County libraries present special photography event

By DIANNE MCLAURIN,

The libraries of Scott County are planning for a special event in April, as a collaborative celebration of National Library Week 2018. Pascagoula photographer Jeff Baldock, Creative Visions, is displaying his latest “Downtown by Night” series at the Forest Public Library on Tuesday, April 10. The photography exhibit begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by a presentation at 6:00. The National Library Week program is sponsored by the Friends and staff of the Forest, Lake, Morton and Sebastopol public libraries and the Forest Community Arts. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served throughout the evening.

Baldock is a native of Indiana and a resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast for 45 years. In 2014, before retiring from DuPont Company, he purchased a digital SLR camera — a Canon T31 — and began the process of learning manual settings, long exposures and landscape photography. Self-taught by watching YouTube videos and seeking answers to specific questions from other photographers, he felt prepared to begin his photographic journey. Growing up in an artistically-inclined family, Baldock soon recognized that the various aspects of photography, such as lighting and composition, came naturally. He continued to spend several hours per week mastering his technique, then upgraded to a Canon 6D full-frame camera.

Baldock’s presentation follows the National Library Week motto for 2018: Discover your passions and achieve your goals at the library. “I have a passion for photographing landscapes as well as the many shrimp boat fleets from Pascagoula to Pass Christian. I have also stopped at many small towns throughout Mississippi in my travels, trying to capture the state’s own natural scenery and unique locales. My current “mission” is to capture most, if not all, of our historic Mississippi downtown areas at night, when the sidewalks are rolled up, cars are gone and the downtown is void of people. This allows the viewer to see their towns in a new light, literally,” Baldock stated.

That new light is what caught the eye of the Scott county librarians. Forest Librarian Dianne McLaurin explained, “The four Scott county branch managers met to discuss a National Library Week collaborative program between the four branches. Mr. Baldock had donated two of his photographs for our Tour the Town program in Forest, and we were so impressed by his use of lighting. One of the librarians mentioned contacting him, and the decision was unanimous. The Friends’ groups of Forest, Lake, Morton and Sebastopol libraries, along with the staff of each branch, are now in the final planning stages of the event. The Forest Community Arts joined our partnership with their support and publicity, and everyone is anticipating the program. We hope to attract library patrons and residents throughout Scott County and beyond, as Mr. Baldock has recently finished photographing the towns of Raleigh and Pelahatchie.”

The Forest, Lake, Morton and Sebastopol Public Libraries are part of the Central Mississippi Regional Library System serving public libraries in Rankin, Scott, Simpson and Smith counties. For more information concerning the upcoming National Library Week program, please contact any of the Scott county libraries.