Print Review Night with Fine Art Photographer Huntington Witherill

Following a very successful print review night in February 2016 with Kim Weston, grandson of the legendary Edward Weston, the Center for Photographic Art (CPA) in Carmel, CA provided another treat to its members yesterday night. Huntington Witherill, an accomplished fine art photographer, who studied with Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Steve Crouch and Al Weber, reviewed prints from 16 photographers that lined up to get feedback and recommendations for improvement.

Photographer Chester Ng with Huntington Witherill

Huntington reviewed works in black & white and color, depicting a diverse subject matter including landscapes, architecture, abstract, people, and still life. The quality of the work presented was very high. So high indeed that the reviewer kept asking "what am I doing here? Your work is so good that you can do your own critique and I will sit down and listen." Very generous words of course but he still had useful suggestions such as what paper to print on, how to crop and burn areas of the image to eliminate distractions and how to determine exposure time with an 8x10 view camera. He also stressed the fact that in photography there are no rules, a point debatable by some purists I'm sure. "What is important is the artist vision," he said. Another debatable point is the role of titles in photography. His argument is that by giving specific titles to a photography, the artist might inhibit viewers' ability to draw their own conclusions and make their own discoveries because they would start with a preconceived notion of what and how to see.  

The reviewer asked the audience for comments and suggestions. Kim Weston, who also attended last night, asked one of the photographers his signature reviewer question - "What are you trying to say?" After a long explanation, the photographer left us with no clear answer. This reminds us that compelling and engaging photographs have to have a message and us photographers better know what that message is.

Huntington Witherill started a career in fine art photography beginning in 1970 and his work has been featured in more than one hundred individual and group exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world. He also teaches photography at the University of California, the Friends of Photography, the Center for Photographic Art, the Oklahoma Arts Institute, and the Ansel Adams Gallery, among others.

The Center for Photographic Art (CPA), the second oldest members’ photography gallery organization in the country, is a valuable asset to its members, the community and the greater world of the photographic arts. CPA’s gallery is free to the public and features the finest works of contemporary photography. CPA strives to address artistic development, build well-informed audiences, stimulate dialogue, and promote inquiry about photography and related media through education, exhibitions, publications, lectures, fellowship programs, and community collaboration.

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