Written by Carol Rusinek
IACC acquired another jewel when Ron Ross moved from London, Ontario to Edmonton and joined our Camera Club two years ago.
Ron studied photography at Fanshawe College in London, after which he worked for a while in photofinishing and then decided to study archeology.
Photography remained a major interest, especially the sea and shores. He looks at the impressionistic form of his subjects to incorporate colour and texture, and uses the f64 rule which makes his images sharp throughout and shows the powerful aspect of nature.
After Ron presented an overview of what successful images rely on, his slide show demonstrated the power and majesty of the sea and the complexity of ever-changing shores. The way Ron uses natural light gives the light and dark areas of his images great depth.
In the two years since Ron has been a member of IACC, he has been the backbone of the Special Interest Groups, a Board member, present on the competition committee, and a great mentor.
Excerpts from the presentation by Ron Ross
“I use two main styles when photographing the sea itself, reflecting two very different visions of the sea. The first style, as seen in the image Between Two Worlds (below) draws two central elements for the late 19th Century impressionism. One is the use of strong, luminescent colours … the second element is that details is subservient to the overall impressions created by the composition shapes, colours, lines and textures … I use this style when I am aiming for a surreal or dream-like quality the communicates a sense of distance and grandeur, wonder and possibility. Even though humans are not always present, these are human seas, a fit home especially for the human imagination. We can get lost in the light and dark: what knows where we will emerge. …
The second style I use is almost the inverse of the first, as is the message it conveys. … I was strongly influenced by the f64 group (formed in 1932), and particularly by the work of Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston and Brent Weston. f64 was an attempt to distinguish photography for the pictorialism characteristic of much late 19th and early 20th Century painting. To do so, they used sharp reproduction of detail throughout the whole image. In The Bay you can see that the foreground grass and background cliffs are both in focus. …
Two other f64 influences can be seen in The Bay. The f64 group used mainly black and white film, and emphasized tonality (e.g., Ansel Adam’s zone system). The Bay has a full range of tones from pure black to pure white, although there are details in both the shadow areas and highlights. …. The final f64 influence is in the matter of composition. In The Bay, the centre of attention is the bright area just inside the mouth of the bay. This automatically draws the eye, as it is the brightest thing in the image. It is also on the upper right third points, and its shape is echoed by other lines in the bay and ocean. There are also several lines leading in toward the main area of attention. Although they don’t always meet it directly, they bring the eye close enough to be drawn in.”