Jess Curning featured artist at Portage Center for the Arts

The Portage Center for the Arts is hosting an opening reception Friday for Nature Photographer and Jeweler Jess Curning.

The event is being held in the Drury Gallery of the PCA, 301 E. Cook St., from 4 to 6 p.m.

The gallery will be open for viewing until Aug. 25 from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

A portrait of an owl. “There are so many really beautiful areas around Wisconsin to explore and find cool photographs,” Curning said.

Curning has been photographing Wisconsin’s nature and wildlife for the past 30 years and said she tries to spend as much time as possible exploring trails, waterways and natural areas.

“I’ve lived (in Wisconsin) my whole life,” Curning said. “I grew up in Madison and live just west of there now. It is just a beautiful place to live and there are so many really beautiful areas around Wisconsin to explore and find cool photographs.”

“Of the 580 photos captured, about 400 were bear selfies,” a Colorado parks official wrote.

Curning will sometimes sit in one spot for hours waiting for the perfect lighting and said patience within a beautiful, scenic moment is “almost meditative”.

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Alongside the nature photography, jewelry will be on display. Which Curning describes as a mix between “medieval, punk and industrial” but also “delicate and sexy.”

Jess Curning at one of her many photo shoot locations.

She draws inspiration for her jewelry from ancient flexible armor that was forged in the middle ages.

“I took one class on how to make this type of jewelry and I got obsessed with it,” said Curning. “I love to make really unique designs that I like, and hope that other people will like as much as I do.”

For more information about the event, visit

A medieval armor-inspired necklace, designed and constructed by Jess Curning.

N.H. Association of Conservation Commissions Accepting Entries in Nature Photo Contest

The New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions is granting prizes ranging from $50 to $250 for original nature photographs.

The “Water, Wetlands and Wildlife in the Natural World” contest is open through Sept. 8 for photographs taken anytime this year by age groups of 12 and under, teens 13-18 and adults 19 and up. Winners in each age group receive $250 and honorable mentions receive $50 each.

The Association says it is primarily looking for photographs that inspire the preservation of our natural environment.

Entries may be submitted online at

River Park North names photo contest winners | Feature Story

Body camera footage shows ‘chaotic nature’ of Ogden police shooting

Estimated read time: 3-4

OGDEN — Body camera footage, 911 calls and photos released Friday show what police called the “chaotic nature” of an officer-involved shooting in Ogden that resulted in one man’s death and one officer’s injury.

A community report briefing issued by the Weber County attorney on Friday afternoon gives a timeline from when a woman first called the police to when Brian Dee Simonton, 37, of Ogden, was killed in a shootout with officers.

Officers received a call at 3:26 p.m. on June 6 from a woman at Washington Park apartment complex, 170 N. Washington Boulevard, who said Simonton was violating a protective order. She told police he was known to have guns, was homeless and was trying to get her to take his dog.

Brian Simonton points a gun at officers in footage captured from an officer’s body camera on June 6. (Photo: Weber County attorney)

She said Simonton had also left her several voice messages saying he was suicidal and “wants to be killed.”

“He just kind of showed up unannounced, and I know he’s, like, hit rock bottom. I felt bad for him, but I cannot have him here,” the woman told the 911 operator. “I’m scared at how this is going to turn out.”

Body camera footage from six officers shows the shooting incident from multiple angles as police surrounded Simonton on all sides. Eight officers fired weapons, but one was not wearing a body camera and another did not activate theirs.

A map shows the locations of officers and Brian Simonton during a shootout that resulted in Simonton’s death on June 6. (Photo: Weber County attorney)

The body camera of the first officer on the scene shows Simonton pointing a gun at him from across the apartment complex parking lot. The officer repeatedly asks Simonton to drop his gun and then finally warns that he will shoot him. He then follows as Simonton runs across the parking lot and behind an apartment building. After a series of shots fired from both Simonton and the officer, the police officer yells that he’s been shot, and runs back into the parking lot.

