He’s Back: Catching Up with Michael Jack

He’s Back: Catching Up with Michael Jack

No Spring Break plans? No problem! Be instantly transported to a variety of travel destinations through the captivating images of local photographer Michael Jack. From March 1st – March 31st, Michael will be filling our Stephenson House gallery space with new photography from his recent travels in his third artist showcase with Nickel Plate Arts. We recently caught up with him in preparing for this show – read on:

Do you have a favorite piece in your upcoming exhibit? What’s the story behind it?

My favorite photograph in 2016 is a sunset image taken in the Palouse region of Eastern Washington State. The Palouse is the largest grain growing region in the U.S. but has no flat land in it at all. There is a butte in the middle of the Palouse which offers a view of miles in all directions. I was able to capture a fascinating sunset and the rolling hills of the region from the top of the butte.

"Palouse" by Michael Jack

“Palouse” by Michael Jack

What about photography gets you excited?

Traveling to interesting places and attempting to capture images that others would appreciate viewing is energizing. I also enjoy continual learning and the camaraderie associated with photography.

Have you found any recurrent themes or concepts in reflecting on your work in 2016?

I really enjoy landscape photography and am constantly studying and looking at the work of well-known photographers to see how I can improve. It is a real challenge to move from a documentary or record shot to an image that is more captivating and might even be considered fine art. One thing that is really clear is that not only is composition important but so are lighting and conditions. A brilliant, colorful sunrise or sunset with cloud patterns that lead the eye creates a totally different photograph of a scene than a simple picture of a mountain range in bright, clear daylight.  So, more of my work in the past year has paid more attention to a combination of composition, lighting and conditions.

Michael Jack

Photographer Michael Jack

Do you have any big plans for 2017?

My plans this year are to return to Maine in February for the third year. Why do that – to get shots I missed in prior years, but also to recognize that the lighting and weather conditions may be entirely different. Plans also include doing the California coast and Sedona for the first time. I also will be going back to Glacier Park for the fifth year in a row and will likely do Michigan’s UP and Smoky Mountains among other potential destinations. Hopefully I will have some new images from Maine to share in March.

How has your style changed over time?

I like to think I am getting better and my images more interesting. It is difficult to get rid of the finance guy within me so my shots still seem to be pretty realistic. However, I am trying to move from documentary to a more art-based approach.

Come in and view Michael’s exhibit Wednesdays – Fridays from noon – 5pm and Saturdays from 10am – 5pm through the month of March. Nickel Plate Arts will host an opening reception for the artist on Friday, March 17th from 6-9pm and the public is invited to attend. Most works will be for sale. For more information, contact Rachael O’Dell at rodell@nickelplatearts.org.

Rachael O'Dell
rodell@nickelplatearts.org