Shelburne Falls photo exhibit to feature Zoom workshop

  • The lighting setup Bill Rowley uses to photograph objects, both for his exhibit “Monochrome Mon Amour,” at Salmon Falls Gallery through the end of the year and for his workshop called “Lighting for the Internet.” CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • “Birth of a Fern,” a photographic portrait by Bill Rowley, who says he uses the term “portrait” for his plant photos “because there is typically nothing else in the image but a detail of the plant I was fascinated by.” CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Bill Rowley

  • “Fungi,” a photographic portrait by Bill Rowley, who says he uses the term “portrait” for his plant photos “because there is typically nothing else in the image but a detail of the plant I was fascinated by.” CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Bill Rowley

  • “Squash Tendril,” a photographic portrait by Bill Rowley, who says he uses the term “portrait” for his plant photos “because there is typically nothing else in the image but a detail of the plant I was fascinated by.” CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Bill Rowley

Staff Report
Published: 12/1/2020 4:00:20 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — Photographer Bill Rowley will teach his scientific approach to lighting, which is featured in his latest exhibit, “Monochrome, Mon Amour: Photographic portraits of growing things in black and white” at the Salmon Falls Gallery, during a Zoom workshop on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Rowley, who lives in Florence, will share secrets for getting a “really good” photograph of an object that will also look good online. His technique is one artists might use when photographing products for eBay, Etsy and other online platforms. He will also take questions from participants.

Gallery Director Donna Gates said in a press release that she first became acquainted with Rowley through another exhibit featuring Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists, “an eclectic group of photographers who are very good and also completely dedicated to enjoying themselves and being inventive with photography.” She said Rowley was president of this association and, in that exhibit, he showed a few photographs that looked like rainbow, iridescent abstractions.

“It seems he’d been playing with polarized films and light, finding things in everyday objects that certainly weren’t apparent to the naked eye,” Gates said.

“Monochrome, Mon Amour” is on display at the Salmon Falls Gallery at 1 Ashfield St. through to Dec. 31. The brick-and-mortar gallery is open Thursday to Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The work can also be viewed online at SalmonFallsGallery.com.

The exhibit features a series of “portraits” of growing things, in all black and white. Shown against a simple black background, the plants in the photos look as if they are lit from within.

“I use the term ‘portrait’ because there is typically nothing else in the image but a detail of the plant I was fascinated by on a given day,” Rowley said in the press release. “My general feeling about B&W is that when color is removed, the delights of tone, texture and shape can come fully into their own.

“In a world where color images are the norm, displaying a picture in gray scale immediately conveys to the viewer that this image is not dismissably workaday and trivial,” he continued. “Its intent is neither to inform nor persuade, but to offer a visual experience, which is meant to be enjoyed for its own sake.”

Rowley’s prize-winning images have been exhibited in numerous area galleries. He wrote an article on cross-polarization for EOS magazine, and was involved in establishing the photography program at Riverside Industries. He has also served as president of Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists.

For more information, visit SalmonFallsGallery.com or call the gallery at 413-625-9833. Sign-up for Saturday’s Zoom talk, called “Lighting for the Internet,” is available through the gallery’s online store, and the link will be sent to individuals upon registration.




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