image of a Miami street scene, Who You Lookin’ At;
  • New Mexico photographer Kathleen Brennan for her 2015 image titled Fence and Elm Tree in Dust Storm;
  • Duluth, Minnesota photographer, conservationist and outdoorsman Brett Grandson for his 2014 black-and-white kathleen brennan 01jpeg, Light Storm; 
  • Pismo Beach, California photographer Tony Hertz for his 2013 black and white photograph, Gnarled Wave;
  • Washington, D.C. photographer Jon Malis for his 2012 photograph Specimen 66; and
  • Geneva, Illinois photographer David Wensel for his Wensel3212011 black-and-white image titled Resting Fiona.

A resident of Plympton, Massachusetts, Brian Malloy has been documenting weddings since 1989. His distinct artistic vision allows him to capture the essence and emotion of the weddings he shoots.



Steve Conley’s quest for the sublime results in ‘Spherical Moment’ (07-28-17)

Conley Camera USA 08Camera USA 2017 is on view now through August 4, 2017 in the main gallery at the Naples Art Association. One of the images juried into the show is Steve Conley’s Spherical Moment.

Spherical Moment was just one of those rare moments in time. Conley was in Hollywood, California last September doing some street photography. As it turned out, President Obama was speaking at a fundraiser half a mile away. The sidewalks were jammed with spectators hoping for a glimpse of the President as the limousine went by. We’ll let Steve pick up the story from there.

“So I’m looking for a place to get away from all these people, and I find this Conley Camera USA 06little plaza where there was a water fountain, the kind where the jets of water shoot up from the ground. I thought I might get a shot so I hung out there for a while. I had the ISO at 100 but the shutter speed at 1,000 because I was trying to freeze the water droplets. I just happened to look to my left and saw a girl blowing bubbles. As I was concentrating on the water and the bubbles, the father hoisted his son in the air and I was lucky enough to catch the instant just before the child popped Conley Camera USA 04the bubble.”

Steve never had the chance to introduce himself to the man with the child. Although it only took a few seconds for him to gather his stuff, by the time he looked up the man and child had disappeared into the crowd.

“I was really disappointed about that because I knew it was a good shot and wanted him to have a copy, 003 (3)but he was gone that fast,” recounts Steve, who notes that while being immersed in nature is always an enticing goal, the quest for that sublime and sometimes abstract element of reality is what truly motivates him.

Conley defies categorization. He is also known for marvelous panoramas of swatches of the New Mexico landscape, imagination-spurring ice formations in Newfoundland and board games on Venice (CA) Beach. But whether Steve finds himself in the Steve Conley 1004River District on Bike Night staring at the Super Moon from behind a drum set, in a Printer’s Alley in Nashville, staring up at a lighted balcony in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras parade or sitting in a diner having a bite to eat, his keen eye and artistic awareness invest him with that uncanny ability to capture unguarded moments and memorable shots.

Steve regularly shares his images with viewers throughout Southwest Florida. His photographs have been exhibited through the Art Council of Southwest Florida at Coconut Point (Estero), the Cape Coral Art League, Chico’s FAS Conley Camera USA 09Headquarters here in Fort Myers, the FGCU Bower School of Music and Art, the Lee County Alliance for the Arts, the Naples Art Association, Rookery Bay Reserve, the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda. His image Maritime Northwest is currently on view at the Alliance. It was one of 46 artworks that has been juried into the Alliance’s 31st Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition.

Steve doesn’t just create art. He and his wife, Ingela are also avid collectors. But they are as unselfish as they are eclectic in their taste. For example, among the art in their private collection were a number of paintings rendered by Ingela and Steve Conley 09jpgHaitian artists, which they began collecting by accident when they came across a couple of paintings they couldn’t live without while visiting a gallery in Charleston, South Carolina.

“We were attracted to the Saint-Soleil style, and then gradually, over twenty-five years, we both added paintings and sold a number as well,” relate Steve and Ingela. “With each piece, we became more educated on the artists, all of whom are well recognized.” Last August, they donated ten of their remaining Haitian paintings to Florida Gulf Coast University, where they are now available to provide students with an introduction and overview to late 20th century Haitian art styles. For more on this gift, read Steve Conley 1003here.

Self-styled cineastes, Steve and Ingela are also Fort Myers Film Festival fans. You’ll find them at many of the TGIM screenings inside the Davis Art Center.



