"We are advertis'd by our loving friends."-- William
Contrary to popular opinion, friends who meet on the Internet do get together
in person to share their love of photography. Members of SmugMug's (www.smugmug.com)
online photo sharing service get together for an annual shootout and invited
Mary and I to join them. This year's SmugMug Shootout was held during
May in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Members came from all over the country
and from as far as Australia. One Dutch member who couldn't make the event
sent candy. It was de-lish. Our host for the event, SmugMug's resident
pro, Andy Williams, held the event together with the right balance of order
and flexibility. Instructors were Marc Muench (http://muenchphotography.com)
and David Porter (http://daveporter.com)
who provided attendees with insights as well as the best critiques of images
I've ever seen. Mary and I left the shootout with lots of real friends.
2006 Mary and Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved
Isharaka Gunasinghe's site bears the modest title of "My Feeble
Efforts With The Lens," but is anything but. The clever site design by
belies its humble origins. There's a lot to love here, but go to "Photographic
Diaries" first. Here you'll find his personal images of Sri Lanka,
Ceylon, and Singapore, including Gunasinghe's visit to the Pinnawala Elephant
Orphanage that provides caring refuge for elephants homeless due to human invasion
of their "rightful homes." His images of older elephants with their
young are both sad and hopeful. The "Images of Anuradhapura" collection
contains delicate photographs of this first kingdom of Sri Lanka that lasted
more than 1000 years from 5th century B.C.
Gunasinghe is at his best when capturing tiny details or panoramas--an
interesting dichotomy--of everyday life in Anuradhapura that will be of
great interest to us armchair travelers. When he gets to Ceylon's Polonnaruwa,
he continues to focus on the details rather than the entire gestalt, with the
resulting photographs making the place seem more mysterious. While many of Gunasinghe's
images lack strong color, he occasionally punctuates them with bright reds.
In Singapore, he's found a colorful place to photograph and gleefully
shares it with us. As is Gunasinghe's style, the flora and fauna are examined
in detail, making you want to keep looking. And that's a good thing for
any photographer to accomplish.
2006 Isharaka Gunasinghe, All Rights Reserved
Graham Jeffery lives in Hinckley, a small town in the middle of England. He
had other sites in the past but told me "nobody ever visited them."
The Sensitive Light site presents Jeffery's photographic interests, ranging
from portraiture to bugs. Before bouncing over to Galleries, check out "Favourites"
for an eclectic mix, starting with a shot of a bee harvesting pollen that is
breathtaking. I'm no fan of bug shots but this and #29 are amazing.
Galleries harbor a similar assortment of genres with my favorites being Landscapes
and Candid Portraits. But be sure to check the rest out because they reflect
Jeffery's way with lighting, especially his portraits. The walk through
"Bluebell Woods" in Landscapes is a veritable magical mystery tour
of subtle color showing incredible, can I say it, sensitivity. "Autumn
Colour" takes you to the other end of the color spectrum for warm looks
showing the English landscape bathed in a warm glow. The Prepared Portraits
(as compared with Candid Portraits found elsewhere) are fun, no more so than
"Sisters," which appears to be a session with two charming little
girls. Jeffery's images capture them having fun in a delightfully stylish
way. Don't miss Fashion, featuring designs by students of North Warwickshire
and Hinckley College and Jeffery's expressive photography that's
spectacular when he's using available light and not when he's using
flash. Thanks and a tip of the Farace Stetson to Sheldon Buckman for suggesting
2003-2006 Graham Jeffery, All Rights Reserved