No. 37. The Chutes, Auburn, PA (Studies)

“The Chutes” at Auburn are a feature created by an active railroad bridge over the Schuylkill River. I only know of two ways to get to them. First, by bicycle at the end of the Bartram Trail (a segment of the Schuylkill River Trail from Hamburg, PA to Auburn, PA) or by Kayak. From the end of the bike trail, one needs to hike down a steep embankment, follow a narrow trail and cross active rail tracks.

Kayakers regularly shoot the chutes in their downriver migrations. Just below the chutes is a slight bend in the river and a small pebble beach. From there I created these studies using a bean bag to steady my DSLR for long exposures capturing dreamy water flows. I also made some pictures with a full spectrum camera decked out with a 590nm infrared filter. I developed the IR images in two different ways. Those with golden water are straight out of the camera while those with blue water were developed using Kolari Vision’s channel swapping software that swaps the red and blue channels in Photoshop.

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Jay M. Ressler

Jay Ressler Composite Photography and Encaustic Art He is an outstanding location photographer, with an eye that can capture the soul of a Havana back street as beautifully as the sip of a hungry hummingbird, often with compelling black and white images. But Jay Ressler is best known for artistic expression that lives in layers between opposites. “I like to explore boundaries,” he explains. “Boundaries between consciousness and the unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” He does this by compositing his own photography in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Using Photoshop, other image manipulation software and a variety of digital effects, he paints one photographic layer on top of another. He takes advantage of textures he's captured along with an array of processes for manipulating light, contrast, and color to tell the story. “Distorting and reinterpreting the literal 'machine moments' captured by the camera is as old as the art of photography,” he insists. Jay occasionally extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. Based on ancient techniques, the process begins with cooking his own recipes of beeswax and damar resin and applying this medium between the layers of photographic images, along with various pigmented compounds and materials to add color, texture and expression. Either way, the results are riveting. The viewer is drawn into an unfolding, dreamlike scene that might be heart-warming, haunting, gritty, poignant or magical. Sometimes, within the various layers, all of the above. The award-winning photographer/artist has many dimensions himself. He studied advanced digital photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and advanced encaustic techniques with leading instructors in the field. He worked as an underground coal miner, steelworker, machinist, labor and civil rights activist, copywriter and commercial printer. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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