An eclectic selection of photographers from the Hudson Valley region share their philosophy, background, and stunning work.
Carolyn Marks Blackwood: Photographer
Carolyn Marks Blackwood photographs nature within a several mile radius of her house, with most of her photos taken just a few steps from her door above a cliff along the Hudson River, facing the Catskill mountains. Blackwood particularly loves skies, clouds and water, and depicts them with surreal abstraction. "I find my photographs," she says. Using almost no manipulation other than cropping, her photographs burst with color and depth. Sometimes they are in gray tones, such as ice breaking up into beautiful cubist patterns in the Hudson River, and she is also a fan of abstraction.
Mickey Mathis Photographer
Mickey Mathis has been shooting all subjects for 50 years. In fact he says, "all subjects matter," He's always ready with his camera by his side ready for the image around the next corner. He has created a wide variety of photographs in color as well as black and white. Mathis, a Kingston native, moved to New York City to work in the early 1970s and subsequently settled in Jersey City. Mathis speaks about growing up in Kingston; the film includes dozens of his stunning images of people and places. After taking thousands of photographs, Mathis remains as enthusiastic as ever.
Elliott Landy: Photographer of a Generation
Elliot Landy is best known for his iconic photographs from the 1960s classic rock period, including at The Filmore East in Manhattan and the Woodstock Festival in Bethel. He began his photographic career working with the underground newspaper The Rat in support of the rising tide of anti-war sentiment during the late '60s. His press pass and camera not only gave him access to the political scene but also provided him a personal entry into the new rock music counterculture, capturing Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Band, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Eric Clapton, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Frank Zappa, John Lee Hooker, and many others.
Robert Lipgar: A Life in Photography
Robert Lipgar was a psychiatrist with a lifelong passion for photography. Trained by his father as a boy, he traveled extensively and shot locally as well. The approach to his vision is to make something iconic out of the commonplace. His use of color is intrinsic to the image and he avoids it as decoration. Lipgar photographed everything from street scenes to architecture, the new and ancient, and people.
Gene Dauner: Photographer
Gene Dauner has a keen eye for capturing the ever-changing architectural landscape of the Hudson Valley, staying "one step ahead of the wrecking ball." He considers himself a documentary photographer rather than an artist, and brings his passion for trains, bridges, and landscapes to his vast collection of thousands of photographs dating back to early 1960s, before much of the area's pre- and post-Civil War buildings were lost to urban renewal.
Frank Spinelli: From Human Nature to Mother Nature
This film focuses on Frank Spinelli's Burning Man: Into a 21st Century Utopia project. He attended the event for three consecutive years. It takes place in the desert, in a very inhospitable environment with no water, superstructure or electric grid. Spinelli feels there is a direct connection between Woodstock's Maverick Festival in the 1920s and the present day Burning Man. He calls himself a photographic opportunist. Following his curiosity and passion, he focuses on human nature and nature herself.
The Photographs of Catherine Sebastian
Catherine Sebastian has a broad approach to her photography: she sees it as a collaboration between her and the image. She loves that viewers can appreciate her images for very different reasons. Her photos fall into a wide variety of styles, from "sometimes a shot is just there" to abstracts to a full portfolio of music photography. Sebastian feels composition is one of the main pillars of her work, not just the placement of objects, but the placement of light as well.