A new art exhibition “Between Light & Dark,” displaying black and white images by fine art photographer Paul Roark, will debut Feb. 16 at Elverhøj Museum of History & Art. Roark is internationally known for both his photography and the black and white digital printing processes he developed.
The public is invited to meet the artist at the opening reception, Saturday, Feb. 16 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. A pre-reception gallery walk begins at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served; there is no charge for admission.
A significant part of Roark’s photographic journey has been exploring and pushing the envelope of black and white technology. He was taught the tools and traditions of photography from an early age, growing up in a home with a darkroom, an early education heavy in math, computer programming and science. He managed his professional career as an antitrust and consumer protection attorney to maximize time outside with a camera, refining his skills and building a library of images.
Opting for an early retirement, Roark switched his focus to photography full-time. He quickly became an innovator in digital black and white photography and was named one of three most influential pioneers in the genre. He has developed his own inkset and printing process, achieving a saturation and tonality truly unique to his art.
“It was fortuitous that my photo career coincided with the transition from the old chemical processes to the digital realm,” says Roark. “I was well situated not only to understand but also to contribute to this transition. Pushing the envelope of the new digital tools and printing processes has been something that has been very enjoyable to me, and helpful to thousands of photographers around the world.”
When asked about his eye for design and how he crafts an image, Roark explained, “I try to keep the viewer’s eye in the picture and flowing from one interesting part to another. I like a lot of information to be in the shot so there is a lot to study and play with.”
He names Rembrandt’s use of light to guide the eye through his paintings as an inspiration. He also mentions Brett Weston and Ansel Adams as the more obvious influences on his work.
Roark’s prints have been sold to collectors all over the world, including an entire small works show to a collector in Moscow. They can also be seen in select locations closer to home, including corporate headquarters and Cedars Sinai Hospital.
Elverhoj Museum of History and Art, located at 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, phone the museum at (805) 686-1211 or visit elverhoj.org.