Other footage shows officers firing shots, yelling for Simonton to put down his weapon and show his hands, and telling other officers to “be careful of crossfire.” A succession of shots is heard before officers yell that Simonton has been shot down.

Simonton was pronounced dead at the scene.

The body camera footage from the sixth officer also shows one officer asking the other to get a tourniquet to stop the bleeding of the first officer’s arm. The officer who was shot was taken to the hospital and required surgery on his right arm. He has since been released and is in recovery.

Investigators found a .45-caliber long Colt revolver next to the body of Brian Simonton following a shootout with police on June 6. (Photo: Weber County attorney)

Photos in the report show a .45-caliber long Colt revolver found near Simonton’s body, along with five empty shell casings. Investigators believe he was trying to reload, as there was live ammunition also found near his body.

Simonton had been convicted of multiple domestic violence incidents, police said. He had two active protective orders against him at the time of the shootout.

Investigation is ongoing regarding the shooting, and a final report is being prepared to be submitted to the Weber County attorney’s office for final review.


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Defending the dark: Utah’s dark sky advocates protect Utah’s shining natural resource

Estimated read time: 5-6

SALT LAKE CITY — In a universe full of irony, one contradiction is this: Dark skies are not dark. When our sun sets at night, the “lights in the firmament” come out in the thousands, lighting the night sky.

But in the age of artificial lighting, these brilliant stars have, in many places, been extinguished by the lesser lights on Earth — incandescent, fluorescent, LED. Truly dark skies do not exist for much of the world’s population.

Yet in Utah, where Gov. Spencer Cox has declared April as Dark Sky Month for a third straight year, Utah’s dark skies still burn bright. Virtually all of Utah’s population is an afternoon’s drive away from one of the state’s 24 International Dark Sky Association-approved Dark Sky Parks or Places. In this unique place in the world, the dark skies movement continues to receive support from all sectors.

“We wish to recognize the efforts and advocacy of federal, state, local and non-profit agencies, as well as Utah’s recreation, tourism and education sectors, which make night sky opportunities in our state available for all to enjoy,” Cox’s declaration states.

Convincing the public that protecting the night sky is important, however, is difficult.

Why protect the darkness

Herriman city planner and International Dark Sky Association advocate Laurin Hoadley said the most common misconception about the organization’s movement is that “dark skies means ‘turn off all your lights.'”

Hoadley, who graduated in the first cohort of the Dark Sky Studies minor at the University of Utah, explained that the first step to reduce light pollution is for individuals to simply replace a bright light bulb with a warmer one.

“Personally, I feel like it is a no-brainer to at least try,” she said.

Astrophotographer and founder of, Ryan Andreasen, has found more success in advocating for the night sky by personal experience than by any amount of scientific persuasion.

“I’ve got to have them touch it,” he said. Andreasen regularly teaches astrophotography classes at Antelope Island State Park. Going to a designated dark sky park and seeing the night sky for one’s self, he said, gets a person out of his or her “fish bowl” and leaves a lasting impact.

However, Utah’s growing population still threatens the night sky of at least one dark sky park designation. Antelope Island State Park assistant manager Wendy Wilson has long been a champion of Utah’s night, helping her park reach International Dark Sky Association standards in 2017. She explained that ever since then, the night sky over the island has grown brighter, as evidenced by regular measurements she takes by pointing a small sensor straight up into the night.

“It is minor,” she said, but lights from growing communities to the south and north of the island are suspect.

“More development means more lights; more lights means more light pollution,” Wilson said, adding that some communities are not as good as others at enforcing lighting ordinances.

Layton, which is east of the island, has one such lighting code. A city official told that the city can only enforce the code on properties built under a specific code, but that city officials “definitely take all complaints seriously.”

We are protecting the highest concentration of accredited dark skies in the world.

–Lisa Stoner

Light pollution comes in four basic forms: glare, skyglow, light trespass and clutter. Skyglow, which washes out the stars, happens when light shines into the night sky “needlessly,” as most dark sky advocates will point out. By fully shielding, or covering light fixtures, “useful light” shines on the ground and not into the sky, according to the International Dark Sky Association website.

