THROUGH THE LENS: An interview with Ingrid Lockhart, and artful elegance along the way | TheUnion.com

THROUGH THE LENS: An interview with Ingrid Lockhart, and artful elegance along the way

Jim Bair
Special to The Union

Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a new monthly feature “Through the Lens,” which introduces members of the Nevada County Camera Club and shares their work with the community. See more installments with this story at TheUnion.com. Visit http://www.nccameraclub.com for more information on the Camera Club.

Does this look like Grass Valley? Well it is and represents the extraordinary photography of Ingrid Lockhart, taken at night. Mysterious, provocative and powerful, The Escape comes from creativity and learning over many decades.

Ingrid is consistently winning prizes for her fine art photography. But it wasn’t always that way even though she took photography in college. At a time where many of us get launched into a career, Ingrid was an art history major at Tufts University in Boston. Although she graduated with top honors from a prestigious university, her life took a different path.

Like many artists, Ingrid’s employment was not in art.

Ingrid’s jobs were mostly in the financial services Industry. After living in Boston, Washington DC and Hawaii, she relocated to San Francisco in 1978. In 1986, she moved to the Sierra foothills when she married her husband, Mike, who was a physician in Auburn. They have two children, both of whom are graduates of Nevada Union High School.

After two years as a financial advisor in Sacramento, she convinced Morgan Stanley to open an office in Auburn where she built her personal investment consulting business, primarily through seminars and referrals. When her husband moved his practice to Grass Valley in 1993, she continued to work with her Auburn client base, but became more active in the Nevada County community.

Bridging the two communities in Placer and Nevada counties, Ingrid managed a successful investment consulting business for many years and retired as a senior vice president in 2009. Her highest career honor was being named as one of the top 100 Women Financial Advisors in the U.S. by Barron’s Magazine in 2006.

frOM FILM TO DIGITAL

As with many photographers who started “way back when,” Ingrid pursued mostly black and white film photography. Then digital took hold in the early 2000s. While taking a class to tame the bits and bytes, she heard about the Nevada County Camera Club and joined the 40 or so members around 2005.

The opportunity to submit photos each month for critique and best-of-month in a category motivated her to produce her best work. She began to enter her photos in the Nevada County Fair soon after joining the club. She consistently receives first places at the Fair, and has twice been awarded Best Photograph in the Black and White Division.

Presenting a Calla Lily is an example of Ingrid’s black and white photography, an elegant flower and leaf edited into an extraordinarily artful image.

Inspired by her success, Ingrid studied digital editing at Sierra College, bought a lighter camera and simplified her shooting by using the same settings much of the time. She shoots fast and prefers autofocus — which helps concentration on composition.

Solitary is a winning photo taken while visiting a historic penitentiary in Pennsylvania. After a number of intriging penitentury shots, Camera Club members began to quip, “Ingrid’s in prison again”. This illustrates her predilection for minimalism and black and white. (See the minimalist photography group on Facebook where Ingrid and others submit their work to juries.)

AN ‘AVID AMATEUR’

While her work appears in social media and on her website http://www.ingridlockhart.com, Ingrid describes herself as an “avid amateur”. She uses the moniker Ingrid Lockhart PhotoImagery because she has no shyness about using Photoshop to improve her images, creating her own unique style of photo imagery. This mysterious, moody image of a “Ghost Ship” is an example of her first place winners.

Editing photos in Photoshop is almost a necessity in this digital age, although there’s a debate about how much a photo can be changed in a computer.

For example, certain Camera Club categories such as Natural Landscape are defined as images that “… show natural spaces” and “… and modifications that misrepresent the true situation are not allowed. Post processing is limited to adjustments that more accurately show the scene as it looked when photographed.” Ingrid focuses on the goal of her photography and does what she feels necessary for artful expression. In other words, she usually uses Photoshop. She does so in a measured way to improve the photo but not to attract attention to the changes. The preceding photos illustrate the judicious use of post-processing.

‘LESS IS MORE’

Recently, Ingrid was the guest speaker for the Camera Club during the regular monthly meeting, explaining and illustrating minimalism as a photographic style. As she illustrated the minimalism concept of “less is more”, she stated, “photo art is creative expression with intent and emotion.” She wasn’t trying to be profound, but this is a pointed characterization of photography as an art form vs. something like a recording medium.

Being an art major probably had some influence on the photo example she used, a play on the famous painting Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth. Tongue in cheek, Ingrid added Christina in the foreground as an amusing play on what can be done with Photoshop – in this case, placing an object (Christina) in a landscape to evoke emotion. Wyeth probably wouldn’t be amused … but we were.

This photo entitled “The Window” is another example of Ingrid’s minimalist style. It illustrates how a simple architectural detail and an interesting sky can create a compelling image.

While color can be actually be distracting in some images, the Conversation with a Fern, is stunning in its elegant simplicity, an award-winning illustration of minimalism. It reminds of us of how photography can capture the exquisite beauty in the ordinary; and as Ingrid says, “Noticing the details in the world around us greatly enhances my enjoyment of every day.”

The Nevada County Camera Club meets 10 times a year on the third Monday of the month. Meetings include guest speakers and member photo critiques. Visitors are welcome.

Jim Bair is a member of the Nevada County Camera Club. See his work at http://www.jimbairphotography.com.


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