Zenfolio | Dennis Stierer | About

Artist Statement/Working Method


Being a self-taught photographer who enjoys the peace of using large format cameras, a process that takes time.  What draws me to these cameras is the discipline to work slowly, one sheet of film at a time. Taking time to set the camera up, knowing that I have to compose with care, checking the light readings, to thinking about how I want tonal values to appear later in the print is all part of the process. Seeing the image upside down and reversed on the ground glass gives me another way to see the design and composition.


I have found over many years of making images, if you sit and watch the light, beautiful photographs will naturally come your way. I’m not a conceptual photographer, but rather a reactionary one. That is, I react to what I see the light doing. My photographs are about the elusive qualities of light, especially soft light. Regardless of the subject – stone, tree, building, machine, or object – it is the light that I am really trying to capture. I can be fascinated by an object and photograph it, but if the light is not right, the image doesn’t work. Each object has it’s own threshold for light and a diffuse, overcast light which illuminates without creating dramatic shadows is my most favorite light to photograph under. By being in tune with your surroundings, subjects will find you. When they do, I let the light bring them to life, to glow, and when that happens, my photograph is created. I am there to enjoy the moment, trip the shutter, and share the experience through my final print.  For me, working with a view camera is contemplation, relaxation, right seeing.


My printmaking is done in a traditional wet darkroom. Silver gelatin enlargements are made some from some negatives, while others are created by contact printing negatives of same size as the final image under ultra-violet light. Photographs made with platinum metals are exceptionally beautiful; the depth, luminosity, and extensive tonal range create a print unmatched by other printing processes.  Platinum/palladium metals are gently brushed onto fine art paper to make a print possessing marvelous aesthetic qualities, which are extremely stable and are considered to be among the most permanent prints ever made.


In today’s world of digital photography my methodology is often viewed as that of the “old school” meaning “like back in the days of the dinosaurs.” In reality, the world of photography has made enormous leaps and bounds since the first documented permanent photographic image was made in 1839 and each artist gets to choose how they want to work with the medium. There is no “right or wrong” to these choices, they are simply preferences. For my process, as long as the materials are available – film, platinum and palladium – I will continue to work in the more slow, completely hands-on way that I have chosen because it works for me to do so.



Selected Exhibits and Awards


2017 Erie Canal Spirit and Structure, Kenan House Gallery, Lockport, NY opens Aug 13th, 2017

2016 - Erie Canal Landscape: Spirit of Structure, Carnegie Art Center, N. Tonawanda,NY

2015 - Ontario Plain Group of Twelve Show, Kenan House Gallery, Lockport, NY

2014 - Ontario Plain Group of Twelve Show, River Art Gallery, N.Tonawanda, NY

2014 - Niagara Frontier Art Exhibit, Kenan Art Center, Lockport, NY

2014 - Buffalo Society of Artists Catalog and Spring Show, Buffalo, NY

2013 - Trilogy Show Western New York Artist Gallery, Buffalo, NY

2012 - Buffalo Society of Artists Catalog Show, NACC, Niagara Falls, NY

2012 - Niagara Frontier Art Exhibit, Kenan Art Center, Lockport, NY

2012, 2011 - Buffalo Society of Artists Spring Show, Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, NY

2011 - Group of Twelve Niagara Artists & Craftsmens Exhibit, Kenan Art Center, Lockport, NY

           Niagara Reservation group exhibit, Buffalo Tourism Center, Buffalo, NY

          Niagara Falls State Park Book published

2010 - Niagara Reservation group exhibit, NACC, Niagara Falls, NY

           BSA Presidents Show Indigo Gallery, Buffalo, NY

2008 - Dennis Stierer - Photographer Solo-exhibit, Kenan Art Center, Lockport, NY

2007, 2001, 1994 - Lewiston Art Show, Lewiston, NY - First Place, Photography

2006 - Trilogy Show Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, NY

2005 - Through the Eyes of Two Friends - Market Street Art Center, Lockport, NY

2002 - The Art of Photojournalism Group Show Niagara Arts & Cultural Center

1997 - Photographers Gallery Solo-show East Aurora, NY -

1995 - Frames by Ames Gallery Solo-show, Lockport, NY


Professional Experience

2017 - 2013 - President - Ontario Plain Group of Twelve

2016, 2011, 2009, 2007 - Juror - Storrs’ All High Photography Exhibit, Kenan Art Center, Lockport, NY -

2014 - Founding Board Member – Lockside Art Center, Lockport, NY

2003 - 2001 President - Buffalo Society of Artists

2015 – 2011 - Board Member and Exhibitions Chair -Market Street Art Center

2013, 2011, 2009, 2006 – Juror - Photography Show Market Street Art Center, Lockport, NY

2006 - Juror - Allentown Art Festival, Buffalo, NY

1997 & 1996 - Speaker – NFCC Regional Convention

1993 - World University Games – Staff Photographer

1992 - 2008 - Photojournalist – Greater Niagara Newspapers

1982 - 1992 - Photography Studio – Boston, MA –– Select clients ; American Tourister, Duncan Donuts,  Foster Grant Sunglasses,

Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine, New England Aquarium, National Geographic

1972 – 1992 - Commercial Photography Studio – Ft. Wayne, IN

1965 - 1972 - Education - Purdue University – Clinical Psychology, 1965-1972

1968 - 1970 - US Army

1947 - Born – Connersville, IN