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Master photographer addresses camera club membership

September 10, 2012
The Herald-Star

The Upper Ohio Valley Camera Club hosted award-winning Master Photographer Jay Stock of Martins Ferry for the club's August workshop.

Stock's photography career began at age 18 while he was in the Army and photography became a hobby. After the military, he attended the Progressive School of Photography in New Haven, Conn. Upon finishing his schooling, he returned to Martins Ferry and to his former work in a coal mine to support his family. At night, he had a photo studio in his home, using the living room as his camera room and the kitchen as his darkroom. As his business grew, he opened a studio.

At 89, Stock remains an active photographer and has a studio and gallery in Martins Ferry. He uses only a film camera with large format negatives and still prints many of his own pictures. He prefers a special paper, which he orders from Europe because it is no longer available in the United States.

Stock has taught at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, North Carolina University, Hallmark School of Photography and the United Kingdom British Guild of Photography as well as other international institutions.

Stock shared with the camera club some tips for improving picture-taking such as:

Stock told the club he uses a number of mini spot lights for his portraits. He suggested other lighting that can produce unique effects such as a table lamp or natural window light. He displayed various pictures which gave examples of the different lighting. For the presentation, Stock brought many of his pictures to show club members. There were many pictures of Native Americans from various tribes in their traditional garb. Stock said he started photographing Native Americans 60 years ago, and the cultures have changed so much that the scenes would be very different now. Stock brought with him his related book, "Visions of Native American Heritage." After the presentation, members had a chance to review the book individually.

Stock also photographed tribes in Haiti, the people of Africa, various cultures around the world and people of various religions in their traditional settings. He photographed many scenes from the Amish community and made a calendar for the Amish.

Stock showed many portraits, including those of children, and photos featuring heavy industry, including strip mining. He has published a book featuring pictures of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. he took in the 1980s.

Stock said he loved the European impressionist painters, so he went to France to study impressionism and found a way to apply those techniques to his photography using a special diffusing lens. He showed the club examples and "Inspirational Impressionistic Images," wherein he collected many images.

Stock became the first photographer to exhibit his works at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in 1975. A portion of the exhibit went on display at the White House. Stock is a member of the Photographers Hall of Fame, was awarded Master Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees from the Professional Photographers of America and its Professional Photographers National Service Award. He is a fellow of the American Society of Professional Photographers, the British Institute of Professional Photography and British Royal Society of Arts. Stock will hold an exhibit Oct. 11-Nov. 9 at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling. He will have a reception from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 14, where his newest book, "The Wonderment of Creative Vision," will be featured.

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