click to enlarge

Photo: Rick Conner

Photo by Cincinnati photographer Rick Conner featured in Lloyd Library exhibit A vision of nature through time and place.

The past meets the present in the Lloyd Library and Museum’s latest exhibition A vision of nature through time and place.

See the wonder of nature: a bumblebee perched on a flower, milky light reflecting off a stream of water, a sun-drenched dandelion and more, captured by local photographers Rick Conner and TJ Wissing of The Nature Conservancy in Ohio.

Their works will be shown on September 30 – November. 19 in the composition of FotoFocus Biennale 2022 along with historic images taken by library co-founder Curtis Gates Lloyd, who traveled the world collecting books and plant specimens from the 1890s to the 1920s. While abroad, Lloyd photographed plants in their natural habitats, including Samoa, Mexico, the Caribbean, Italy and Egypt. Despite his secular pursuits, Lloyd also maintained a life close to home in Cincinnati and on his farm in Crittenden, Kentucky.

“Lloyd’s library is just a treasure, isn’t it? There is so much history and information here,” Wissing says CityBeat. “And what we do, I have to say, is a bow to the excellence that they radiate themselves.”

Wissing goes on to explain that their part of the show ends up bringing attention to conservation work. Visions of nature similar to another one of their projects, A year on the border. Conner, who served on The Nature Conservancy’s active board and is now a lifetime heritage trustee, says the latest initiative was to raise awareness of the conservation work being done in Adams County, Ohio, at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve. The first show took place in 2018 in Loyd; the exhibit can now be seen at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

“There are so many great and extremely beautiful places in Ohio that people just don’t know about. And for me, photography is a great way to preserve the beauty of these places,” Conner says. “Through this connection with photography and the wonderful sense of place it gives, I personally hope it will allow people to become more aware of their connection to these places and then turn that connection into support.”

Wissing and Conner chose the photos for Visions of nature on the subject of “Threads of Light”. Wissing recalls one occasion when he was standing in a river as bright sunlight fell on the water; there he took pictures with longer exposure times. He realized that he had captured the sunlight creating doodles on the water. He calls this unique pattern a solar signature.

“I hope that people will see such an image and understand what is happening. And maybe one day they will look for it themselves and just find it,” Wissing says. “You can [create the scribbling motion] when you squint your eyes and sit by the river in bright sunlight and then watch what the sun does on the surface of the water.’

click to enlarge Photo by Cincinnati photographer TJ Wissing featured in Lloyd Library exhibit

Photo: TJ Vissing

Photo by Cincinnati photographer TJ Wissing featured in Lloyd Library exhibit A vision of nature through time and place.

Conner says he’s had a similar experience with motion capture. Several of his photographs also use long exposures, but emphasize the flow and bubbling of water.

“The long exposure really shows how the water moves in ways that you really don’t expect, and then it catches the light,” Conner says. “So some of my drawings reflect that. But for me it was a very intriguing thing, almost mysterious and revealed through the action of these photographs.”

The The sixth iteration of the FotoFocus Biennale includes more than 100 projects at sites in Greater Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus. All participating projects talk about the topic World recordthe purpose of which is to review photographs of life on Earth and at the same time study the impact of humanity on nature.

Visitors can expect several events during the exhibition, including an artist talk with Conner and Vissing on Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m.

Visions of nature opens Sept. 30 and runs through Nov. 19 at the Lloyd Library and Museum, 917 Plum St., Downtown. information:

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