When the Hummingbird Froze and the Still Forest Leaped into Action

Exhibit Dates: 
Tuesday, Jun. 7 to Friday, Jul. 1
Artist Reception: 
Friday, Jun. 10 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm
2nd Saturday Opening: 
Saturday, Jun. 11 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Cathy Summa-Wolfe: Hummingbirds: A Flash Ahead of Creation

Cathy Summa-Wolfe's photographs of hummingbirds were taken over several months, always at sunset, on the porch of her ranch home in the hills of San Juan Bautista, California. "After observing their antics for several weeks," says Cathy, "I noticed that the hummers were often more animated as night fell, when they fought each other to get to the last drops of nectar. Most often depicted as spritely flower garden companions, hummingbirds have a distinctly darker and somewhat menacing side. Beautiful and fierce, these tiny flying jewels soon became compelling subjects. I have printed them on metallic paper, to capture their natural iridescence, and in large format, so that the viewer might have a more intimate experience with them."

Cathy Summa-Wolfe's photography is an exploration of what she finds in nature, focusing primarily on birds and landscapes. "What I value most in the artistic works of Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Georgia O’Keefe, and Galen Rowell, among others, is their ability to inspire an emotional response in the viewer. To accomplish this I’ve honed my field technique, adhering as closely as possible to the original capture and then judiciously using digital post processing to optimize the images for display. I hope that my work inspires others to venture out and discover some of the great beauty and incredible joy that I’ve experienced outdoors in nature."

The exhibit’s accompanying sound track captures hummingbird vocalizations and wings beating between 50 and 200 times per second. The title of the exhibit was taken from a line in D. H. Lawrence's Poem, "Humming-Bird".

Cathy Summa-Wolfe is an emerging nature and wildlife photographer based in San Rafael and San Juan Bautista, California. The artistry and visual drama of her photographs stem from a passion for the beauty of nature and the wonders of avian life. Her talent for capturing evanescent moments, light, and the unique character of her flighty subjects instills her portfolio with a sense drama, excitement, and joy. Cathy’s keen editorial eye, appreciation for visual storytelling, and single-minded patience in the field is what distinguishes her work. 

Cathy’s interest in photography began at about 11 years of age when her father, who got his start as a professional photographer in the U.S. Navy during WWII, gave her a camera. Her professional background encompasses a 30 year career in graphic design, public relations, marketing and communications. She recently retired as the Executive Director of Advancement at College of Marin and is happily rediscovering the creative arts. Cathy is married to author and documentary film maker Michael Wolfe.


Cathy Summa-Wolfe — Flash Ahead of Creation, Wink, and Suspension


Larry Brenden: Expressions

Larry Brenden’s ‘Expressions’ are more about feeling the image than about seeing it. By pushing the boundaries of photography they are meant to express a mood or feeling rather than show a subject with infinite detail. Expressive images use the camera in non-traditional ways that can give the images a painterly or abstract quality.

Some of the effects used to create the photographs include camera motion with slow shutter speeds, multiple exposures, special lenses, and selective de-focus techniques. The images are printed using minimal adjustments in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Each time the camera shutter clicks some new interpretation is generated with somewhat unpredictable results. When in the field I am most successful when I can take on a fun play-like attitude. Then occasionally magic happens.

Larry Brenden — Whispering, Symphonic Dance, and Shimmer


Thank you to our sponsors!

Kenneth Meyers
Meyers Investment Group of Baird

Platinum Sponsor


Viewpoint Photographic Art Center is the proud recipient of a SMAC Cultural Arts Award grant.

Individual Sponsorships
(Luminance Level & Above)

Diane Tempest

J.B. Jones

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