Once you’ve shielded your fixture, a warmer light — at 3000 Kelvins — will further help the night sky, said Wilson and Hoadley.

While Wilson and Hoadley, as well as Andreasen, each point out these measures individuals can take to help, many municipalities throughout the state have or are in the process of adopting dark sky lighting ordinances. A walk down the amber-colored paths winding through Ivins, in southern Utah, shows the fruits of their long-adopted ordinances. A survey of all residents last fall confirmed the importance of the night sky.

Torrey and Helper already hold the association’s Dark Sky Community status. The cities of Moab and Park City, as well as their respective counties, have adopted dark sky-friendly ordinances, which go into effect at the end of 2024.

How do you bring all these disparate groups together? That is the mission of the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative, headquartered at Utah State University.

“We are protecting the highest concentration of accredited dark skies in the world,” said coordinator Lisa Stoner, who added that many of those designated dark sky parks fall within state boundaries.

On April 5, the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative will host the first of four Quarterly Connections meetings, where it hopes to bring together people “ready to engage,” said Stoner, in the cause of the night sky. The cooperative also works with state and national park officials to enhance astro-tourist activities.

More than enough to share

Utah is also willing to share the night sky with others.

“We identify dark skies as an important travel motivator,” said Utah State Office of Tourism public relations manager Anna Loughridge.

This is because of the benefit that small, dark sky-friendly communities reap from visitors stopping and staying the night, so they can take in the night sky. Gas and a Snickers, Loughridge and Hoadley pointed out, turns into gas, dinner and a hotel room.

The Utah Office of Tourism has said that astro-tourism contributes to the state’s “Red Emerald Strategic Plan,” which promotes attractions that are “rarefied, distinctive, unique to Utah and highly coveted,” according to the office’s website.

“The night has a thousand eyes,” mused the poet Francis William Bourdillon, illustrating the stars that seem to blink. He continues pointing to the importance of the skies, and the sun, in particular.

While many human eyes, these days, cannot behold a truly dark sky, advocates and activists in Utah are hard at work to keep Utah’s dark skies shining.

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Sacramento Professional Headshots | Actor Portrait Photograp…

(MENAFN- MarketersMEDIA) A local California photographer has recently updated his professional headshot services for actors, models, and executives in Sacramento and surrounding areas.

Sacramento, United States – February 14, 2023 /PressCable/ –

Sacramento-based photographer, Gideon Dominguez, of Gideon D. Photography, has announced an update to his headshot services ahead of the busy casting season. With an aim to provide the best headshot experience to actors in the Sacramento area, Dominguez has invested in the latest equipment and technology to deliver high-quality headshots.

More information is available at

The photographer’s headshot services are suitable for actors looking to refresh their portfolios or those who are just starting out in the industry. With years of experience in photography and an eye for detail, Dominguez is confident his expertise can help actors make a positive first impression on casting directors.

Investing in a high-quality headshot is necessary for actors, as it is a key component of their personal brand and can help them achieve success in the entertainment industry. Dominguez is practiced at accurately capturing an actor’s unique features, personality, and essence, and his expert technique ensures that the images look professional and polished.

In addition to his actor headshot services, Gideon D. Photography also offers corporate headshots and fashion photoshoot photography. In the past, he has worked with various local businesses, from real estate to law firms to financial institutions and salons in and around Sacramento.

‘Dominguez has a reputation for delivering high-quality images that capture the true essence of his clients, and his expertise makes him a top choice for people looking for professional photography services in the Sacramento area,’ a studio representative said.

Gideon D. Photography is situated in a historic Midtown studio setting, where clients can have their headshots taken against a choice of backdrops.

About the Company

The eponymous studio is run by Gideon Dominguez who has worked as a professional photographer for over 2 decades. He has established a strong reputation for his high-quality portraits and his ability to help clients feel comfortable in front of the camera, as indicated by his numerous positive testimonials.

