Photo of a local sight touches imagination, wins recognitions
Updated: June 4, 2012 10:49AM
Luke Chen’s “The Wall” is a photograph of the south side of the Hinsdale Central auditorium, yet it is not immediately recognizable due to the photo’s composition. In the way the lines of stairs and even bricks are framed, it could be almost anywhere. It’s a picture of a local place which speaks to the viewer’s imagination.
The Wall was selected for a juried photography exhibit called Student Perspectives 2012 that opens May 3 at the Perspective Gallery, a nonprofit gallery which seeks to promote photography as art in Evanston. Internationally and nationally recognized photographic artist Christopher Schneberger, who teaches at Columbia College, was a judge for the exhibition, which features stunning photos from Chicago area high school students.
Chen, a senior at Hinsdale Central High School, said that photography is “basically a hobby. I think I’m going to be taking photographs for the rest of my life.”
He likes to have geometric shapes in his photos, and he likes using the concept of perspective and perspective lines and with “The Wall,” it was the expansiveness of the auditorium’s browning brick wall that he is showing to great effect.
This was not Chen’s first recognition. Earlier, he earned a Gold Key as a Scholastic Art Show winner for his photograph “Yellow Raincoat.” That is a beautiful shot set in Alaska. The viewer sees the back of a person wearing a yellow rain slicker, which is virtually the only stand-out color in the photo as the others are muted grays and browns. The person is standing on the rocky shore or bank of a large body of water looking out to the many layers of mountains in the background. The shot features lots of waving horizontal lines and on his flicker page, Chen wrote that he was “breaking the rule of thirds” a design rule about composing pictures in which the subject is rarely in the center.
Chen has been a student in Advanced Placement Studio Art class focusing on drawing. Chen is headed to the University of Pennsylvania this fall where he plans to major in chemistry. Art—drawing and photography—will be hobbies he has no plans to relinquish, and in fact he plans to pursue art classes at Penn despite the rigorous science major.
The show Student Perspectives 2012 is being held at the Perspectives Gallery, 1310-1/2 B Chicago Ave., Evanston, through May 27.
Visit www.perspectivegallery.org or phone (224) 200-1155.
Despite the chill, the sunny days of April brought with them lots of Red Admiral butterflies — merely a pleasant diversion to most people and the source of no small amount of distress and discomfort to this particular person. I have an irrational yet intense fear of butterflies and moths, so when attacked by the red and orange fluttering things at a baseball game recently, I was totally creeped out. To me, it brought to mind spring 2007, when the far noisier cicadas punctually emerged from their 17-year hibernation.
Was it my lepidopterophobia — the fear of moths and butterflies — which conjured this marauding swarms of flutterers or are there in fact more butterflies this year?
Excess flights of Red Admiral butterflies have indeed been noticed in DuPage County, according to Tom Velat, an ecologist who specializes in insects and invertebrates with the Forest Preserve of DuPage County.
Red Admirals, Velat said, are migratory butterflies, meaning that they do not overwinter here in Northern Illinois but go to warmer southern climes for the cooler months. While there are no definitive studies yet, Velat said that a milder winter in the south, combined with possible stronger prevailing winds to bring the butterflies north as well as the timing of the host plant availabilities here that attract Red Admirals could have all combined in the perfect “storm” — my word not Velat’s — for more Vanessa Atalanta than ever.
“It’s pretty typical for Red Admirals to get here in April,” he said. “Butterflies are solar powered.”
By solar-powered, he means that these cold-blooded creatures are much more active on bright sunny days, which is when we are more apt to notice them.
As to knowing anything about people who have a fear of moths and butterflies, Velat said he had never met anyone with that particular neurosis but he has met people who fear insects which fly and can sting, in other words, cause actual harm.
What about the hairy, “powderiness” of butterflies and moths? I asked.
He said that those insects don’t have hair but really have scales instead. Hmmm, just like snakes, I thought, fears confirmed.
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