Sunday, December 1, 2013

Image of the Month: December 2013

These images for the month of December are significant in that it represents the convergence of multiple sources;  holiday celebrations and the origin of photography.  Beginning with the holidays, Hanukkah is also referred to as the Festival of Lights, while Christmas has always been associated with colorful displays of light decorations adorning trees, buildings or landscapes.  The two triptychs titled, "Festival of Light" celebrates not only two religious holidays of Hanukkah and Christmas but also the true meaning of the word photography which was first used by Sir John F. W. Herschel in 1939.  The literal translation of photography is derived from the Greek words photos (light) and graphein (to draw); so the actual phrase of "drawing with light" was the original interpretation of the word photography.

© Joanne Scherf
The origin of these images were the holiday lights that adorn the downtown streets of Rochester, Michigan where storefronts are completely covered in bright lights.  Since I love the challenge of presenting familiar objects or scenes in a non-traditional manner these abstract images are the result of me "drawing with light" as I used my camera as an extension of my creative vision.  The abstraction occurred as a result of how I used my camera and not any magical voodoo done post-production with a computer.  So with Hanukkah beginning on November 27 and Christmas not far beyond, I thought this bold, abstract, and colorful display of lights in a way commemorates the celebration of major religious holidays for two very different cultures while at the same time honoring the true meaning of the word, photography.

© Joanne Scherf
Note:  Double-click on the images above to see a larger version.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Visual Twist on a Familiar Standard

Just to change things up a bit I'm presenting something other than a photographic image for your consideration, yet it still falls into the creative category of "what if".  In the attempts to update my "artist" resume I find myself adhering to the typical, mundane format that is strictly text and linear in nature.  You know the version....row upon row of bulleted items that looks just like the next one in the pile.

What if one were to approach the resume from a more visual perspective, especially helpful for those in the arts who are trying to sell their craft.  So, why not practice your craft in the design of your resume?  Here's a sample I came up with for my situation as a photographer who tries to wear many hats of consultant and such.  This visual mapping of my resume in a 5x20 tri-fold format that condensed my previously 2-page text-only resume into a visual feast making it very simple for any viewer to quickly ascertain if my skills and experience match a particular need.  Beyond the resume aspect, this visual version also acts as a perfect marketing tool; a 2-for-1 combo for not only getting a job or assignment, but also a nice PR piece at the same time.

So next time you attempt to send out your resume, think again about how it looks and the message it silently conveys.  Instead of using a different header typeface, or colored paper to stand out from the pile, maybe a more visual treatment is just the trick.  Click on the resume below to see larger view.

© 2013, Joanne Scherf

Friday, November 1, 2013

Image of the Month: November 2013

In hindsight it seems I overlooked the "image of the month" for October and neglected to post; my apologies. So to make up for that minor slip I decided to present a triptych; yes not one, not two, but three images in one.

Fields of Autumn Triptych
© 2013, Joanne Scherf

Click on image above for LARGER VIEW

Besides as I created this triptych it became very clear that these three images belonged together; the combination made for a stronger expression of the grandeur of the scenery as opposed to conveying the beauty with just one image. This nicely reinforces the design/photography adage that "the whole is greater than sum of its parts". In general I find diptychs and triptychs challenging and requiring lots of thought as they have the potential to either soar or fall flat depending on the sequence. With that in mind, it became obvious to me at least that there was a flow on many fronts. For example, all three images have a strong horizon line where the curvature appears to gently guide your eyes from one image to the next as if one continuous line in a downward slope. Also look at the tree tops and they too appear to be on the same plane making their own "wave" or horizon line of trees. A thematic feature is the similarity of scenery in all three images; that being autumnal fields in it's most basic form with the house situated in the middle frame somehow connecting the two outside images, even though all three were taken in different yet similar locations.