A satisfied client said,“Gideon was very helpful. I’m new to modelling and he knew how to help me look comfortable, confident, and natural for some great portfolio shots.”

Interested parties can visit for further details.

Contact Info:
Name: Gideon Dominguez
Email: send email
Organization: Gideon D. Photography
Address: 2114 P St,, Sacramento, CA 95816, United States
Phone: +1-916-600-2193

Release ID: 89090180

Live interview with astrophotographer Josh ‘Tinian Astro Dad’ Brazzle Saturday | Lifestyle

Josh “‘Tinian Astro Dad” Brazzle is a Marianas-based astrophotographer, a photographer who specializes in images of the night sky and deep space.  

He’s recently been capturing images of a rare green comet that last swung past Earth 50,000 years ago. Experts predict its closest pass will be on Wednesday or Thursday. 

The Pacific Daily News will be talking with Astro Dad live on our Facebook page, barring any technical difficulties, at about 2 p.m. Saturday ChST.   

You can watch the interview live at

Tinian ‘Astro Dad’ captures the magic of the night sky

Center for photography at Woodstock gets $1.5M grant

KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) will be the recipient of a $1.5 million Restore NY grant that will enable it to begin rehabilitation of its future home. Its new hub, according to a press release, will be the historic Van Slyke & Horton cigar factory.

CPW is a community-based and artist-oriented organization dedicated to illuminating contemporary culture and society through photography, a spokesperson for the center said in a written statement. In late 2021, after 45 years in Woodstock, the nonprofit moved to a small gallery in Kingston.

In its larger city, CPW has begun expanding its exhibitions, programming, workshops, and digital lab services. But this new vision entails occupying more space, hence its bid to purchase the cigar factory.

Constructed in 1907, the four-story, red-brick Van Slyke & Horton building is a 40,000-square-foot industrial space in Kingston’s Midtown Arts District. It has open-floor plans, 12-foot ceilings, and windows on all four sides, with unobstructed views of the Catskills.

In its Kingston home, CPW aims to build a new model for photography and visual art organization that is an anti-museum, anti-gentrification space. CPW will do this by meeting the needs of emerging artistic voices, and by effecting social change through innovative public events, engaging online media, stimulating courses and workshops, and provocative exhibitions and publications, according to the release.

Once renovated, the space at 25 Dederick Street will be used for exhibition galleries, a digital media lab, classrooms, community meeting rooms, staff offices, a film screening theater, and a state-of-the-art collection storage vault.

“The intended uses will create a significant cultural hub in an economically distressed area targeted for revitalization in the City’s Arts and Culture Master Plan,” said Anna Van Lenten, a spokesperson for the center. “The building is located close to Kingston City Hall and the Kingston High School, and one block away from the Empire State Trail and the newly redesigned Broadway-Grand Street intersection, a key part of the City of Kingston’s recent business corridor improvements.”

Tinian ‘Astro Dad’ captures the magic of the night sky | Lifestyle

Tinian’s skies are an astronomy lovers’ dream. With the island’s absence of light pollution, the night sky lights up with constellations and glimpses of majestic beauty.

Since 2020, astrophotographer Joshua Brazzle has refined the art of capturing photos of space.

Joshua Brazzle is shown with his wife, Mary Hocog-Brazzle, and their daughter, Ke’alohi Lani Brazzle.

Brazzle had been interested in astronomy since childhood, but he took his passion to the next level after stumbling upon YouTube videos about astrophotography, which morphed into his lockdown hobby when the pandemic prompted the community to stick closer to home.

To create his photographs, Brazzle uses an Orion 8-inch Newtonian reflector telescope, and sky view pro-mount using a DSLR camera.

The mount “tracks the rotation of Earth once you switch it on,” Brazzle explained.

Using the DSLR camera, which is screwed on to the telescope’s eyepiece, Brazzle takes numerous photos.