Dennis Church’s ‘Muffler Shop’ part of Camera USA 2017 exhibition (07-28-17)

Muffler ShopOne of the exhibitors in the Naples Art Association’s Camera USA 2017 photography exhibition is local photographer Dennis Church. The native Iowan is self-taught. He previously worked as a commercial and freelance photographer for national magazines and numerous commercial clients.

Conley Camera USA 04Dennis’ Camera USA 2017 image is titled Muffler Shop, North Fort Myers, Florida 2017. It is a classic Church formulation in which he imposes order on a scene of visual confusion.

“Each day we move through a barrage of visual information that results in a cacophony of architecture, advertising, nature, color, and cultural symbols – all creating a landscape that is often chaotic and mind Weaving a Life 04numbing,” Dennis has said of similar and related images. Tinkering with, and often dismantling single-point perspective, Church creates planar and semi-planar documentary style pictures of ordinary and overlooked views in the lineage of Evans-Eggleston.

“Sometimes it is the challenge of ‘how many balls one can juggle’ ennischurch4in the picture frame and create a picture that works,” Dennis says of Muffler Shop in particular. “Also, my interest may be intrigued by simple echoing color harmonies and/or jarring harmonic discord, even in the same picture. My intent is akin to improvising music, pictures that are to be felt, ‘listened’ to. This practice, infinite in the creative possibilities of the viewfinders’ rectangle, church photokeeps me in the present moment, an engaging perceptual practice that I find enduringly exciting and satisfying.”

Church’s fine art photographs have been exhibited in a number of galleries in the United States, and has been featured in many online and hard copy publications in the USA and Europe (including Wonder Magazine, Dennis Church 04SMoscow, Fine Art Photographer, Prague, Image in Progress, Rome, Lens Culture and Lenscratch, Paris, The Oxford American and The Southern Photographer in the USA).

In 2012, Church was a finalist in The Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography overseen by The News Orleans Photo Alliance. His work is represented by The Photography Room in Canberra, Australia and DAAS CO-OP in the SoCo Cultural District in Fort Myers.

For more on Dennis and his fine art photography, read here.

Camera USA 2017 is on view now through August 4, 2017 in the main gallery at the Naples Art Association.



Tony Hertz returns to Camera USA with ‘Fence Study’ (07-28-17)

Tony Hertz Fence Study 4One of the exhibitors in the Naples Art Association’s Camera USA 2017 photography exhibition is Pismo Beach, California photographer Tony Hertz. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Hertz’s Gnarled Wave was the Best of Show $5,000 award winner in Camera USA 2013.

This year’s image is titled Fence Study. It is a mesmerizing monotone depiction of vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines and planes. Hertz appreciates Tony Hertz Fence Study 3the simplicity of black and white photography, which he characterizes as a more instinctual medium than color photography.

“The challenge and discovery in making simple compositional elements in black and white and color deepens my personal meanings to nature,” Hertz says. “To me, nature is like a sanctuary, a place apart. My intention is to photograph what is felt and not often seen. I make images instinctively. I enjoy capturing those moments that evoke mystery, mood and beauty, and sharing them.”

Tony Hertz Fence Study 5He is now using a 4×5/8×10 aspect ratio when composing his work. Tony feels this facet lends itself to a more fluid balance and increases compositional opportunities when arranging vertical and horizontal scenes.

Tony Hertz Fence Study 7Hertz has more than 30 years of professional photography experience with 10 years as a daily newspaper photographer in California, photographing everything from U.S. Presidents, the Queen of England, Pope Paul, celebrities, musicians, famous sports figures and major news and community events.

“Working as a photojournalist helped refine my compositional instincts when I turned to focus mainly on Tony Hertz Best of Show 2landscape and nature subjects for personal and fine art photography work,” Hertz shares.

His award-winning photography has been widely published, with worldwide credits including Time Magazine, Los Angeles Times, New York Times Magazine, USA Today, National Geographic WORLD, Sunset Magazine, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and the Christian Tony Hertz Fence Study 6Science Monitor.

When he’s not out in the field shooting, he’s likely spending time in a traditional wet darkroom editing images from a recent photo trip or teaching photography for the Cuesta College Fine Arts Department in San Luis Obispo, California.

Regarding Gnarled Wave, Hertz explained that his aim was to make an image contrary to what he shoots Tony Hertz Fence Study 8more often — long exposure photography. “In full sunlight, I set my camera to ISO 3200 to obtain a high shutter speed with maximum depth of field. I photographed with Live View through a waterproof bag. Drying off the outside lens often, awkward camera positions and tight finger space were some of my main challenges.”

