Photography | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Photography

“I’ve never seen a bad cat photo,” says Maryland Hall Photography Teaching Artist Joe Yablonsky. He says it as a joke but there’s truth in his humor: Yablonsky’s eye for photography has no room for pretension. “I’m the first one to admit there isn’t only one good way to take a photo. I think every student should bring their personality into the process and take photos that are uniquely their own.” Yablonsky developed his own love for photography on the campus of Princeton University. In the late 90s, he lived near the beautiful grounds and found inspiration in the gothic architecture and gargoyle sculptures.

“I specialize in photos of public sculptures and architecture, always trying to find the obscure out of the sculpture and historic architecture,” Yablonsky says. His body of work includes works by master sculptors such as Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Daniel Chester French and Isamu Noguchi, to contemporary artists involved in community public art projects. His photographs are only taken when a rare combination of lighting and atmospheric conditions are present in the scene to highlight the sculpture and its environment. All photos are hand printed using a traditional darkroom on fiber paper and are selenium toned to increase their archival permanence.

Yablonsky made photography his career in 2003 when he found himself looking for a change after leaving his engineering job. “I went for creativity and photography was something that was already growing out of control in my life so I started teaching.” In addition to MD Hall, where he began teaching in 2017, Yablonsky also teaches at the Smithsonian, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, VisArts in Rockville and Anne Arundel Community College, among others. His classes at Maryland Hall range from the technical in How Do I Use my Digital Camera to the experiential and creative in Travel Photography.

“I want to teach people who want to learn how to use their camera, how to use every button and help them develop their eye. Whether that’s film or digital,” Yablonsky says. For those ready to take their photography skills out into the world, Yablonsky’s Annapolis at Night is an alternative learning experience. Students get out of the classroom and get immediate feedback in the field. Bring gloves for this year’s class – it takes place downtown during Midnight Madness! “You’re only cold for three hours and then you have the photos for the rest of your life. It’s a blast,” Yablonsky says. All classes are for all skill levels and interest and open to digital or film shooters.

In a digitally driven world, Yablonsky strays away from apps and editing. He is not keen on post-production work and he teaches his students how to take photos that don’t require it. “Students in my classes gain a much better understanding of how to use their camera and how to take better photos on a more consistent basis, without relying on post production,” he says. The key is to “think more and shoot less -- do more thinking before you press the shutter release button -- and therefore take less photos. And learn from both your successes and your mistakes.”

Yablonsky designs his classes to create a strong foundation of the concepts of photography that help photographers find their own vision. When asked what his greatest accomplishment as a teacher is, he says, “Seeing when people get it; when they truly understand and move forward and the material becomes second nature.”

As for his favorite place to take photos in Annapolis? The answer is easy: “wherever the light is good,” he says.


Register for a Fall Photography Class with Joe Yablonsky

Outside of Jay Fleming's studio on Maryland Hall's third floor.

Maryland Hall has been focusing on fostering relationships with local artists and finding ways to collaborate on deeper creative levels - to both heighten the art experience for our staff and visitors as well as provide artists with a community of patrons that they can connect with. We are lucky to have local artist and photographer, Jay Fleming, as an in-house artist on our third floor to do just that.

Our in-house artists are part of a new visual arts initiative at Maryland Hall and act as a source both for internal creative support as well as a hub for our educational outreach and community engagement programming. In-house artists will serve to support staff with creative projects involving photography, design, marketing, and promotion while also utilizing their studios to grow in their profession as artists and create work. They will be educators to local students, engage with community members, and participate in special events hosted by Maryland Hall.

  

A look inside Jay's studio space at Maryland Hall

"Having a studio at Maryland Hall has given me the opportunity to become part of a great community of artists and art professionals in Annapolis. I look forward to future opportunities to work with art students from area schools (bates, st. annes, etc...) to share my passion for photography while providing hands on learning opportunities." - Jay Fleming

Follow the Maryland Hall social media pages and website or Jay's social media pages for opportunities to visit Jay during his studio office hours or at a Maryland Hall event. Find information on our other in-house artists here.

 

(Left) Jay's studio, (Right) Portraits of Jay Fleming while documenting the seasfood industry on the Chesapeake Bay

Maryland Hall's Facebook

Jay's Instagram

Jay's Facebook

It's National Photography Month! FOCUS today on a Maryland Hall Membership.

“Photography is the beauty of life captured.”  Tara Chisolm

Purchase a one-year Maryland Hall Membership from May 3 - 6 and receive an additional 3 months of membership benefits FREE!                                                                                                         

Offer Valid for all Membership Levels

Your investment as a Maryland Hall Member will include the following benefits:

- Discounts on tickets to Maryland Hall performances and select events and select Resident Company performances 

- Discounts on tuition for all Maryland Hall classes; members pay no registration fees 

- Coupons to local businesses 

- Advance notice of exhibitions and performances and the opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public 

- Mailings of Maryland Hall catalogs and electronic newsletters

Memberships purchased from May 3-6 that would normally expire in May 2019 will expire in August 2019. Additional months of membership will be added to your account.

Visit here to purchase a membership

Please join us for a free Gallery Talk on Monday, February 9 at 6 pm. 

Matt Korbelac, president of the Digital Photography Club of Annapolis will introduce the winners of the Digital Visions: Annual Juried Show of the Digital Photography Club of Annapolis in the Chaney Gallery. The winners will discuss their piece, addressing why they chose to take it and how they addressed problems in doing so. Printing on various papers and other materials and framing choices will also be discussed. Speakers will include James Walker speaking for himself and Annette Uroskie, Chris Edwards and Lynann Rudert. 

Immediately following the talk in the Chaney Gallery, head up to the third floor for a discussion in the Balcony Gallery by Vince Lupo about his photographs. Vince says of his work, “These photos are impressions of where I've been, what I've seen and the feelings these encounters have evoked.  Call them my visual "curricula vitae," or at least a small sliver of them.”

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