Schlick demonstrates nature photography techniques in BTG Lake Walk

Beverly Hazen | Staff Writer

“Contemplative Photography” is the theme for Jennifer Schlick’s Lake Walk today. Schlick is program director at the Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary. She has exhibited photographs in several group shows, and her spring wildflower photos were presented in a solo show in 2011 at the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown.

Schlick said that individuals should bring a camera, beginner or advance — even an iPhone — and let their creativity flow. The group will first consider the differences between a conceptual and a perceptual approach to photography. The conceptual approach has its place, but during the walk, ideas will be discarded, and attention will be directed to pure perception.

“One of the exercises in contemplative photography is to be open to the perceptions of color,” Schlick said. “I have a few exercises on color, texture, etc., that we will do before we go off on a walk.”

She said the walk is not a class instructing people on how to operate a camera, nor will the group set out to photograph a flower. Instead, she wants to show people how to wait for that “flash of color” or that texture that “stops us in our tracks.” After examining examples of photos taken using the perceptive approach, the group will stroll the lake shore or grounds looking for inspiration.

Schlick said a favorite quote of hers from photographer Dorothea Lange encapsulates the spirit of contemplative photography and the perceptual approach: “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”

“This is a fresh way of seeing the world,” Schlick said. “Someone else may realize, ‘My gosh, this is what I do!’”

Schlick is a member of the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution and has two contemplative-approach photographs currently showing in the exhibition on the second floor of the Fowler-Kellogg Art Center.

The walk begins at 6:30 p.m. today on the covered porch at the Heinz Fitness Center (below the YAC) on South Lake Drive at the corner of South. The Bird, Tree & Garden Club sponsors the program in partnership with the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy. A portable sound system is used so people can hear the speaker.