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Art - Breaking Ground in a New Medium Local Photographer Finds Art in the Digital World

When Manchester resident Lynda Elliott lost her job at a local printing company due to layoffs, she had no idea it would turn out to be a creative catalyst.

“Because I worked with film, I had a really hard time getting another job,” she said. “Most places deal primarily with digital image development.”

Elliott, a longtime photographer with a degree in graphic arts, decided that if she couldn't beat them, she'd join them. That's when she got her hands on her first digital camera.

“With a digital camera, I found that I could take more chances with photos, and I really opened up as a photographer,” Elliott said. “With a traditional camera, I was always so worried about getting the perfect shot, because film and supplies are expensive. With the digital camera, I could take photo after photo and not worry about it, because if it didn't turn out well I could just delete it.”

Between sending out resumes and hitting the pavement looking for work, Elliott began to focus on her art.

“I had always been passionate about it, but it was always something I did on the side,” she said. “But it's funny, when you take away all of the other distractions, it just started to grow and become more important to me.”

While still unemployed, Lynda took an Adobe Photoshop class at Pioneer Computer School.

“All these possibilities were opened to me after that,” she said. After completing the course, she began to experiment with her photography by distorting or accenting colors, perspectives and focus. The result was a series of abstract photographs that were new and fresh.

Last year, Elliott decided to enter an art show, after much cajoling from friends. She participated in the Manchester Artists Association's Art in the Park show last September.

“My work stuck out like a sore thumb,” she said with a laugh. “My photos were so different, so out there. I thought, what did I do?”

Much to her surprise, the work was well received by the spectators and the jury of the show.

“I won first place for photography, and I sold a piece,” she said. “I never expected that for my first show. I was just happy to be showing my work.”

Since that show, Elliott has exhibited at E.W. Poore, the Holiday Renaissance at Langer Place, and Jewell and the Beanstalk. Her work at E.W. Poore is on display until Jan. 31. The exhibit features 21 pieces, both photographs and digital images.

Elliott recently joined the Nashua Artists Association and hopes to show her work in the Greeley Park Art Festival and at shows in Boston this summer. She would like to show more of her work in Manchester as well.

It's not easy to get my work into the galleries around here, because for the most part, they don't accept digital photography. I think it's too new to be considered an art medium,” she said. She hopes to break that barrier, and encourages other photographers who work in digital to keep trying.

One of the most striking aspects of Elliott's work, whether it's posed shots, candid shots, or abstract digital imagery, is her unique perspective. Her unusual camera angles, attention to light, and slightly askew composition make her work eye grabbing.

“I don't know where that came from,” she said. “I think it's something I've always had. I've always looked at the world a little differently, I guess. But I'm glad, because it has really helped my photography.”

For more information on Lynda's work, go to www.lyndaelliott.com, or see her exhibit at E.W. Poore, 531 Front St.

-Michelle Saturley

This article was posted from:
HippoPressManchester
Vol.4, No.4
Jan. 22-28, 2004
www.hippopress.com