Capturing moments in her camera’s lens
Photographer’s work based
on interplay of sun and shadow
BY GLORIA STRAVELLI
She doesn’t stalk photo ops like the paparazzi. "I don’t go to a place to take a picture. I go to a place to enjoy it, and suddenly there is a picture," explained Remedios "Medy" Quiroz. "It comes with being aware of your surroundings."
The scenes that click in Quiroz’s mind, she said, reveal the beauty in both exotic and ordinary locales, like a chiaroscuro photo of the Red Bank train station included in an exhibit of her photographs currently on display at the Red Bank Library on West Front Street.
"Late Afternoon Sun, Red Bank Train Station" captures the quaint vintage gatekeeper’s cottage and station building draped by the elongated shadows of late afternoon sun.
"I was there at the right time of day and realized, ‘There’s some beauty in this’ when I looked at it," Quiroz said. "Whenever I look at a scene and see something special, I say, ‘This needs a picture.’ "
"I can’t tell you exactly what speaks to me," she continued. "I go to a place, and suddenly just the way the sun shines on certain objects, the combination of sun and shadow … I get drawn to beautiful scenery, whether it’s large scale or small."
The library exhibit of 36 photographs will run through July 22 and includes breathtaking vistas of unspoiled wilderness, cherry blossoms on the grounds of Lucent Technologies in Holmdel where Quiroz works, as well as a sunset viewed from the window of her Red Bank home.
The view through her window is a frequent source of inspiration, and Quiroz has included several photographs of scenes that greet her when she rises in the morning and looks out the window.
"I wake up in the morning and I see this beautiful thing and I take a picture," she explained.
"Snowman’s Feast" is one of these, a spare still life of a wrought iron table and chairs blanketed by an overnight snowfall. "View From the Window" and "Sunset" are two others.
The spontaneity of Quiroz inspiration comes through in photos such as "Celebration," an image that captures the gaiety of a New Year’s Eve fête.
Quiroz looked at the crowd of multicolored balloons hovering beneath the ceiling and said, "That’s a picture," she recalled. "I liked the ribbons hanging down."
A birthday present awakened Quiroz, a gifted artist since childhood, to a new art form, which has become a passion.
"I always have my camera with me. It’s like American Express; I can’t leave home without it," quipped Quiroz, whose husband gave her a digital camera as a birthday gift two years ago.
Until then, Quiroz’s preferred form of creative expression was painting in oils and pastels. Her paintings have been accepted into the annual juried art shows sponsored by the Monmouth County Arts Council and The Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury.
That year, she decided to submit a photo instead.
"The entry said works in all media were eligible, and I had been to Sicily and had taken a photo I liked," she explained. "So I entered and it was accepted into the exhibit."
Photography has become her preferred medium, she acknowledged.
"I like this medium because when you see something, it’s part of capturing the moment, and it’s the only way you can," she said. "I could do a painting and interpret the moment, but with a painting, sometimes you don’t even have to think about it, your hand just works its way around the canvas.
"When you take a picture, you also feel that very moment at the time you are taking the picture," she added.
Capturing an ephemeral scene is the challenge that inspires Quiroz’s photography.
"I want to be able to take a picture just once," she said. "You can’t repeat it; it’s the way it is now because of everything that’s happened. I’m trying to capture a moment that probably won’t happen again."