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Library Holds Landscape Art Show

Artist: “Photos Have a Life All Their Own”

With each click of a button and zoom of the lens, Joel Weber feels the life rushing into his eyes. With each photo, comes a story.

Weber feels all photos have a story, even if a person or living thing doesn’t grace an 8 x11 frame. It’s more about composition, according to the artist and that the structure of the photo is what tells the tale. That’s what he was trying to convey in the Mineola Library’s Walter and Joan Hobbs Gallery last week.

“People can look at a photo and I can guarantee you, each person could come up with an interesting story that could fit that photo, even though it can be as plain as a street lamp or as complexly beautiful as the Teton Mountains,” Weber said. “It’s lays in the same sense of painting, but there’s a difference. A painter can control the story, which is wonderful. A photographer works with the elements that’s presented to him or her.”

Weber started taking pictures when he was 13 years old. One of the first pictures he ever took was of his grandfather that everyone in his family has a copy of.

“The story behind that photo is the beginning of my affinity with photos,” he said. “I didn’t know what to photograph, and saw him and figured he’d be a good fit. Again, photos can be simple but complex at the same time.”

Weber has been all over during his photography journey, ranging from trekking to Jackson, Wyoming to photograph the Teton Mountains, snapping photos of district judges when he was a probation officer for the City of New York, and braving the elements to catch a snippet of the Canadian Rockies.

He said that he became interested in landscape photography because of the essence of light and composition that goes into the photo. That one has to rely on the structure of the area to get the tone of the photo just right.

“I see things that I really enjoy when it comes to landscapes,” he said. “The way the sun or the moon or the darkness hits a landscape makes for a good photo and using that to create is just spectacular.”

One of Weber’s favorite landscapes was the Oxbow Bend on the Snake River in the Teton Mountains. Weber did an experiment with taking three photos in a 15-minute span to see the changes.

“It was a total of 45 minutes,” he said. “It’s amazing how much changes in so little time.”

He did the experiment in March and said the area of Oxbow is so heavily photographed, at sundown he literally had to elbow his way through other photographers to get a shot. He said it’s all about time and location.

“Because the sun affects everything, light is heavily cherished to photographers when working outdoors,” said Weber. “It’s our guide. However night photography is a beauty in its own right.”

His goal with photography, Weber stated, is to get the mood of places and the overall, “feeling the landscape projects.”

“Photos have a life all their own,” Weber said. “I’ve done a whole variety of different types of photography over the years and don’t plan on quitting any time soon. It’s a hobby that’s staying with me for the rest of my time here on earth.”