By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH — When a modern invention is powerful enough to stop time itself, the possibilities are endless for those with creative eyes.
The art of photography is interesting and beautiful because it takes a snapshot of reality and highlights it beyond what the human eye generally sees, said photo enthusiast George Bollis Jr.
Mr. Bollis was one of dozens of photographers who entered the Indian River Photo Club’s 2012 juried print exhibition at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, and he won first place in two categories.
The 50 photographic prints in the free exhibit will be on display through Jan. 6 in the Patricia M. Patten Community Gallery in the Hazel Education Wing of the museum.
In the color-fauna category, “Enlightened,” Mr. Bollis’ photo of a white peacock butterfly took home the top prize.
Nature’s colors and patterns, especially butterflies, often inspire him to find the perfect shot.
“Photography basically is a way to see things we don’t pay attention to very often. Before I got into photography, I knew butterflies existed, but I didn’t know the species, the colors of them all. Same with birds; we tend to see the herons and the sand hill cranes, but we miss out on the small birds,” Mr. Bollis said.
Mr. Bollis is an architect by trade and his other hobbies include watercolor painting, planting butterfly-attracting gardens, hiking and bird watching.
His second first-place prize was in the still life category for his photograph, “Sewing Wild Oats.”
The photo is of stitching on a wild sea oats plant with a background of black felt, a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the familiar cliché, “sowing wild oats.”
“I look for humor and creativity in my photographs, too,” Mr. Bollis said.
Another first-place winner, David Garrett, enjoys photographing people and capturing their essence in an image.
“I see something in their eye, something in their smile and I want to take a picture,” Mr. Garrett said.
“I try to bring out the true self of someone, what’s really inside them,” he said.
His first-place photograph “Homeless,” is of a Civil War re-enactor playing the part of a vagrant in Fort Pierce.
“He had so much character in his face. He played the part so well, something just struck me and I had to take a picture,” Mr. Garrett said.
Sports action photography was his livelihood several years ago, but now he finds great satisfaction in portraits and candid portraits of people.
The Indian River Photo Club’s juried exhibition includes works from members of the club as well as non-members, both professional and amateur.
The seven juried categories were people, nature-flora, nature-fauna, scapes, still life, special techniques and open.
For more information about the Indian River Photo Club, visit www.irphotoclub.org.
For more information about exhibits or events at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, call (772) 231-0707 or visit www.verobeachmuseum.org.