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October 7, 2011

Guild features fine art photographer

TERRE HAUTE — Fine art photographer Jim McMullen is the Wabash Valley Art Guild’s featured artist.

McMullen has been looking through lenses much of his life. Trained as a microbiologist/biochemist, he spent more than 30 years as a research microbiologist looking through the lens of a microscope. Early in his career, he developed an interest in photography and soon became fascinated by the precision of lenses and cameras.

His eye for detail and his chemistry background were great assets for darkroom developing and printing. McMullen, being extremely technical, kept a log of film and shutter speeds, f-stops, and lighting conditions that affected the photograph. He kept another log in the darkroom for developing print times and conditions as well as the formulas for the various solutions he discovered to get the results he wanted. He enjoyed sharing these creations with family and friends.

After a satisfying scientific career and early retirement, McMullen switched from film to digital technology and started exhibiting and entering art and photography shows. Currently McMullen uses a digital single-lens reflex camera, imports the images to his laptop computer, and prints his own photographs with a large-format printer using long-lasting pigment inks. The best photographs require no adjustment, but when desired, he uses Photoshop and other computer software to alter and enhance the final product. The camera and computer software now keep track of the technical information, allowing him to concentrate more on composition and aesthetics. He still uses manual settings on his camera, but with all of the automatic features on digital cameras today, almost anyone can take good photos.

McMullen’s favorite subjects are landscapes, flowers, animals, architecture, old cars and trucks, barns and almost anything he sees that’s unusual. He believes that photography is not only a way to capture beauty and to record events but also a means to express one’s personality. His photography training consists of a lot of reading and practice, a full life, much travel, an appreciation for beauty, a curiosity for something different and unusual and the ability to turn photographs into fine art. Basically, he shoots what he likes and hopes that others like what they see.

It is obvious that others enjoy McMullen’s photographs as he has been in three national art shows and this summer was juried into the Quad-State Biennial in Quincy, Ill. He has won awards at the Swope Wabash Valley Exhibition, the Honeywell Center Photography Show, the Wabash Valley Art Guild Spring Show, Logansport Art Show and the Covered Bridge Associates Art Show, all in Indiana. In Illinois, McMullen has won awards in the Effingham Art Show, the Lake Land College Photography Show, Lincoln Trail/Crawford County Photography Show, the Palestine Photography Show and Midwest Photography Show.

McMullen is a member of the Wabash Valley Art Guild, Arts Illiana, Indiana Wildlife Artists, The Bicentennial Art Museum in Paris, Ill., and is an associate member of the Covered Bridge Art Association. He can be contacted at (812) 238-1356 or

For more information about the Wabash Valley Art Guild contact president JoAnne Perigo Fiscus at (812) 607-0284 or visit www.wabashvalleyartguild.ort.

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