Welcome To 2018! The Year Of Creativity


In January we started the year with a survey to see how the 2018 board can best serve the needs of PPF.  Based on the survey results, the board has agreed on making 2018 "The Year of Creativity", exploring all aspects of why  we photograph, the need for self knowledge and self expression, how to wake up the muse & how best to describe our art. We will look at what our creative force is and find ways to do our work with the muse ... Some aspect of Creativity will be woven into every speaker's talk, every outing, every presentation. This focus will be inherent in our efforts to Educate, Inspire and Engage you, our members.  We can dig deep all year into the mystery and magic of Creativity.


The survey results in a nutshell:

  1.  How to Wake-Up the Muse/ Overcoming Creative Blocks (20)
  2.  Tips for Digital Processing (15)
  3.  Direction of Contemporary Photography (13)
  4.  Tied: (a)What Judges Look for in Submissions: (b) Different   Formats for Presenting Work at the General Meetings (11)

Results were determined by looking at the top ranked 4 answers on each survey.

There were some interesting comments provided.  I will share a few of them here...

  • Tips and ideas for developing a personal vision for photo-shoots
  • Discussion groups; critique groups: open discussions on suggested topics
  • Getting together to learn from each other on trips (kudos to Phil Bowser) -{ there were quite a few requests for outings} 
  • Publishing opportunities and collaboration with other photographers
  • More info about 'why' the image was made vs. where, or that it caught my eye ... more meaning behind what the image meant to the photographer
  • How to sell to and develop collectors
  • Guest speakers that are outside presenters
  • Getting more young & diverse members

Engaging The Muse: A Panel Discussion

We are honored and excited to have the following artists on our panel for our February PPF Presentation

Andrea Hollander - Poet

Andrea Hollander moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2011, after many years in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains, where she ran a bed & breakfast for 15 years and served as the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College for 22. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals, college textbooks, and anthologies, including most recently, The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy, edited by John Brehm, and containing the work of such classic writers as Shakespeare, Basho, and Neruda, alongside contemporary poets.

Hollander's 5th individual full-length poetry collection will be released by Autumn House in September 2018. Her 4th was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; her 1st won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Among her many other honors are the 2017 Vern Rutsala Award, a 2013 Oregon Literary Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes (in poetry and literary nonfiction) and two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts. 

Laura Valenti - Photographer

Laura Valenti is the founder of Light Atlas Creative. Light Atlas exists to help photographers transform their vision and lead vibrant, skillful, wholehearted creative lives. She teaches richly interactive online courses, works with emerging photographers in her creative mentoring program, presents lectures to photo groups, and curates exhibitions for galleries and festivals around the world.  

Her teaching centers on clearing creative blocks and cultivating the insight and confidence necessary to make deeply authentic personal work. She is passionate about helping photographers become visionary artists.  Laura has spent twenty years in the art world as a photographer, curator, arts director, and educator. Recent curatorial projects include shows at PhotoPlace Gallery, LightBox Photographic, Center for Fine-Art Photography, Photographic Resource Center, RayKo Photo Center, the Oregon Historical Society, and the Lishui International Photography Festival (China).

Fred Swan - Painter

Artist, author, editor in chief of AIR Gallery Ezine, father, really long-time married man who died a few years ago and after forty minutes of CPR came back with some changed ideas about loving, living, and ways of shredding the doubts and fears that keep us from becoming the creative and confident individuals we were born to be. Fred spends his days working as an artist. 

Educationally he has a Master's degree in Social Work and studied art and design during his undergraduate years.  While his career focused on the field of child welfare - specifically the issues of child abuse and neglect and the treatment of loss and grief issues - he has pursued, over the course of his life, his interests as an artist and a writer.  Fred is a founder and curator of AIR Gallery, an on-line gallery.

Ray Bidegain - Panel Moderator

After a long commercial career working as a black and white photographer, Ray discovered the beauty of the platinum print and began to teach himself this art over 10 years ago. He was drawn to the older alternative photo processes because of the hand made nature of the work and its inherent beauty. 

"I find peace in my photographs, and mostly photograph things that present themselves voluntarily into my life." The images serve as visual reminders of moments and feelings he has experienced, signifying both the passage of time and the reverberation of consistency in all of our lives. 

Ray began teaching platinum printing workshops 13 years ago and enjoys the personal interaction with his students. He now teaches workshops on a variety of other photographic topics and he has been a influential board member and past president of the Portland Photographers Forum.

