A local artist “surprised” by the success of his abstract photographs | News, Sports, Jobs

Robert Buck of Fort Plain points to one of his photos, “Wired,” which he said was a photo of a pile of “junk” on a table. His work is on display in three solo art exhibitions through May 9 at the Arkell Museum and the Canajoharie Library, 2 Erie Bvld. (The Leader-Herald / Eric Retzlaff)

CANAJOHARIE – Sometimes it pays to break the rules.

“I have always been used to following the rules of photography” said Robert Buck of Fort Plain, whose photos are on display along with the work of two other artists until May 9 at the Arkell Museum and the Canajoharie Library on Erie Boulevard.

“Breaking the rules of photography” didn’t hurt his artistry and, in fact, helped him find his calling, he said.

For example, his “Gears and levers” the photo does not show details in its dark area, its “Rails and fasteners” the photo of the track keeps the “noise” shimmering sunlight on the trails, and his photo of sand and boulders in a Maine fishing area retains the grit of the sand and boulders, all of which could be considered flaws, he said.

But his success in art exhibitions and the sale of photos contradicts this.

His “Birds on a Wire” won the Causon Award for Excellence in Art and Photography 2016 at the Cooperstown National Art Show. His work has been exhibited at the Albany Central Gallery, the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts in Little Falls, the Arts Factory of Montgomery County in Canajoharie, the Cherry Branch Gallery in Cherry Valley, and the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts. in Gloversville.

Its first prize was awarded at the Buck Moon Arts Festival at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown.

He studied graphic arts for two years at HSFC and would have graduated if he had taken a physics course, he said.

Buck has taken photos his entire life as a hobby, even back in the days of the Brownie and Polaroid Land cameras and the development of the darkroom.

He graduated in 1969 from Canajoharie High School; attended Lea College and Winona State College, both in Minnesota; then made a stint in the Navy. He worked for the Postal Service while raising a family and had little time to pursue his photography hobby until his retirement. He is now a real estate agent, but he is free for photography.

Buck said his success in photography “Really took me by surprise”.

“I was surprised people liked what I was doing. “

Even her son, who is generally critical of her photos, said: “Wow,” upon seeing a photo, and it encouraged Buck.

“If I can move it, I must be able to move other people”, Buck said.

Although Buck thinks the rules of photography are valuable, they should not be slavishly followed. What is most important is “That you capture the spirit of the photo”, he said.

Buck said he didn’t enjoy photographing landscapes or portraits very much and that there was no one in the photos posted at Arkell.

“I consider myself a shy person”– the feeling that photographing people in the street is “Invade their space”, he said.

His photographs of inanimate objects such as an abandoned office with papers strewn on the floor, empty train tracks, old gears and levers, a staircase and an empty street “Makes me wonder what happens, what happened before, what happens after” he said.

In essence, his photographs are judged by what they evoke in the feelings and thoughts of viewers, he said.

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