A. Shaw, Chancellor
Sandi Tams Mulconry ’75, Associate Vice President for University
Jeffrey Charboneau G’99, Executive Director of Creative Services;
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Michael McGrath, Amy McVey
WEB PAGE DESIGNER
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Syracuse University Magazine (USPS 009-049, ISSN 1065-884X)
Volume 19, Number 2, is an official bulletin of Syracuse University
and is published four times yearly: spring, summer, fall, and winter
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UNIVERSITY MISSION •
To promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative
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UNIVERSITY VISION •
be the leading student-centered research university with faculty,
students, and staff sharing responsibility and working together
for academic, professional, and personal growth.
Clouds with a Camera
I wander outdoors with camera in hand, I’m warned about taking pictures
of clouds. “Don’t waste all the film on cloud shots,” my wife says.
“Just take a couple.” She does not censor my snapshots, but she
does know I’ll kill a roll of film in minutes, especially if cumulus
puffs are crawling by, or a thunderhead is bulking up on the horizon
on a steaming summer day. I’ve never exactly figured out why I’m
so attracted to clouds, except that it’s nice to look up and see
a blue sky streaked with white, odd-shaped, floating arrangements
after surviving long stretches of upstate New York’s gray days.
year at a photography exhibition in Rochester, I was amazed when
I came across a black-and-white series on clouds by Alfred Stieglitz.
Naturally none of my cloud shots rated with the art of the famed
photographer, but I made it a point to tell my wife that, yes, a
cumulonimbus can make for good subject matter.
Clouds, of course, aren’t my only photographic interest: I enjoy
viewing a good picture, too. Here on the Hill, two of my favorite
places to peruse pictures are the Menschel Media Center and the
Menschel Photography Gallery in the Schine Student Center. Supported
by SU Trustee Robert B. Menschel ’51, H’91, these two locales always
feature fantastic photography. As you’ll learn by reading Amy Shires’s
article, Creative Developments,
the media center serves as home base for Light Work, a nonprofit
organization devoted to contemporary photography, and the Community
Darkrooms, which provides photography and imaging facilities for
the University community and the public.
Aside from an obvious devotion to photography, the two organizations
are dedicated to creating a positive learning environment and community
for photographers of all skill levels. This sense of community is
apparent when you talk to folks who use the facilities. They see
the center as a place to develop skills, nurture interests, exchange
ideas, and become inspired.
Considering that the University has several photography-related
programs of study and many students who pursue picture-taking as
a hobby, there’s certainly no shortage of photography aficionados
on campus. For these people, no matter their ambitions, the Menschel
Media Center is a valuable asset that’s worth taking advantage of.
Not only does it provide an encouraging atmosphere and first-class
facilities, but it also serves as a place where photography is honored
and celebrated as art. Those who appreciate such surroundings won’t
be disappointed, whether they’re learning to develop black-and-white
film, admiring images in an exhibition—or looking for expert advice
on capturing clouds.