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Roman Loranc brings home his retrospective

WHAT: Photographer Roman Loranc show and book signing

WHEN: Book signing 5-8 p.m. today; show through Aug. 31

WHERE: First Street Gallery & Frame Company, 226 N. First St., Turlock

TICKETS: Free admission; book $150

CALL: 667-7332

ONLINE: www.firststreetgalleries.com

Former Modestan Roman Loranc made a name for himself with his compelling photographs of the often overlooked Central Valley.

His stunning black-and-white images of oak trees, farmland and rural back roads are included in his new limited-edition, 156-page book, "Fractal Dreams." The 20-year retrospective also features photos of churches and street scenes from his native Poland and other parts of Europe.

Loranc, who moved from Modesto about two years ago and has houses in Weed and Poland, will sign copies of the work, priced at $150, today at Turlock's First Street Gallery and Frame Company. His photographs are also on display and will remain up through the end of the month.

Loranc's previous photography book,

"Two-Hearted Oak," released in 2003, is no longer in print and has become a collectors item, said Carol Skooglund, who co-owns the gallery with her husband, Glen. It originally sold for $40 but has gone for a couple hundred dollars on the Internet, she said.

Skooglund said she was excited to get Loranc's work back in her gallery.

"I think black-and-white photography is timeless," she said. "I especially love that it's not digital and that he still uses a darkroom, which is getting to be a lost art."

Self-taught, Loranc has developed his own processes and procedures for his printed photographs.

According to a press statement, his goal is to convey a particular experience of light and to call up emotions in the viewer.

"Though his work is more often dark than not, it is not overtly tragic," the press statement said. "But there exists an underlying emotional drama, a sense of life's darker corners and saving light. There is an inescapable feeling for the tragedy and uncertainty of life, along with the poetic expression of its uplift."

Loranc has many fans in the area who enjoy collecting his prints, Skooglund said.

"We just love his work," she said. "We love what he has done to showcase the Central Valley."

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