Author Archives: jwallacephoto

Upcoming Class: Intro to Travel Photography

I am happy to announce that I will be teaching a seven-week course on travel photography!


You want to remember the places you’ve traveled, the experiences you had, the emotions you felt, and the new friends you met along the way. You want to share your photographs with your friends, and they will be interested in traveling too. Whether you’re planning a trip overseas, or a local trip to a neighboring town, this class is for you.

When & Where:

  • March 2 to April 20, 2017
  • Thursdays 5:30pm to 7:00pm
  • Stillwater Public Library (12th and Duck) in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Class Itinerary:

  • March 2 – How to see in a world of sensory overload
  • March 9 – The camera and its fellow gadget friends
  • (March 16: no class – Spring Break)
  • March 23 – Photographing Nouns: People, Places, Things
  • March 30 – Photographing Ideas: How to Shoot the Invisible
  • April 6 – Photo development. “It’s like cooking; you need good ingredients.”
  • April 13 – You’ve got a bunch of photos. Now what?
  • April 20 – Recap and discussion

Cost is $89

(…through 5:00pm February 18. Late enrollment cost is $109.)

This course is offered by Oklahoma State University’s College of Arts & Sciences Outreach program.

Enroll here:

>> <<

I look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in Tutorials

Paseo Gallery One – February 2017

I am proud to announce that my photography will be on display at Paseo Gallery One in Oklahoma City for the month of February.

Stop by for the reception: Friday, February 3 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.

It is part of the First Friday Art Walk at the Paseo Arts District, when the whole neighborhood opens up with a lively display of new work.

If you need the location, here is the Google Maps link, or head to the Paseo Arts District and look for this charming Spanish building (among the many):


See you there!



Posted in Gallery Events

2016 Ponca City art festival review – “this year, it’s travel size”

in fact, I have two of them

here’s the big picture.

Until now, I had never done a show the size of a food court.

I had heard good things — especially that’s it’s been going on for 40+ years. This show definitely has potential, it’s in good proximity to Stillwater,  the city involves stories of old oil money. And since OCCC closed up shop, I needed a show to take its place.

Concerns from the start

looming in the distance...

looming in the distance…

June, 2016: I couldn’t find the application. I didn’t even know whether the application deadline had passed. I thought I was on the right track when a Google search for “Ponca city art festival” returned a bunch of hits. I went into robot mode: download the application, print it, fill it all out, double-check that I filled it out correctly …and just as I’m getting out a stamp to mail it, I discover that the application was for 2015 instead of 2016. I went back to Google, and sure enough it’s “2015” all over the place. I eventually found their Facebook page, which had the current application.

Early July, 2016: I still didn’t know whether I got in.

Late July, 2016 — first clue: They deposited the check for my booth fee!

August, 2016: nothing.

First week of September: Every other art festival is good about communicating what’s going on: how to apply, notification that they received your application, whether you got accepted, and then the “where’s and how’s” of setting up before the show. I didn’t get jack, and it started to worry me. So, I called them. They said I got in, assigned me a booth number, and read me the setup details over the phone.

So far, the experience wasn’t matching the rumors that had preceded this show. With this show claiming that it is one of the oldest art festivals in the state implies that “we’ve been around a long time, so you can trust us that we know what we’re doing.”

Setup Day

setting up with great light

setting up with great light

Since their website was the only thing I had to go on (there was no “welcome” mailing), I just drove to the address listed on their contact page, hoping that the show would be nearby. Sure enough, the show took place in the front yard of the Soldani Mansion.

When I pulled up, a handful of booths were already there. (Maybe the bulk of the show was going to set up the next morning. We were expecting nasty weather that night.)

As I walk up to the building, I see a couple posters in the window: my booth number and a map. I’m booth 19.. out of 32.

32 booths? Only? This epic festival which is taking place in the yard of a mansion has been reduced to a paltry 32 booths? What is happening?

I go inside to check in. For an old building, it’s in very good condition. The assistants seemed organized and hand me a welcome packet. The packet says I’m “booth 20″… That’s when Lance interviened. (I was booth 19, ignore the 20.)

The explanation was revealed: this is a transitional year

Lance is their new Director, and he just started in late June. That timeframe is when all of the behind the scenes stuff for the show would have been finalized. But as soon as he told me that the Ponca City Art Center is under new management , I had flashbacks to when I was with the Multi Arts Center in Stillwater. From that point forward, all of my concerns dissolved. It caused me to accept the situation and switch from the concerned mindset of “What the hell would a 40+ year-old art festival be doing making rookie mistakes?!” to helpfulness “New management makes it seem like a new art center! Welcome, Lance! I’m here to enjoy what’s great about this show, and help out where I can!”

The show must go on!

I finished setting up, and helped out my neighbor (and fellow photographer) Vernon Hatley. He and his wife Beth invited me to dinner, and we went to a place called the “Rusty Barrel.”

we ate in an alleyway

we ate in an alleyway

Given that the directions to this place involve the phrase, “go down the dark alley and take your first left”, I would have likely avoided it if I were on my own. I’m glad I didn’t. It was pretty good. I wasn’t exactly enamored with their steak marinade (I’m of the “salt, pepper, grill until it stops mooing” mentality), but the overall vibe was great. Very smooth place.

