SARANAC LAKE — Jack LaDuke’s photographic odyssey began as a 12-year-old wanting to earn a Boy Scout Merit Badge in photography.
“I saw my first print developing in the darkroom; a white sheet of paper and magically a picture appeared on it, a picture you took,” said LaDuke, who was born in Keeseville and lives in Saranac Lake.
“It was captivating for me, and I kept on doing it. I set up my own darkroom in a family bathroom.”
His mother was not happy with the chemical stains all over the bathtub.
“My father and I built a darkroom down in the basement. It gave me better access and not ruined the bathroom,” he said.
In the intervening years, LaDuke pumped out still photography and video for a variety of media outlets.
DIGGING INTO PAST
His wife, Marina, thought it would be a good idea for him to have an exhibition. Artist Patricia Reynolds of Willsboro agreed as did Carol Marie Vossler of BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake.
“Sun & Shadow: The Photography of Jack LaDuke” opens today with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The show features 30 11-by-14-inch nature prints of the Adirondacks and the Southwest. The show runs through Sept. 16.
“Marina, she really dug back into my archives of stuff,” LaDuke said. “She pulled out some stuff I had almost forgotten about. She was a staff photographer for the Montreal Gazette. We met at Whiteface skiing a long time ago. She has an excellent eye. She’s had a couple of one-woman shows herself. She knows a lot more about gallery work than I do and had a big hand in putting this together as well as Carol Vossler.”
Images of the Adirondacks comprise 60 to 70 percent of “Sun & Shadow.” For the remainder, he turns his digital Nikon lenses on the Southwest.