Camera USA 2017 is on view now through August 4, 2017 in the main gallery at the Naples Art Association.



One of Suzanne Barton’s coveted tiny dancers in Camera USA 2017 exhibition (07-28-17)

Suzanne Barton Tiny Dancers 01One of the exhibitors in the Naples Art Association’s Camera USA 2017 photography exhibition is Suzanne Barton. Because she possesses the innate ability to capture a moment that will be cherished a lifetime, Suzanne is one of Florida’s most sought-after photographers. While frequently referred to as an emotionally intuitive photographer, she takes pride in projecting an unobtrusive persona onto her work.

Barton’s Camera USA 2017 image is titled Tango Time, 2016. It comes from Suzanne’s Tiny Dancer Underwater Art Series, which depicts the perfect communion between a dancer’s heart and the inspirational wisdom of water.

Suzanne Barton Tiny Dancers 04“Water takes the form in which it is held and moves in the path of least resistance,” notes Suzanne. “Water is vital to life as we know it – without it, no life exists. It supports us in the womb, it energizes, purifies and cleanses. It symbolizes life, clarity, growth, illumination and transformation. I celebrate its beauty as a gentle reminder to all that we are the caretaker’s of this precious life force.

Barton’s Tiny Dancer Underwater Art Series began as a yearning to experience underwater photography. Suzanne Barton Tiny Dancers 03“The grace and fluidity of movement, the soothing quiet and calm beneath the surface, along with the weightless suspension, as my subject floated to the surface, left me transformed,” Suzanne amplifies.

After extensive underwater photography sessions with specialized photography equipment, careful editing, and selection of the perfect image, fine art techniques are brought to bear as the image is committed to a special metallic substrate for display with an archival mount. “The works in my ‘Tiny Dancer’ series are committed to aluminum by archival dye-sublimation, then hand embellished with reflective materials and resin to bring the pieces to life.”

Suzanne Barton Tiny Dancers 02Suzanne’s underwater fine art is part of the private collection that Royal Caribbean exhibits aboard Harmony of the Seas. As such, it is exhibited in more than 250 ports of call.

As an artist, Suzanne’s preferential interest is creativity through photographic art. “Although I am looking through a lens, it is what I see ‘intuitively’ that controls the ‘decisive moment’ of the shutter release. I am an old school photographer who has embraced the digital era and its tools to create unique combinations of color, design and imagination.

Barton has been a professional photographer in the Ft. Lauderdale area since 1985. Suzanne Barton Tiny Dancers 08She is skilled in many areas of photography, but is most passionate about working with children, as is quite evident in her sensitive portraits of Maternity and Newborn.

Suzanne shares the gift of her talents with many charities. She was chosen as one of the National Photographers for “Now I lay Me Down to Sleep” Foundation that provides remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby through the free gift of portraiture. She serves on the board for the AJC Children’s Foundation, which runs an orphanage in Honduras, Central America, for abused and abandoned children. Her photographic skills have brought to light the plight of these children and the conditions of their extreme poverty.



Homemade sign got Lisette Morales into Camera USA exhibition (07-28-17)

Camera USA 2017 Exhibit 01Fifty talented photographers had their images juried into this year’s Camera USA national photography exhibition on view now through August 4 at the Naples Art Association. Among this select group is local multimedia artist and photographer Lisette Morales.

Lisette’s image is titled Feminism is Universal. She relates in her Artist Statement pertaining to the photograph that she Lisette Morales 10decided to document the Women’s March that took place in Naples on January 21 as a personal art photography project. But let’s let Lisette tell what happened next.

“I positioned myself near the park where a sea of people would turn into Cambier Park,” Lisette recounts. “I was in the zone and pressing my shutter as fast as I could. I had a particular interest in photographing all the homemade signs. After the march merged into the park, I spotted a young woman with a sign that read ‘Feminism is Universal.’ I was and still am drawn to her Lisette Morales 01statement that feminism is universal.”

What Morales loved even more than the sign and its transcendence is the fresh-faced woman’s visible joy and self-evident hope for the future.

“Her smile and confidence reassure me,” adds Lisette. “I think if most people are like her, we are all going to be okay.”

