Robert Eckhardt – Next Step Alumni Group Exhibit

For over 10 years I’ve been mentoring a select group of individuals. Their progress has been thrilling to watch. It’s been a true privilege to be a part of their growth. July 7 their first Group Exhibit will be unveiled at the Maine Media Workshops. (link)
Robert Eckhardt has been a member for 1 year. Here are his insights.
Alumni Insight
(NSS) It seemed innocent enough at the time. I was attending my first
workshop with John Paul, who repeatedly urged everyone to reconsider
(i.e., break) entrenched habits, thinking, and ways of seeing. At one
point, expanding upon the list “rules” we might choose to violate,
John Paul suggested that we take our cameras off our tripods and
intentionally move them as we pressed the shutter. I found this idea
rather provocative, tried a few shots, and, after reviewing my handful
of failures, quickly abandoned the effort. But when I got home I
couldn’t get the idea out of my head. For some reason, I took this
particular idea as a personal challenge, a puzzle to be solved.
Eventually, after weeks of trial and error, I solved the puzzle, and
the resulting photographs became the series I now call “motion |
pictures”. That series has become the primary focus of my current
photographic work.
About a year later, while discussing some “motion | picture” images, I
confessed that I found photographing trees almost irresistible and
felt that I should make a greater effort to broaden my horizons. John
Paul challenged me to find ways to photograph subjects that I thought
were impossible with this technique. And I have (stay tuned). Then he
said, “But don’t stop photographing trees.” And I haven’t.
See more of Robert’s work here.
See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.
Find out more about my workshops here.

(BIO) Robert Eckhardt is a 19th century photography dealer and 21st
century fine art photographer. Originally trained as an avian
ecologist, his past careers include assistant professor of vertebrate
biology at the University of Maine, editor at Simon & Schuster,
computer book author, and contributing editor of Macworld magazine.
Robert started photographing in his teens, but put his cameras away
(for good, he thought) some 25 years ago. The convergence of
computers, cameras, and digital imagery prompted him to start
photographing again in 2003. In addition to John Paul Caponigro, he
has studied with Carl Chiarenza, Christopher James, and Michael Frye.
He has recently been an assistant instructor for workshops at the
Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park. His images were chosen
for three juried group shows in 2009; he has a solo exhibit scheduled
for 2010 at the Kelly Street Gallery in Half Moon Bay, CA.
Robert’s current photographic interests include panoramas, night
photography, and cheap plastic (aka toy) lenses. Bu he is particularly
drawn to the way motion and slow shutter speeds combine to create
landscapes invisible to the naked eye: arcs of stars in the night sky;
phantom contours of wind-blown leaves; streaks of rushing water. The
photographs in this exhibit are taken from the series called motion|
pictures. In that series, Robert takes the standard long-exposure
formula – motionless camera and moving subject – and stands it on its
head. By moving the camera and its open shutter through a (usually)
stationary landscape, he creates images of an unseen world.  A world
where motion turns into a vision of tranquility.  A world where,
somehow, movement creates a sort of stillness, a serenity we often
feel but normally cannot see. It’s a world that retains its mystery no
matter how frequently he returns to it.  A world that reveals itself
only on its terms, often in just one startling frame out of a humdrum
of hundreds. Like a half-forgotten memory, it’s a world where details
are lost and what remains is only an essence, or perhaps just a dream.

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