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Local News

October 12, 2010

New book shows city in panoramic format

ONEONTA _ Oneonta is seen in a fresh perspective in a newly published book.

Photographer Stephen Joseph and publisher David Hayes joined supporters and residents during a reception at the Oneonta Theatre when ``Oneonta 360’’ was introduced Sunday.

Joseph has captured places and people of Oneonta, including school children, public servants, politicians, musicians, artists, clergy, merchants, professors and residents. They appear in public sites, homes, colleges and landscapes, all in colorful panoramic format.

``Fantastic,’’ Michelle Iannelli-Rubin of Oneonta said to Joseph as he signed a copy of the book.

``It captures a moment in time,’’ she said Sunday after a slide show of the photographs. ``It’s a great timepiece for future generations.’’

Quotations about Oneonta by residents appear next to the photographs, adding to the community-oriented spirit of the book, Hayes said.

``This has been such a great project,’’ he said. ``I’m just thrilled with the book _ it looks great.’’

Joseph, a 1971 graduate of Oneonta High School, said his photographic life began in 1965 in his father’s darkroom on Watkins Avenue. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California College of the Arts in Oakland.

In the 360 full-circle format, photographs are created from a series of images taken during a period ranging from 10 to 30 minutes, he said in a statement, and the images ``are stitched together to create an all-encompassing tableau.’’

Doug and Pat Jamieson of Treadwell appear in a photograph taken at the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts.

``It’s a beautiful book,’’ he said after Joseph signed a copy.

In summer 2008, the Martin-Mullen Art Gallery at the State University College at Oneonta presented Joseph’s work in ``Portrait of a Town: Stephen Joseph Celebrates Oneonta.’’ Hayes presented his idea about putting together a book to Joseph at a subsequent show at the B. Sharp Gallery on Franklin Mountain.

Joseph has been taking the photographs and working on the images for about eight years, and Hayes said the book-publishing process took about 18 months.

Joseph, who lives in Pleasant Hill in the San Francisco Bay area, said the photography project will continue because he plans to continue visiting relatives in Oneonta.

Some of the 2,000 books printed will be given to local nonprofits to sell, and the organizations will be able to keep the $40 cost of the publication, Hayes said.

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