Lisette credits her dad as her greatest artistic influence. When she was a child back in Nicaragua in the 1970s, he had a book of Ansel Adams’ photography. She used it as a “how to” textbook, imagining where Adams Lisette Morales 03would have stood as he captured each of the black-and-white images appearing inside the cover. “My initial interest in photography was more a curiosity to learn about cameras and the developing process,” she explains. “In college, I took a history of photography class and a film developing class before abandoning photography for painting. It wasn’t until just three years ago that I decided to go back to photography and this time with an interest in street photography.”

For Morales, artistic pursuits have therapeutic and meditative qualities. In addition to photography, she is dLisette Morales 09rawn to artistic disciplines that involve the use of her hands, such as knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, illustration and painting. “When I am using my hands, I experience the state of being completely present and I exist as one with the creation – as well as with all of creation.”

Morales lives and works in Southwest Florida. A former museum education intern at the Baker Museum of Art, Lisette studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Her painting The Pink Letter won the People’s Choice Award about this time last year in the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center’s Notes exhibition. In addition to her studio work, Lisette is the editorial illustrator for El Café Latino Cultural Magazine based in France.



Natalya Nova’s electrical self-portrait part of Camera USA 2017 exhibition (07-28-17)

Natalya Nova 14One of the exhibitors in the Naples Art Association’s Camera USA 2017 photography exhibition is Natalya Nova. Her entry in the show is an intriguing self-portrait that entices the eye from across the vast expanse of the main gallery. Printed on a combination of metal and light box, the image is both electric and provocatively magical. Among the 50 images juried into the show (out of 211 submissions), Supernova Playroom, Self-Portrait, 2016 stands out and stands alone.

Natalya Nova 04Natalya Nova is an award-winning artist, photographer and filmmaker. Originally from Orenburg, Russia, she is based today out of New York City, where she has lived since 2005. Nova uses a medium format Leica with classic 4×5 lenses from the 1930’s and 40’s to create self-portraits in which her body becomes the painted canvas.

She has collaborated with notable artists including Grammy award winner and art director, Ian Cuttler. Natalya Nova 13Her work has been exhibited at Miami Art Basel, galleries in New York and the LA Film Festival and The Big Apple Film Festival. She counts among her clients Volition, Nakid, Milk, Editorial, Elegant, Haute Punch, Blum, Vintedge, Visionary, Camera Obscura, Staged Photography, Uno Kudo, and Good Girl, Bad Girl.



‘Paving Work’ one of 50 images in NAA’s Camera USA 2017 photo exhibition (07-28-17)

Nelson Head 02One of the exhibitors in the Naples Art Association’s Camera USA 2017 photography exhibition is Woodbridge, Virginia photographer Nelson Head. His image is titled Paving Work, 2016.

“When paving a parking lot, the workers have to spread some of the asphalt by hand,” explains Head of his picture. “The material Camera USA 2017 Exhibit 01must be hot or it won’t spread properly. With fresh asphalt on the job site, you can’t call it quits just because it’s dusk even if you’ve been there since dawn. These guys always finish the job.”

Paving Work is one of 50 special images on view through August 4.



Margo Kessler Cook juried into Camera USA 2017 with ‘Liquid Metal III’ (07-28-17) 

Margo Kessler Cook 04One of the exhibitors in the Naples Art Association’s Camera USA 2017 photography exhibition is Osprey, Florida photographer Margo Kessler Cook. Her image is titled Liquid Metal III, 2016, which is the third installment of her Liquid Metal series of the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.

Cook assays to incorporate abstract, organic and/or sensual elements into every work she creates. Toward this end, she works in several mediums. In addition to photography, she is versed in chasing, repousse, printmaking and fabric design. (Cook also notes that she’s experienced in jewelry design and bronze casting.)

Margo Kessler Cook 07It is not the strict discipline of seeking the elements that matters, but rather letting an impression speak for itself,” says Cook. “Every day we are inundated with commercial images encroaching into our space, vying for and grabbing our attention. Often in our hyper-driven quickened lives, we miss the splendor that is all around us.”

Cook strives to capture unseen beauty in her photographic images. “It is in those moments when the ordinary becomes extraordinary that the lens beckons me forward,” Cook remarks. “I like to believe I am blessed with an eye to capture what is often ignored in the hopes of making it astonishing. Most importantly, I hope my creative endeavors Margo Kessler Cook 06inspire you to share the unseen majesty in your world.”

Before relocating to Osprey, she lived in Hawaii, where she photographed and regularly exhibited the images she captured in juried shows in both Hawaii and the U.S. mainland, including the Honolulu Museum of Art.

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