Bill Helsel On His Photographs At August ECAA Meeting

Bill Helsel will show and talk about some of his favorite photographs, explain how they were made, and discuss several different ways to make infrared photos at the monthly El Cerrito Art Association meeting at 7 p.m. on August 11 at the El Cerrito Community Center.

While Bill has made his living primarily as an architectural photographer since the 1970s, and also as a part-time adult education photography teacher since 1980, he has always been drawn to and photographed both urban and rural landscapes. In 2000 he began to work with black and white infrared film and immediately fell in love with its unique possibilities.

Beautiful trees attract him like magnets, especially the sculptural oaks that cover our local hills, and infrared helps him bring out their beauty better than any other photo process he’s tried. Greenery of any kind, blue skies, and shadows are all strongly rendered in infrared. In fact, he’s come to believe that most (though not all) landscapes that look good in conventional black and white will look better in infrared.

He does all his own processing and printing in a wet darkroom, printing on traditional fiber-based silver gelatin photographic paper.

The August 11 meeting will be held in the Garden Room of the El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with social time and a “mini art show” of members’ work. A brief business meeting is held at 7:30, followed by the speaker.

El Cerrito Art Association meetings are open to the public, and visitors and new members are always welcome. For further information about this program, contact Barbara Daniell at 510-277-6996 or