EXHIBIT Closed on March 30th 2014

Juror: Robert Hirsch 

"Metropolitan" - Juror's Choice by Mark Melnick

Light is that which compels a photograph into being: shifting, glowing, luminous, obscure or brilliant.

The medium of photography brazenly defined: How our tools, environs and subjects respond to light.  Sometimes the light plays a more prominent role in a photograph, sometimes as a supporting actor and sometimes as the protagonist itself. 

Exhibit Calendar (Subject to Change)
Exhibit Opens:6 March 14
Artists' Reception:30 March 14 15:30
Exhibit Closes:30 March 14
Exhibit Catalog now available at PrestoPhoto

The Darkroom Gallery Difference

Juror Robert Hirsch explains his thinking behind 'The Thingness of Light': "Every photograph is about light. Light, which is a plastic medium capable of being physically manipulated, is the key ingredient shared by all photographs and the determinant in the look of every photograph you make. Light’s primal authority defines the essence of a subject. The powerful glue that holds your image together, light makes known the emotional and physical contents within your visual space and activates vision and meaning. Every image provides a different set of conditions in which we can experience light. If the light does not inhabit and reveal the perceived nature of the subject, the picture will not communicate the content you wish to transmit to a viewer. In that sense, pictures are about what others are able to see in them."  -Excerpt from Light and Lens, Second Edition by Robert Hirsch.

For Illumine we looked for works that explore the vast languages of light. Low light, bright light and every stop in between. Light can be luminous & rich, or a stark spotlight, it can wildly dance, or softly edge darkness and cast shadows. Light can reflect and sparkle or be blinding and disarming. Natural light vs. man-made light sources: sunrises and sunsets, moonlight and neon light! Photographs are steeped in emotive qualities that go well beyond the work's subject and content, an almost indecipherable layer is em-parted through the usage of light. 

Juror's Statement:

I extend my thanks to all the photographers for sharing their work with me.  Bear in mind that all juried shows only reflect the viewpoint of the judge.  That said, the photographs I responded to were ones in which the photographer expressionistically utilized light to interpret their subject matter.

While I respect photography’s ability to secure a two-dimensional representation of outer reality, I strongly favor images that get beneath the surface of a subject by linking the visible with the invisible as a means of looking inside an experience.

This approach asserts that a photograph is only authentic when it evokes an interior state of consciousness that is capable of grappling with a subject beyond its external physical structure, allowing one to see it in a fresh way.

Robert Hirsch 

Juror's Choice

Mark Melnick
Palm Desert, CA USA
...from the series Rodeo Drive #4
Honorable Mention

Michael Butler
Pacific Palisades, California USA
New York at Night 1
Honorable Mention

Russ Rowland

A gig
Honorable Mention

Thamyres VM
People's Choice

Dan Herrera
Sacramento, CA USA
Wings of Winter

Anita Licis-Ribak
Barcelona, Catalunya Spain

The Mill

Artur Sikora
Dublin, Ireland
The Coming

Babak Pejman Aryan
Austin, Texas USA
Red Maple Swamp Trail, Eastham, Cape Cod

Barbara Von Eckardt
Riverside, RI USA

Personal Demon

Brian Van de Wetering
San Diego, California USA

Candi S. Kalinsky
Omaha, Nebraska USA
Untitled #1 1900 S. Prairie Ave. Chicago, IL.

Caroline Heitkamp
Savannah, GA USA

Heavy Rain

Christian Stangl
Vienna, Austria
Green Energy

Christopher Jordan
Tuscaloosa, Alabama USA

cynthia e. frantz
burlington, VT USA

Iron Pour V

David Quinn
Setauket, NY USA
Airborne Sunset

Dick Lavine
Austin, Texas USA

Edward L. Rubin
Los Angeles, CA USA

Two to Tango

eldred boze
Wardensville, WV USA
Seaside Tree at Sunset

Ernest McLeod
Middlebury, VT USA
Blue God Whispering

Francois Boutin
Quebec City, Quebec Canada

The Myth of Sisyphus

Geoffrey Agrons
Philadelphia, PA USA
Third Day

Jeff Mitchum
Carlsbad, CA USA
Smoke Break

Jim Barker
Charlotte, VT USA

Untitled, from the series "Last Days"

Johan Entchev
helsinki, Finland
Canyon Twist

Joy Yagid
Maplewood, NJ USA

Karen Cohen
Washington, DC USA


Karen Janas
Lombard, IL USA
Main Courtyard Dusk

Kip Harris
Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia Canada
Worn Words

