Catching the Moment

Nature Photography by Jan Viney at the Lynnwood Library Gallery In her exhibition statement, Jan Viney explains that she connects with the natural world through her camera, attempting to capture a single moment in time and convey the feeling of Oneness she experiences with her surroundings.

Twelve giclee prints of a variety of birds are displayed in this show. Swans, ducks, an eagle, an owl and a woodpecker are among this collection of beautifully photographed birds. It is clear to me that Viney has good command of her camera equipment. The photos of birds in flight are amazingly detailed.

Most of the artist's photos are very centrally composed and finely focused. This tends to emphasize the object, or the thing-ness of Viney's subjects. It is obvious that the artist has a deep love for the amazing creatures she photographs, but there are two pieces that, for me, go beyond being good photos of birds and provide a place for my mind to enter into the fuller experience of meaning that the artist is striving to convey.

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"One Mind"

The first is titled "One Mind", 16X16 in, (Dunlins – Olympic Mts.). The title easily speaks of the coordinated movement of a large flock of birds flying over the water in a tight formation, yet there is so much more! This piece has a strong central composition focused on the object - a flock of birds. Yet several qualities come together to create a place for contemplation that lies beyond the subject matter. There is a shimmering, dissolving quality throughout this image as water, land and sky merge, reflections of birds mirror snow-capped mountains and a sublime white 'egg' that is at once one thing and many things – and no-thing - rises on the flashing wings of hundreds of birds. This mandala-like piece speaks to me of the two-way tie between beginnings and outcomes.

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"Focus on Your Good"

The second piece is titled "Focus on Your Good", 16x16 in, (Northwest Flicker). Though this photo is very sharply focused and tightly cropped, it draws me in. The composition is not as central as the others and there is a nice sense of compositional movement as the eye zigzags from branch - to bird - to branch in a backwards "Z" pattern. The diagonal thrust of the bird's body is carried right through its sharp beak and gives the impression that the bird's attention is focused elsewhere. Then there is the realization that the small, gleaming eye, its size and color repeated dozens of times in the bird's plumage, is looking directly into the camera, into my eyes, and I find myself powerfully drawn into the deep blackness of that small portal, beyond the highly defined individuality of that particular bird - and beyond my busy life - into a still place where I become more aware of my connection with the whole web of life.

Jan Viney – Nature Photography - On view through March 15, 2012 at the Lynnwood Library Gallery, 19200 44th Ave. W, Lynnwood, WA 98036, phone 425-778-2148.

www.janvineyphotography.com