“So what you’re doing is pretty much taking faint light, that’s millions of light years away, and then you have to take so many exposures,” he said.

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“There’s a setting on the DSLR, usually you can take that first photo up to one second or longer, as long as you want it. The longer you take the photo, the more light you’re sucking in. For example, if you take 15 seconds of 300 photos, whatever object you’re taking a photo of, a galaxy or a nebula, or a star cluster, and then you go to your computer and edit it. It becomes clearer in detail because all of those photos are pushed into one,” he said.

He usually takes the photos from his house in Carolina Heights, but occasionally will bring his astrophotography set-up to another location for a better vantage point, or when the occasion of a lunar eclipse calls for it.

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Of the many stunning photographs that Brazzle’s produced, his personal favorite targets to capture are the Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy.

“If it’s a really dark area, like where I live, you can actually see it (the Orion Nebula) with the naked eye,” Brazzle shared.

For budding astrophotographers, Brazzle recommends using what you have — he started out using his cell phone.

“There’s certain apps and … phones are now developed to where you can do long exposures through it. For example, the iPhone, I think iPhone 11 to 14, if it’s lowlight, it’ll have a delay on it and it’ll say three second, ten second pause. It’s a similar process to long exposure, it’s sucking in more light. You just need a simple tripod and an iPhone,” he said.

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He urges everyone to take time to do some stargazing in a dark place. To fully appreciate the wonders of our island skies, Brazzle recommends downloading an app like Stellarium, an astronomy app which helps users to identify and search for certain targets.

Brazzle hopes to begin selling his photographs by 2023, and stargazers can keep up with his work by following him on Instagram at @tinianfitastrodad.

Photography exhibit offers nature scenes | Local News

Photographer Dean Traver likes to provide a glimpse of the countryside as he sees it.

Anyone can observe Traver’s work now through Dec. 30, as Traver’s display — aptly named — “Life As I See It,” is on display at First Central Gallery, located in the lobby of the Operahouse Theatre, in downtown DeWitt.

Traver, 85, who lives in Mount Vernon, said he has enjoyed photography his entire life. His dad had a darkroom and let him help and take pictures. He also developed an interest in video in the 1980s and worked in video production since 1985, including as operator of the public television service in Mount Vernon and Lisbon. That service ended with over 5,000 video programs having aired.

Traver said his exhibit at First Central Gallery is a collection of things he hopes he can capture realistically that will give him and others joy, memories and satisfaction.

“There are a lot of varied subjects, heavy on nature, landscape and scenery,” he explained.

While he still completes some video work, Traver said he is going back to photography as he “matures in his life.” 

“I go through life day by day, seeing things that have a call to me,” Traver related. “Beautiful things, special things, meaningful things, ordinary things in a different setting that I would like to capture and preserve for others to see. So, I take photographs. I see a person, thing or scene and I think, that would make a beautiful photograph, and then it’s my job to try to capture what I am seeing with my eyes.”

While he said he doesn’t have a photographic specialty, Traver said among his favorites are old buildings and barns because he says they are disappearing too fast. Traver also enjoys photographing courthouses for their architecture.

At the moment, Traver is displaying his work in five full-time galleries, including First Central. 

He hopes by sharing his work he inspires others in more ways than one.

“I like having folks enjoy the viewing, hoping to encourage them to visit some of these areas themselves,” Traver said. “And try their hand at photography. And if someone purchases one (of his photos), it helps pay for my avocation.”

Traver said sometimes he is torn between color and black and white photos. Traver loves a beautiful, colorful scene, but for some photos, black and white makes a person see the subject itself without the distraction of color … which is good, too.

For Traver, photography simply gives him a lot of pleasure; developing and printing something that others enjoy and appreciate is his reward.

Traver believes the process of creating photographs, particularly the travel involved in seeking out new and different subjects and spaces to capture, is good for a person’s mind, body and soul.

“I think it was Samuel Clemens (who) said, ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness,’” he related. “Sounds good to me. I hope folks do more … maybe it would end some of that.”