A couple raindrops were hitting just as we left the parking lot. Here comes the front.

The wind immediately spiked to 40mph and I went to check on the booths:

we're getting wet, folks!

we’re getting wet, folks!

Day 1 – The next morning

it's just a little wet dirt, right?

it’s just a little wet dirt, right?

The show:

it was "spacious"

it was… “spacious”


turnout was kinda..

The turnout was the expected response based on the limited nature of the marketing & advertising push for the show.

And somehow out of the blue, I got this:

it's a major award!

it’s a major award!

In conclusion,

Lance, I look forward to a refined organization for next year’s show!

thankfully, a passerby helped my load that last crate

thankfully, a passerby helped my load that last crate

Quotes overheard at the show:

  • “Did you do these with optics?”
  • “All of these can’t be photographs??”
  • I was standing at the side entrance of my booth chatting with a potential customer, when suddenly a woman nudged me, working up just enough energy to mumble ‘scuse me’ as she pushed around me, stopped in the booth, looked around and belted out, “WHERE’S THE LADY WHO TOOK ALL THESE??!”
Posted in Art Festival Reviews

2016 Golden Colorado art festival review – “Being in a different state”

Why did I go and do such a thing?

  1. I was curious.
  2. September was empty because the OCCC art festival is gone, and I was on the waitlist for Wichita.
  3. My annual trip to Italy generally takes place in May, slap bang over the top of Mayfest /Blue Dome and Paseo. If those are out, then fall shows it is.
  4. A friend lives in the Denver area — “free” lodging!

Some of my stuff doesn’t make sense there

This is Colorado, and they know nothing about the OSU campus. So about a third of my portfolio spent some time at the Arts at 317 gallery in Shawnee, Oklahoma. (Shawnee is the birthplace of Brad Pitt.) I don’t have any mountain shots… Colorado has trees and things, right? So, I scramble and print photos of trees. (heck, I dunno.)

Powering through the Kansas Coma

a study in geometry
There’s ordinary highway hypnosis, but I-70 west of Salina is some next level stuff. Imagine all the landscape things that you get bored of seeing in Oklahoma — rolling hills, patches of trees, another little town, and so on. If you wished it all to be gone, Kansas will not only oblige but become an overachiever: There’s ground, road, sky. It’s as if the video card ran out of memory and couldn’t render anything but the basics.

Your brain automatically generates thoughts. You try to contain some thoughts going by, but there’s nothing for them to bump into — no hills for them to roll over, no trees or telephone poles for them to get snagged on — they smoothly whip around and taper toward the vanishing point in your rear view mirror and disappear in rapid succession. The speedometer says 80mph, but without a mote of dust to break the monotony, the landscape seems to lie still. The GPS map requires several pinches to indicate any sense of place, and Kansas reveals itself to be the dormant area lying between memorable experiences.

Arrival: Midnight or 11am?

Point 4 (above): One of my friends lives just northwest of Denver. “Come up to Interlocken, make a left onto Interlocken drive, turn right onto Interlocken circle, go through Interlocken road, and wonder why the hell they ran out of street names.”

The next morning: set up at Golden!

Golden is a blanket fort made of rock. Check in was pretty smooth, even though I was pleasantly distracted by the scenery:


with a tour group!

My booth location. I had a view of the mountains, but this was pretty crappy:

I don't want to know what's behind door number two.

I could watch my booth from the throne!

My neighbors and I each took turns going to the check-in booth and reminding them that the toilets were too close for comfort.

Eventually: success.

but everybody's a winner in colorado

we won!

I forgot to bring my hat, and had to buy another:

“fashion hat” lol

The show

Strong turnout, perfect weather, stunning scenery, and good sales given that I’d never done this show before.



Outside the show:

The hardest part about doing an art show in Colorado, is that you’re in COLORADO. My home state of Oklahoma does not have this:


..or this:


..or this:


..or a very good selection of this:


and other stuff.

Anyway, in conclusion

Very fun! I’ll do it again!

Posted in Art Festival Reviews

Sad News — Arts Festival Oklahoma at OCCC is gone. :(

It’s no longer sustainable:



I can’t bring myself to just sit around the house that weekend. I’ve done that show so much (since 2009) that it will take every fiber in my being to keep from instinctively going and setting up my tent, despite their field being empty.

About their decline in attendance: Why couldn’t they just move it to a different weekend? Due to cosmic reasons outside of our control, Labor Day weekend in Oklahoma has exceeded 100F nearly every year for the past decade. And when I would mention this show to anyone, they would respond with something similar to, “It’s a good show, but it’s so hot!” It didn’t matter if I was talking to a fellow artist, or a potential customer, heat was the major complaint.

I really wish they could re-tool it. Different weekend? Does it need the large circus tents? Could it use a smaller stage? Could we have it indoors — their new Performing Arts building has a large atrium.

OCCC, I’m gonna miss you.

Posted in Art Festival Reviews