October 4, 2018

Gathering Waves:
Stephen Schlegel

I’m honored and privileged for my debut show to be hosted at the Framemaker and to showcase a different perspective of Clarksville.

I take inspiration from the environment, sight, sound, smells and touch. In an atmosphere where there are great artists, I endeavor to separate myself from the crowd. If I follow others, follow in their steps, I will end up where they are going as well. So, I strive to make my own path.

Gathering waves features images created from long exposure – often longer than thirty seconds. With the shutter open, the camera collects, gathering waves of light. These lazy shutter shots give way to what we are unable to see with our eyes. In these images, I strive to make the eye smile by revealing the unseen, creating something never seen before, and show the ordinary in a fresh new way.

Supporting the long exposure images is the 1st place photograph (13 at 7) from the 2018 Riverfest Art Experience, Photography and Digital Media Professional Division. Also, the show is accented by selected digital floral prints.


Some of my fondest memories are those that involve a camera in my hand. At about the age of eight, one of my first set of shots was with a 110 camera in the late 1970s. In these shots, I placed the camera on the ground, looking skyward from a flower bed. From that vantage point I saw the bottom of the flowers; I wanted to see the world how bugs saw it.

In 1992, my first SLR was a used Pentax K1000 – I still have it. Just last spring, I shot several rolls of black and white images with it. I’m amazed how classic and timeless black and white film remains.

Starting in 1991 and after twenty-four years in the army, it was time to retire. In 2016, I took off the uniform. During the onset of retirement, I wanted to pursue a creative, introspective career in art. I thought I should get a business degree using it to support my art endeavors. During my first semester as a business major at APSU, I quickly discovered it was not for me. The business major is a story of its own; needless to say, mid-semester, fall 2016, I changed my major to a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

A little more about who I am.

  • I consider myself a traveling visual artist. Anywhere I travel I have a camera. Most recently, I have shot at Oahu, Bahamas, Italy, Aruba, Several areas in and around The Great Smoky Mountains – North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee.
  • Along with photography and digital work, I have done a little sculpting, video, and animation. I’m following wherever the creative path leads.
  • The best way to explain my work is “fun” and “experimental”. I enjoy trying different methods and problem-solving; a substantial amount of energy is given to the “what if” scenario.
  •  I appreciate the creative process. The finished work is important; however, it’s the development (often through trial and error) I enjoy the most.
  • I proudly shoot for City of Clarksville-Parks and Recreation, Montgomery County Veterans Coalition, and serve as a photo ambassador for visitClarksville.tn