An antique style of photography will make a resurgence next month at Roslyn Village Gallery.
Randy Ilowite of Roslyn Heights and Marc Josloff of Freeport will have a joint exhibit of their work in the style of pictorialism. The exhibit opens Oct. 7 with a reception at 6:30 p.m. at the gallery at 1374 Old Northern Blvd. in Roslyn.
Pictorialism was a movement that dominated photography in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, where a photo is manipulated to create an image more than recording one.
“Photographers were competing with painters back then, so their dark room tricks and chemicals pushed to make their photos, not only in technique but also in subject matter, look more like paintings,” Ilowite said.
Ilowite recently took up photography after a career in television commercial editing, and Josloff has been drawing and painting since he was young. He also recently started teaching watercolor classes at the gallery on Saturday mornings.
Inspired by some of the pictorialism greats like Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Curtis, the pair will show 40 images of people, landscapes and still lifes that have been manipulated and printed to look “vague and serene,” gallery owner Marsha Tarlow said.
“Instead of doing what most photographers do, trying to get everything as sharp as they can, we went the other way,” Josloff said. “We softened up the images. We took out some of the detail. We made it vague. When you do that, you’re engaging the viewer to use their imagination, too. It’s more intimate that way.”
Josloff said he will sometimes digitally edit the photograph, adding grain or softening the image, before printing the image on tinted pastel paper to accomplish the final product.
“It doesn’t try to get in your face,” Josloff said. “So many times, photographers are looking for the wow factor, the impact, the pop. I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if we put all that aside and went in the opposite direction and make these intimate images that aren’t in your face and just lull you? I think we both succeeded with that.”