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The Large-format Prints of William F. Stekl

The Structure of a Moment

Through most of the 50s, 60s and 70s, as photographer for the Middletown Press, William F. Stekl documented the everyday flow of a vibrant New England community - from building fires to high school football games and almost everything in between.  He loved it, and yet - notwithstanding the excitement he felt being as omnipresent as humanly possible to document -  there was an artist in him as well.


For a precious subset of his negatives he farmed out development in order to double or triple the standard 8x10 inch print size, to accentuate what he found sublime. He kept these large prints closeted in the house for decades - why he never set them free is an open question.


I should have asked my dad, “What are the best shots you ever took?”  We will never know for sure but let’s speculate that he would have drawn a circle around those large-format prints.


I recently assembled those mostly B&W images - thirty-plus all tolled - and had them professionally digitized. Sometimes reparation was substantial, but the photos remain pure Connecticut River Valley, and 100% William F. Stekl.  Bias has nothing to do with it -  these photos do something to me.  


It is nothing less than magical when greyscale interpretations shuttle us to harboring places where color is not a distraction.  What remains is the essence of place, the structure of a moment, the heart of a person.  When I try to imagine the perfect image - the one possessing the power to spark community - it usually starts with the idea of committing “charcoal” to paper.


Judge for yourself… click on the sun-burst image to be shuttled to William Stekl's large-print gallery. They might just be what the doctor ordered.  P

Stekl Photo Installations-Ister-2020-200-June 01, 2021.jpg

Photo Exhibition - R.V. Ister Linz


Hartlauer Photo Gallery
Bäume & Wälder
Spring 2019

Stadt Rundschau Linz-June 21, 2019.JPG

"Donau ist ein Tummelplatz für Wassersportler"
Stadt Rund Schau  
June, 2019
Photo credit: P.W.Stekl

Winner-Stekl-TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2019-_Window Shopping on Wheels_-070October142018.j
Winner-Stekl-TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2019-_A Man and his Shadow_-195October142016.jpg
Winner-Stekl-TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2019-_Consumed_-2270December15.jpg
Winner-Stekl-TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2019-_Absorbed_-1261December16.jpg
Winner-Stekl-TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2019-_Chillin_-Summer 2011.jpg
Winner-Stekl-TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2019-_Parish pw. Pope John Paul II, Grajewo, Poland
Winner-Stekl-TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2019-_Madonna Among Us_-208October262018.jpg
Winner-Stekl-TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2019-_Schlossmuseum by Night, Linz, Austria_-017Nov
Winner-Stekl-TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2019-_Gliding into Wilderness_-588February16-Edit.j
WINNER-Stekl-Hartlauer Körper & Geist-Nix & the Sculler-434August16.jpg




Winning Entries

Accepted-Stekl-_Frenetic Final Strokes, Men's 1x Final, 2019 World Rowing Championships, O
1. Winner-Stekl-Millstättersee Austria-376June202018-2.jpg
Winner-Stekl-Rowing Mag Photo Issue-003Nov2017.jpg
Winner-Stekl-Rowing Mag Photo Issue-006Nov2017.jpg
Accepted-Stekl-_Ceiling Art-Ister  Ruderverein, Linz, Austria_-1506January.jpg

Winning Entries




70. Contrast-Final LR Edits-ÖM 2021 Villach-M&W 1x Finals-001September252021-Shared Sept 2
Villach Int'l Regatta-261September082018.jpg
Stekl-Wenn Augen Ohren machen-Conspicuous Combustion-303September082018.jpg

Hartlauer Photo Gallery
"Wenn Augen Ohren Machen - Geräusche Sehen"
Spring 2018

WFS's L-fPs
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