Baker City Road Trip (A Proposal)

We have a number of members whose work was selected for the upcoming Crossroads Cascadia juried show in Baker City.  The reception for this event is on Friday, April 6 and some of the members selected for inclusion plan to go to the reception.  Since PPF is so well represented this is an excellent opportunity to send a contingent to show our support for them and for PPF.  It's also a chance for a group outing and/or workshop in beautiful eastern Oregon in the early spring. There seemed to be some support for this notion expressed at our Jan. meeting.  

At the very least it is a chance for a group of us to get to know each other better and share travel expenses and driving.  We might get a better rate (and continue the fun) if we commandeer rooms in the same motel rather than scatter ourselves all over the town.  Those traveling solo might be able to acquire a simpatico roommate and only shoulder half the room rate.  Seems like a good deal!  

Then...it seems a shame to drive all that way with nothing (no images!) to bring back.  Would there be any interest in combining the reception with a field trip to a local point of interest?  Most likely scenario would be a half-day trip on Sat. morning.  Would there be enough interest in this prospect to work with carpooling back to Portland?  

There are a lot of logistics to consider if we decide we want to do this: 

  1. We will need a pretty firm commitment on attendance to work out carpooling and accommodations plans.  Come to the Feb. meeting ready to seriously discuss putting your name on the list.  
  2. We will need someone to be the cat-wrangler-in-chief for the actual event (i.e., somebody needs to be sure whether Day is still in the bathroom and not in the other car when we leave the gas station!).  Mike Osborne will handle advance planning but a prior commitment prevents his attendance.  
  3. Assuming that we can muster a quorum for a Sat. photo shot, does anyone have opinions about some good possibilities in the Baker City area? Are there any special factors (clothing, hiking, entrance fees, etc.) about those locations?  

Many of us mentioned an interest in reviving group outings on the recent questionnaire.  This proposal may require significant buy-in but it could be a lot of fun while also showing support for our members and to our organization.  It is worth considering.  The plan lives or dies depending upon the discussion and input at the Feb. meeting.  If you won't be at the meeting you can email your desires, intentions and opinions directly to Mike Oz at: troglodytes1@att.net

Gathering Light Online Photography Salon: One Month Free for PPF Members

Photographer and teacher Laura Valenti has offered PPF members a free month access to her new online photography salon. The salon includes a lovely, safe space for sharing images and ideas, regular feedback, inspiring interviews with talented photographers, audio chats about the creative process, and fun creative experiments (optional mini assignments) to get the creative juices flowing. As opposed to a critique group where the focus is mostly technical and critical, Gathering Light is a "yes" space. It's a space where we celebrate creative risks, see mistakes as doorways for growth, and deeply honor our fellow artists' journeys. 

It kicks off now, so jump in today. It's going to be a lot of fun.

To join, click here Then, enter the coupon code NEATO and click "apply coupon." You'll get the first month's membership for free and you can cancel at the end of the month if you like or continue on for $24/month if you like what you see. It's a fun opportunity to try out Laura's new offering.

Message from the President

by David Bardes

Four for years it has been my honor and privilege to serve on the board and as president of PPF, my favorite organization for photographers. As the year ends, we will again hold an election to fill the board with enthusiastic members to carry our organization forward.

The authors of the bylaws wisely created the board positions as two year terms, and staggered the open seats so that at least half of the board members remained in any year to create the continuity needed for our organization. As I and several board members you are used to seeing at the helm step down, I would hope you would consider lending your talents and vision to lead this group of amazing people who are the Portland Photographer's Forum.

You are more than welcome to email me or any of the current board members about what is involved with participating on the board, but let me address some possible concerns. You don't have to be an accomplished photographer to serve ably on the board. You don't have to have a lot of connections in the community to serve on the board. And you don't have to have a lot of experience running organizations to serve on the board. If you have a place in your heart for carrying our shared passion forward here in Portland, you have what it takes to serve on the board.

Contact us if you are interested by the end of October. The vote will be held in November and the results will be announced at our December meeting/holiday celebration.

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

Thank you to all our members who submitted work for our annual juried show. Susan Bein, our juror, selected 40 images to hang at the LightBox Gallery Photographic Gallery in Astoria. Congratulations to Ken Hochfeld, Bruce Leonard, and Carol Isaac for receiving 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes respectively.

And to Sam Blair, Carolyn Campbell and Jim Fitzgerald for receiving Honorable Mention recognition. The show will remain open through Tuesday, October 10th. A big thank you to Susan Bein and to Michael and Chelsea Granger of LightBox for their strong contributions to a successful show!