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Stoll finding beauty in the small things

Auburn photographer celebrates macro show
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Susan Stoll finds delight in the details. “Quite often I’m not looking at the thing everyone else is looking at,” she said. The longtime Auburn resident finds beauty in the up-close observation of seemingly ordinary things. “It could be leaves on the ground, it could be anything,” she said. “Mostly everything I’m drawn toward are things people might not take the time to notice.” See what strikes her fancy by checking out Serenity, a photography exhibit opening today at the Arts Building Side Gallery in Downtown Auburn. The show includes black and white digital photography featuring macro botanical images of everything from a camellia snapped in Stoll’s yard, to an unassuming dandelion dusted with dew. “That’s something that most people find a weed,” Stoll said about one of her favorite among the 13 photos on display in the exhibit. Stoll said she’s always had an interest in art, but she’s ready to take it to the next level. “It’s mostly been a hobby that I’m now ready to move forward,” she said. Stoll also enjoys working with water colors, pastel and color pencils, but she and her Nikon D200 are the perfect pair these days. “When I’m out taking pictures, I lose all track of time,” she said. Most of the photos in Stoll’s exhibit have been captured in the last year. She shot all the images in color, but opted to process them black and white. “I like black and white for flowers because most people think of flowers in color, and this gives them a different feel,” she said. Many of the objects Stoll photographs could easily fit in the palm of her hand, and blowing them up to poster-size proportions is a way for Stoll to show viewers just what it is she loves about her small subjects. “I think they’re so beautiful, and making them large format, it really makes you notice them,” she said. Shawn Baldwin, PlacerArts program specialist/ gallery manager, said there “aren’t many artists more professional than Susan Stoll.  “On every level, creatively or business-wise, she makes sure her i’s are dotted her t’s are crossed and is not afraid to use every available resource to assist her in doing so,” Baldwin said of Stoll. Baldwin is impressed with Stoll’s Serenity exhibit. “I had only seen one of her prints when she proposed her show to the gallery committee,” she said. “Now that I see it hung in its entirety her artwork is absolutely stunning. What she captures in her photography are the finer details of our local botany that I’m sure the majority of us never take pause to appreciate.” __________ In the Know What: Serenity, a photography exhibit by Susan Stoll When: Exhibit opens today and continues through Feb. 19; artist’s reception to be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 Where: The Arts Building Side Gallery, 808 Lincoln Way, Downtown Auburn Hours: Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays Info: www.placerarts.org