A few weeks ago I was featured in a newspaper article by the Mid-Hudson Times about my photography and exhibition at the RiverWinds Gallery in Beacon. I never actually saw the article because the newspaper is not distributed on my side of the Hudson River, but I managed to get the text from the writer Matt Frey who also interviewed me for the article.
Edges of Light
If you’ve ever stayed up all night to watch the sunrise or snuck out of work to take in one of those picture perfect sunsets, the RiverWind’s new exhibition, Edges of Light, might be just the thing to brighten your day.
Edges of Light features the works of longtime photographer Robert Rodriguez, Jr. Rodriguez attempts to capture on camera those fleeting moments when light, land and color combine for the greatest emotional impact. He feels that color and light have a great amount of symbolism inherent in them, and when combined correctly, they form some of the greatest artistic opportunities known to man. This philosophy, combined with other aspects of nature like weather fronts going coming in or going out and different landscapes, is what Rodriguez has built his photographic career around.
“I’m a student of landscape photography in the traditional sense, meaning trying to capture those moments in nature that are sort of rare,” said Rodriguez, “just those times where things are happening that are not normally seen throughout the day.”
Capturing these brief moments is not often an easy task; Rodriguez looks for locations that he feels might have good composition at different times. Almost all of his work is done in the 10 to 20 minutes a day that the sun takes to rise or set, which is, as one might expect, a very hit-or-miss undertaking.
“Most of what I do is finding areas like this, finding places where I think there’s potential for making an image that can be expressive, then going back when you think nature will help you,” said Rodriguez. “Many, many, times it doesn’t work out. I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating, but it requires a lot of patience, it requires a lot of perseverance; often I go back to the same spot over and over again to try to catch that one magical moment.”
Rodriguez’s current work centers on the Hudson Valley and, to a lesser extent, the state of Maine. Not surprisingly, these are the two areas found in many of the 25 photographs featured in Edges of Light.
“I strive to create not just landscape photographs, but photographs that convey a sense of why it is that I enjoy being there; why it is that I get up at really crazy hours early in the morning to get to these spots and why I love nature,” he said. “That’s what I try to bring across in the images.”
In his younger days, Rodriguez earned a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music. He later worked for record labels like Sony Music, Disney and Warner Brothers, eventually establishing his own recording and mixing facility. But the lure of the light was too much to ignore, and about seven years ago, Rodriguez began taking pictures professionally. he exhibits at galleries, multiple art shows throughout the year, and does commissioned photography for Scenic Hudson.
Rodriguez is also an educator in all aspects of photography, including fieldwork and digital editing and printing. He currently teaches photography workshops, gives seminars in the region on a regular basis and has been an invited speaker to several industry associations. He is also an Apple Certified Consultant.
Edges of Light: Photographs by Robert Rodriguez, Jr. will run through May 5 at the RiverWinds Gallery, 172 Main Street, Beacon. The gallery is open Wednesday through Monday from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, call 838-2880.
Matt Frey ©2008 Mid-Hudson Times All Rights Reserved.