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Focusing on photography

Posted on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 10:04 am

Bob Coles’ photography exhibit in the Northumberland Public Library’s “Arts Alive” series opened with a reception Friday and is well worth seeing if for no other reason than to see how tightly focused good photography can be. There are, however, other reasons.

Coles’ 21 photographs range from urban sunrises and bald eagles in flight to Harley-Davidsons, Nebraska plains and back country Virginia roads. Some are immediately recognizable but others, such as the Harley-Davidson, take close inspection before it is apparent what they are. The Harley at first appears to be an abstract but on a close look it proves to be a shot of a highly polished and extravagantly painted motorcycle’s mid-section gleaming in sunlight.

While everybody who sees the exhibit likely has his or her favorite, Coles’ “Vertical Eagle” is among the most striking. The eagle is flying with its wings aimed directly up and down. It calls to mind Brancusi’s famous “Bird in Space” sculptures. Every feather is sharply delineated. Coles said he caught the image by firing a ten-frame burst at the bird and two of the frames caught it in the vertical position.

Pick up a copy of the August 9 edition of the Northumberland Echo to read the full story