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Fire and Ice

First row: Alan Friedman, Easter Sun, Hotter Than July, Sultry Sun; Second row: Douglas Levere, Snowflake004 (2/16/14), Snowflake006 (2/9/14), Snowflake009 (2/9/14)

Snowflake and sun images courtesy of the artists


A December exhibition on view at CEPA (through January 2, 2016) showcases two heavenly entities. One can come as close as our fingertips; the other is 94.5 million miles away. They do have one important thing in common. Both are nearly impossible to photograph well. It takes special equipment, special expertise, and an artistic eye that is drawn to the beauty of natural phenomena. 


Enter Alan Friedman, who photographs the sun (and other objects in the cosmos), and Douglas Levere, who photographs snowflakes from his open garage during winter. Both photographers are not as well-known in Western New York as they should be. Longtime president of Great Arrow Graphics, Friedman is also a renowned astronomy photographer who is considered a master in this genre. His work has been shown across the US; he’s even given a TED talk on how and why he does what he does.


Douglas Levere has been a top commercial photographer for decades; in 1997–2002, he completed a project retracing the steps of iconic Manhattan photographer Berenice Abbott; it became both a book and an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. Now, Levere shoots for the University at Buffalo. 


To get his uncanny images of the sun, Friedman uses special filters, a telescope, and an industrial webcam. Levere captures the infinite patterns of snowflakes with the help of a microscope lens and base. 


This show offers an otherworldly blast of pure enjoyment. Don’t miss it. 


Fire and Ice is on view at CEPA Gallery, 617 Main Street, through January 2; for further information, visit cepagallery.org.    

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