"The Latent Image" on Display at Magill Library
Boughter's collection of 11 black-and-white images is the first exhibit in the library's new, permanent gallery space. Boughter, who works as a bibliographic and digital services assistant at the library, was invited by the department to show her work. She says,“The Haverford community has been supportive of my work,” and credits co-workers Donna Fournier, James Gulick, and Trudi Swain for their assistance in orchestrating the exhibit and getting her the most publicity she has ever received.
Boughter began studying photography in her earlier 20s, eventually earning a bachelor's degree in art. She worked with an architectural photographer, where she gained an appreciation for structures and landscapes. Boughter favors film cameras over digital because she prefers film's clarity and higher resolution. She does, however, embrace digital technology as a way to make her work“available to more people.” In furtherance of this goal, Boughter painstakingly scans her images for her website, www.lisaboughterphotography.com.
According to Boughter, her“goal is to capture things you'd not notice unless you stop and look.” She keeps a notebook with locations of potential subjects, then returns later to photograph them when the light is optimal. She favors black-and-white images because“black and white takes things down to their basic elements.” Boughter adds,“Black-and-white photography forces viewers to look at the picture itself.” Even without color, the pictures show an incredible range and depth of tone.
The photos do not tell a sequential story, so there is no specific order in which they are meant to be viewed. Boughter says,“The images are arranged compositionally. I think of them as carrying on a conversation with one other.”
The 11 pieces of "The Latent Image" are each situated against a large white mat within thin black frames. The sparseness of the matting draws the viewer's eyes into the photo. Many of the photographs were taken at various Main Line locations, such as the Devon Horse Show. Others are the result of Boughter's travels to destinations such as Annapolis, New Orleans, and Haiti. Two major themes in the exhibit are landscapes, as is seen in The Willows, where willow trees overlook a lake together with their reflections, and architecture, as seen in Palm, where the mausoleums of a New Orleans cemetery seem to huddle around a single tall palm tree. Boughter's personal favorite from the show is titled Sic Transit. Taken in Haiti, the photo shows two men in a rowboat just right of the image's center on a vast ocean. Explains Boughter,“that image has only a few basic elements, so the variation of tone in the water and sky really stands out.”
Boughter describes the overall reaction to "The Latent Image" as“extremely positive,” and is pleased to have already sold two prints. Attendees have commented on the show's installation, characterizing it as beautiful and remarking on how well the pieces flow. Thanks to press releases sent to several local publications, Boughter can now look forward to even more viewers attending her exhibit.