Photos, wine, cheese highlight exhibit

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What: Opening reception for exhibit of photography by Lynne Garell and Dale Morris, featuring cheese and photography pairings When: 7 to 9 p.m. today Where: Vidalia Market and Vino in the Sundance Plaza Call: 875-1184

For five years, Lynne Garell and Dale Morris lived less than a block from each other in San Francisco. They passed each other at the grocery store. They sat behind each other at stoplights. They even traveled across the same region of France taking photographs in the same year. But their lives were like pendulums swinging side by side, never touching.

In 1995, fate finally got impatient with the near misses and placed a friend of Morris' in Garell's spare bedroom as a renter. Morris showed up to help his friend paint the room.

As Morris and Garell shook hands for the first time, it was like two cymbals crashing. The two lives that had been orbiting around each other for half a decade finally intertwined.

Now, the couple can't imagine their lives apart.

Although neither has pursued photography as a full-time living, Garell and Morris spend most of their free time behind the lens of a camera -- be it the same camera.

Between the two photographers, they have one working 35 mm camera, a Nikon F3.

Their differing work styles allow the camera-sharing to work.

They pick a location to shoot, and Garell shoots film while Morris wanders around with a digital camera.

"Lynn is a lot more patient," Morris said. "She just settles into it. I have to be wandering around snapping pictures of a lot of things before I find the right one. I'll take 100 photographs and look through them all. Just looking through the lens doesn't help me."

By the time Morris has found his photograph, Garell has taken a few and is ready to give up the camera and tripod.

Morris focuses more on texture than color. When he took photos in France, he came back with several pictures of stones, chosen because of their shapes and surfaces.

"I want to make you reach through the picture and touch it," Morris said.

Morris' photo of burnt aspen, titled "Getting on with it," depicts a scene that has become familiar to hikers in the Seedhouse area since the Hinman Fire of 2002. The photo is of two aspens, charred beyond recognition, standing out in a forest of other damaged trees. Morris focused his camera to show the textures of the peeling and burnt bark.

"I like those nose-to-tree shots," Morris said. "I named it ('Getting on with it') because it is just so breathtakingly beautiful to me to see something as destructive as fire, but it gives a chance (for other life) to grow. Nature doesn't think about things the way we do."

That same day, Garell took a bunch of close-up photos of wildflowers. The burn damage is absent from her work of that day.

"We see different things in the same place," Morris said. "She'll aim the camera in a completely different direction and come out with a very different photograph."

Garell has taken photos since she was a child.

"When I look back at the pictures I took with the Instamatic as a kid, I think they are different than most. I think I already had more of a clue about color and composition than your typical 10-year-old," she said.

Garell discovered her current photographic voice while still in college, studying graphic design. She was assigned to treat color as the subject as a project in a photography class. Since then, color is always her subject.

The purchase of a macrolens helped her pursue color in a somewhat abstract way.

"I see things through that lens that I didn't expect to see," she said.

After a photo shoot, Garell and Morris send their rolls of Velvia film -- each roll filled with both artists' work -- to San Francisco to be developed and then to Austin, Texas, for Iflochrome prints.

Morris and Garell moved to Steamboat in the summer of 2000. This will be their first show.

This is also the first art show held at Vidalia Market and Vino. Photos will be paired with cheese to try and wine to buy.

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