Kristen R. Perala
Fargo, North Dakota USA

Mannikin,Charles Jourda nstore NYC

Len Speier
New York, NY USA
Dani's priceless fortune

Luca Nicolini
Rovereto, Trento Italy

Madiha Abdo
London, United kingdom England

Féin Portráid 2

Mariana Bartolomeo
Tucson, AZ USA

Mark Melnick
Palm Desert, CA USA
Gun emplacement, Bunker Z93
after a sandstorm, Wadi Zitoune Battlefield
Tobruk perimeter, Libya, WWII

Matthew Arnold
New York, NY USA


merav naor-weinstock
Tel-Mond, Hasharon Israel

Michael Lew-Smith
Hardwick, VT USA
Walking Shadows on High Line

Michel Godts
Rochester, New York USA


Mustafa Özbakır
Adana, Turkey
"Sun #4, 2013" from Blinding Light series

Nicole White
Chicago, IL USA
Drowning Is Not So Pitiful #5

Nikki Segarra
Chicago, Illinois USA

Lonely Walk

Niko J Kallianiotis
Scranton, PA USA
Section Closed

Niko J Kallianiotis
Scranton, PA USA
rock n roll lights

Nur Merlo
Torino, Italy

Icelandic Lights

Paul M. Murray
Jamestown, RI USA
Basalt Beach

Paul M. Murray
Jamestown, RI USA
New York at Night 4

Russ Rowland

Thom's Exhale, Viera, Florida 2013

Sean Black
Merritt Island, Florida USA

Steve Stokan
Flower Mound, Texas USA
Stranger in the Tunnel

Suzanne Engelberg
Tiburon, CA USA

Untitled 01 from the Useless Beauty series

Terry Towery
Sunset Roller

Thamyres VM
Morning Light, McDonald Creek

Tim Lamey
Fargo, ND USA

Chalkboard 102, from the Remnant series

Tom Morin
Houston, TX USA

Toralf Sümmchen
Brooklyn, NY USA
Atlanta Storm

Vicky Stromee
Tucson, AZ USA

Natural light street portrait, London.

Walter Rothwell
London, UK
Midsummer Dream

Wil Scott
Annapolis, MD USA

wilson hurst
warrensburg, missouri USA


  • All selected entries are exhibited in our gallery and included in a full color exhibit catalog.
  • Juror's Choice receives a 30x48" vinyl exhibit banner featuring their image, free entry into a future exhibition, and a free exhibition catalog.
  • Honorable Mentions receive free exhibition catalogs and free entry in a future exhibition. 
  • People's Choice gains free entry into a future exhibit.
  • We offer free matting and framing of accepted entries for the duration of each of our exhibition, subject to standard sizes. Photographers set their own prices if they wish to sell their work and retain all rights to their photographs.

Juror: Robert Hirsch

Artist, curator, educator, historian and author of Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography; Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age; Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes; and Exploring Color Photography: From Film to Pixels. Also, Chinese and German editions of Light and Lens have been published. His latest book, Transformational Imaging: Handmade Photography Since 1960 will be launched in March 2014 at the National Society for Photographic Education Conference in Baltimore.

Hirsch has been the Associate Editor of Photovision and Digital Camera (UK) as well as a contributing writer for Afterimage, CEPA Journal, Contact Sheet, Digital Camera, exposure, The Encyclopedia of 19th Photography, The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, Fotophile, History of Photography, Photo Ed (Canada), The Photo Review, Photovision, Photo Technique, World Book Encyclopedia and numerous regional publications including Buffalo Spree and FY.

For over the past decade Hirsch has lead Light Research, a consulting firm providing professional services to the photographic arts field. He is the former Executive Director and Chief Curator of CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and has curated numerous solo and group exhibitions.

Hirsch’s projects have been shown at: The Weeks Gallery, Jamestown Community College; Jamestown, NY; Onondaga Historical Association, Syracuse, NY; Indigo Art & CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Bruce Gallery, Edinboro University; Rockefeller Fine Arts Center, SUNY Fredonia; The Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Groningen; The Netherlands, Penn Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA; Camera Club of New York; Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo; Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA; 9th Annual Sociology Conference at Buffalo State College; the Gallery at the Creative Center for Photography, Los Angeles, CA; The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC; Center for Photography at Woodstock; the Thompson Art Gallery at San Jose State University; Brooklyn Arts Council; Parsons School of Design, New York, NY; Big Orbit Gallery, Buffalo, NY; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro, VT; Artspace, New Haven, CT; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY; University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD; and Stefan Stux Gallery, New York, NY.