For those interested, this is just another jewel of a Michigan landscape captured in prime October splendor.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Award Winner: 4 Nominations in Black & White Spider Awards

LONDON October 19, 2008  
Professional photographer, Joanne Scherf of the United States was presented with the 8th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Nominee in four categories:  Abstract, Fine Art, Nature, and People  at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photo Show. The live online ceremony webcast Saturday, October 19, 2013 was attended by photography fans in 75 countries who logged on to see the climax of the industry's most important event for black and white photography. 

The awards international Jury included captains of the industry from the Tate in London, Heffel Fine Art, FoMu Fotomuseum, FTM Advisory, Camera Work, Art Stage Singapore, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Galerie Baudoin Lebon in Paris, to Fratelli Alinari in Florence who honored Spider Fellows with 246 coveted title awards and 938 nominees in 14 categories.

"It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 9,456 entries we received this year," said Basil O'Brien, the awards Creative Director. "Joanne Scherf was nominated for the following categories/image titles:  Abstract - "Slinky", Fine Art -"Fences", Nature - "Winter Haiku 2", and People -"Patriot" All of Joanne's exceptional images entered in competition represents black and white photography at its finest, and we're pleased to present her with four titles of Nominee in Abstract, Fine Art, Nature, and People categories.

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography.

Contact: Joanne Scherf
Telephone: (248) 544-9394

Abstract Nominee Award
© Joanne Scherf

Fine Art Nominee Award
© Joanne Scherf

Nature Nominee Award
Winter Haiku 2
© Joanne Scherf

People Nominee Award
© Joanne Scherf

Bottom line...I'm thrilled to have achieved 4 nominations in 4 categories amidst a field of 9,500 international entries.  Out of the field of 9,500 entries there were about 120 to 160 entries (in each category) that achieved "nomination" status and made it into the finals round.   Ultimately there were 3 finalist in each of the 14 categories and a few honorable mentions.  The final outcome was that my 4 nominated images did not win the category overall but I'm proud and fortunate to have earned 4 nominations in this prestigious global competition, especially on my first time entering this show.  Although always "in it to win", several juried shows I enter I do so for the main purpose of getting my work viewed by specific jurors either because of their status in the industry or whom they represent.  No pun intended, it's all about getting the right exposure for one's work as one never knows what could become of such global exposure.

For those interested here are the Black & White Spider Awards website links to view the Nomination winners and also the Winners of the 4 categories I entered:  Abstract, Fine Art, Nature, and People.  This will give you an idea of the competition and ultimate overall winners in these categories.


As I mentioned the jury panel was impressive and extensive.  The Black & White Spider Awards nominees and winners are selected by members of the Jury composed of world-class and the most respected names in the industry.  Here's a list of the galleries, publications, etc represented in the juried panel.  Again, I'm ecstatic that my work was viewed by all the world-class jurors!

  • Tate Gallery, London
  • FotoMuseum, Antwerp
  • Fahey/Klein Gallery, LA
  • Cheim & Reid, NYC
  • Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi, London
  • Camera Work, Berlin
  • Fu Xin Gallery, Shanghai
  • Art Stage, Singapore
  • Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin
  • Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai
  • Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto
  • VI Gallery, Copenhagen
  • Triumph Gallery, Moscow
  • Galeria Hilario Galguera, Mexico City
  • L’ile Aux Images, Paris
  • Strother Fine Art, Frankfurt
  • Galeria Carles Tache, Barcelona
  • Baudoin lebon, Paris
  • National Geographic, Washington DC
  • The Art Newspaper, London
  • Fratelli Alinari Photography Museum, Florence
  • Galerie LeRoyer, Montreal
  • Sandra Byron Gallery, Sydney
  • Galerija Fotografija, Slovenia
  • Heffel Fine Art Auction House, Canada
  • CerModern, Ankara
  • Fifty One Gallery, Belgium
  • Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels
  • Billirubin Gallery, Berlin
  • Studio Magazines
  • Apogee Photo Magazine