[Image City Photography, 722 University Avenue, site of the 50th anniversary exhibit of Camera Rochester. Photo: David Kramer, 2/18/21.]

I met Dr. David Kotok at the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton a few weeks ago.  Since then, David joined Talker  as a subscriber (good move) and today ups his game with a report on the 50th anniversary celebration of Camera Rochester.

2/3/21. Dr. David Kotok and his wife Wahyu Dilts {Photo: David Kramer from Tracking the prints of a deer on the Highland Crossing in Brighton


“YOU NEED TO GET A HOBBY!” said his wife.  But being a retired noodnik [Yiddish-low level, chronic irritating person] is not the only reason to join a camera club.  For me, I joined Camera Rochester several years before retiring.  After my retirement ten years ago, I had much more time to devote to my lifelong interest in photography.  The club provided an opportunity for hands-on learning with a diverse group with shared interests.  Now the club is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a juried exhibit at Image City Photography Gallery.



Image City Photography Gallery, established 15 years ago at 722 University Ave in the Neighborhood of the Arts [NOTA], is the only private art gallery in the Finger Lakes region devoted solely to photography.  It is owned and managed by partners Dick Bennett, Steve Levinson, Gil Maker, Don Menges, Luann Pero, Betsy Phillips, John Solberg and Sheridan Vincent.  Jim Patton, David Perlman, and Gary & Phyllis Thompson; Artists in Residence, are also regular exhibitors.  Wall space and movable panels are also rented to guest exhibiting photographers. Every four weeks is a new exhibit with multiple artists, providing opportunities for over 200 exhibitors every year. The Camera Rochester show is #203 for the gallery.  Admission is free and guidelines for physical distancing are observed.  Management of such a large volume of shows, artists and pieces of art while open six days per week is a labor of love for the partners.

(left) Loretta Petralis, Ubein Bridge, Myanmar; (right) Joseph Niles, Orchids In Bloom

(left) Nikhil Nagane, Morning Mystery; (right) Marie Costanza, Swirling Crystal Gerber

Before the pandemic, Camera Rochester met every 2-3 weeks with critiques by professional judges, lectures, social gatherings and exhibits.  The past year we have had our work judged and critiqued online; all arranged by Lisa Cook [president] and Dennis Adams [vice president].  Meanwhile Marie Costanza has been creating a beautiful monthly newsletter to keeps us in touch and give us ideas about creative  projects.  We are looking forward to resuming a fuller in-person schedule when safely possible.

Full details about Camera Rochester can be found at CameraRochester and Image City Photography Gallery. The exhibit is open February 23-March 21, 2021.  A virtual reception is being planned with details available by calling the gallery.

David Kotok – Hosta on Fire

Personally, my club membership and affiliation with the gallery have been a great resource for learning the artistic and technical aspects of photography, and meeting interesting people that share my interests.  I may deny being a noodnik but my wife might disagree.

David Kotok

Editor’s note

In the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle archives, I found several articles on Camera Rochester.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (left) 5/4/87 Dan Neuberger, a Camera Rochester award winner, made this photo on Kodachrome 64, copied it and made a black-and-white posterized print. This print hangs in the Ward Gallery, Sibley’s downtown; (middle) 10/18/87 INTRODUCING Tom Sergent, 45, is into clubs and photography in a big way. He is president of Camera Rochester and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Camera Clubs and is a member of the Kodak Camera Club; (right) 1/11/96 John Williamson’s Floating Leaves, one of Camera Rochester’s 1995 Winners’ Competition

David adds:

Camera Rochester [CR] and Image City Photography Gallery [ICPG] have a long and  close association.  Most past and present gallery partners are or have been club members. This archival photo from the D & C shows the work of Dan Neuberger a founding partner of ICPG and an early member of CR, and of John Williamson.  Dan and John both served an active leadership role in CR until their recent deaths, and are sadly missed.  The “Dan Neuberger Gallery” at ICPG memorializes Dan.


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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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