The camera has been a lifetime passion for CSA member Sandra Lapham. “I began taking photographs at age 8 when my parents gave me a Brownie camera. For many years Lapham used traditional film; however, she transitioned over to digital when seeing its potential.
Lapham enjoys the flexibility that digital offers. “Digital captures, enhanced using artistic software, are much more versatile than film. A raw image may not convey the feeling or mood I am aiming to create. With available software programs I can stylize my image, change colors, emphasize certain features, or to create a wholly new scene that best fits my vision.”
When asked how she selects her subject matter, Lapham responded, “I am always on the lookout for interesting scenes conducive to viewing as a photograph. However, I get the greatest pleasure from taking pictures of natural scenery and wildlife. I recently took inventory of all the images I liked well enough to print and categorized them by subject: people, wildlife, urban, landscape, flowers, still life, and man-made structures. The animal portraits were by far the most numerous. This exercise showed me where my deepest interest lies.”
Lapham believes that most people live in cities and many never venture into the wilderness. She would like that to change. “Just viewing pictures of landscapes and animals can improve peoples’ moods, and help reduce stress. I strive to convey a sense of calm and peace, or connection with animals, in my images and hope this motivates people to seek out our national parks, gardens, and lakes and experience the beauty of the earth.”
Lapham likes the technical challenge of photography, “It nurtures a sense of my own creativity and unique perspective. My hope is that my art will foster a personal connection with the natural world, motivate efforts to preserve our natural environment, and by so doing better our community’s mental and physical health.”
In addition to archival prints, Lapham has been rendering her images using encaustics, where the photo is fixed on a board and bonded with beeswax and resin She also has begun painting images with oil paint and colored wax.
Lapham joined CSA two years ago and has participated in three Corrales Art & Studio Tour events to date. When asked about the benefits of belonging to an art association, Lapham offered, “I have learned much from other artists, and not just photographers. It is inspiring to view the art that is being produced in our community. Through other members, I have learned about the best way to display my work and how better to market it. Beyond that I enjoy the camaraderie. Belonging to an association has opened the door to new friendships and new venues, and I have recently joined the coop gallery, Galeria de Corrales
Lapham’s images have been displayed in many juried shows including InSight (2012- 2015) and the Annual New Mexico Photo Art Show (2012-2016). Her image entitled “Girl Waits” was a featured image in the New Mexico Cancer Foundation Exhibit, 2013. Two of her images, “Bosque Winter” and “Mi Casa Es Su Casa” were chosen for the cover the New Mexico Medical Society Directory, 2014 and 2017. Another image, “Plumeria at Dusk,” was one of the runners’ up in the ABQ Free Press’ 9th Annual Editor’s Choice Photo Contest and was published in the July 16 issue.
Her image, entitled, “Tree of Serenity” was a feature photo for the juried Albuquerque fine art show, “Shades of Gray,” December 4-27, 2016. Her work was highlighted in the Albuquerque Journal’s Family section on two occasions, September 6, 2015─ for her hummingbird photographs and December 4, 2016 for her image, “Tree of Serenity.” Three images placed into the “Things with Wings,” December 8, 2016 - March 5, 2017 juried show at the Gallery of the Cathedral of St. John. Three more of her images, recently were included in the Cathedral Gallery’s show in June 2017.