The River Gallery featured artist for September is photographer Allen Harrison from Monroe, Louisiana.
“One of the reasons I am a photographer,” states Harrison, “ is the fact that I like a challenge and taking good photograph is always a challenge. Some people would disagree with that statement and sight the user friendly, point and shoot, fully automatic, digital cameras as an example of how easy it is to take good pictures. I agree, those cameras and cell phone cameras are capable of taking really good pictures without much of a challenge. The problem is that most of the pictures taken with these cameras are merely snapshots and although that may be all the photographer was after, the images are far from being the art form photography can be. I shoot a mid-level Canon digital camera that has a fully automatic setting and several pre-programed settings. I rarely use any of these and prefer to shoot in manual mode (RAW) most of the time. I do this because in the automatic modes a significant number of pixels and colors are lost due to the way the program works.”
Harrison also states his advice on photo composition: “Another important element of a good photograph is composure, how the subject and surrounding scene, are positioned in the picture. If you watch people take photographs, most stand straight up and hold the camera horizontally. Just a little composure modification, such as, kneeling down, rotating the camera to vertical, moving in or out of the sun, or zooming in close can significantly improve the image. “
During the last ten years Allen has old prints to people in 14 different States, amd was selected to show work at the Masur Museum three times. Allen has had prints published in two magazines, and he was selected to participate at three other gallery events. Many of his pieces hang in physician’s offices, lawyer’s offices, several retail businesses and many individual homes.
“ I am not sure how to classify my photographs because I take pictures of such a wide range of subjects. If I see an image and think it would make an interesting photograph, I grab my camera and take the picture. A lot of these shots are taken on mini photo expeditions that my wife and I take. These trips may be a week of travel across the country or just a one day outing close to home. In either case it’s an opportunity to see something new and to concentrate on the technical aspect of photography. It’s not unusual for me to take 400-500 pictures on a weeklong trip. The total is high because it includes many shots of the same subject, as I experiment with different settings and composure. These road trip are always fun and I normally get at least one picture that I really like. I look forward to taking many more of these trips and see what interesting images can be found on the roads less traveled.”
Harrison’s featured work will be on display throughout the month of September. The Ouachita River Art Gallery, voted Best Art Gallery in 2011 and 2014, is at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, and is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is the oldest and largest co-op gallery in the state. Many of the artists accept commissions, so if you see a style of work that you like, don’t be afraid to inquire about having one of the artists create a custom piece. Admission is always free. Call 322-2380 for more information or visit www.ouachitariverartgallery.com and don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for sneak peeks of new art.