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Jan-05-2006 00:22printcomments

Gallery Presents Local Resident's Photography in January

Mike Sullivan took this photo, which he has titled

(Salem) - The January gallery showing at Corban College in South Salem presents the nature-inspired photography of long-time local resident Mike Sullivan.

Sullivan also is known for wedding and other �event photography,' and for catalog covers for the nursery industry, but his particular love for nature is evident in his work.

"I enjoy photographing when there's no �hand of man' in the picture," Sullivan said. "I don't dwell on God-inspired photography but it's part of my repertoire. I've been fortunate enough to be led to pictures that reveal more of His handiwork or image."

The first time Sullivan held a camera, it was an old 8-mm film camera of his dad's. He was four years old. Since then he's owned roughly 50 cameras � often Nikon, because lenses 30 years old fit on today's digital models. It was when he was teaching high school journalism that the photography �bug' bit him, he said.

"I was living in Seattle; it was early in the Viet Nam era," Sullivan recounted. "Our high school was close to the University of Washington, where there were a lot of protests and race riots � a good chance for salable news photography."

He began making a name for himself because of his onsite action photography, and then because of his ability to inject a "Wow" factor into commonplace items, such as a squirrel captivated by a piece of jerky. That photo took a first place win in a "wildlife" contest over visually spectacular lions and tigers because of the photo's uniqueness, a judge said.

"My most commercially-successful endeavors are books," Sullivan said. "Two wrote in the 1970s, �Candid' and �Flash,' were some of the only guides at the time that were available for candid photography."

Today he often does what he calls "documentary photography." He shoots photos and places them in book form with accompanying text, as part of his event photography business.

"The pictures just have more meaning when they're in book form," Sullivan said, "I'm somewhere between a film junkie and digital nerd."

Sullivan leads photography workshops for journalism classes at Corban, and over the years has led 25 summer photography conferences for journalism students at the high school and college levels.

"I still think of myself as more of a common snapshooter, but I try to separate all the surroundings from things and give a little different twist or angle on the ordinary," Sullivan said. "And once in awhile, God treats me to something pretty spectacular."

Sullivan tells about one such day, "That's a pretty amazing story. I woke early one foggy icy January morning. It was still dark. I got an inspiration that there was this picture I had to take." With wife and dog in tow, he slid up Aumsville Highway in time to see the dawn's sunlight start cracking through the trees. That photo he calls `Corban Godlight".

Corban College invites the public to see Mike Sullivan's photography on display January 4th through the 30th in the Psalm Center, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The Psalm Center is on the west end of the Corban College campus, 5000 Deer Park Drive SE, south of Kuebler and east of Turner Road.


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