Through the camera lens: photographer speaks on art


Master Photographer Jay Stock exhibited a sample of his life’s work on Sept. 29, in the Gentile Gallery at Franciscan University.

With the aid of his three daughters, the 90-year-old photographer displayed various images of a diverse range of subjects that he had captured through the years. One group of people portrayed in the exhibition was the Amish community, whom Stock described as “great, kind and gentle people.”

Other images included steel and coal mines as well some pictures of a religious nature. One of the latter was a picture of an image of the Madonna and Child in which Mary was miraculously weeping.

Stock also presented rare black-and-white photos that have been sought after by museums. These photos were printed on silver gelatin paper, which Stock’s youngest daughter, Georgette Stock, said “have a silver fix on them.” She explained that due to restrictions by the Environmental Protection Agency this type of paper can no longer be obtained in America because of the chemicals it contains. She and her sisters had to wear gloves to handle the photos in order to protect them from the oil in their hands.

Stock works solely with film and not with digital photography. He said, “Do I do digital photography? No. Do I own a digital camera? No.” He said that scanning a film photo produces an 85 percent better image than scanning a digital photo.

Speaking from decades of experience, Stock advised young, aspiring photographers to “just play – if you don’t play, you’re not going to go anywhere.” He said that mistakes are necessary for learning.

Junior Tiffany Lengyel attended the talk with her parents and her grandmother Anna Lengyel, who is Stock’s first cousin. Tiffany grew up seeing Stock’s pictures in her grandmother’s home and received a book of his work for her high school graduation. Anna said, “He’s just a very nice man, kind-hearted.”

Stock, a native of the Ohio Valley, is an internationally celebrated photographer. Some of his numerous accolades include membership in the Photographic Hall of Fame and receiving the Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsmen Degrees and the Professional Photographers National Service award from the Professional Photographers of America.

Stock is also a fellow of the American Society of Professional Photographers, the British Institute of Professional Photography, and Britain’s Royal Society of Arts. He was the first photographer to have his work on display at the United States Capitol Building.

He is currently working on producing a book about the Amish as well as books devoted to his photography in Africa and his photos of coal miners in South Wales.

Stock’s appearance on Franciscan campus was part of The Rose Defede Lecture Series presented by the Academy of Lifelong Learning at Franciscan University. The Academy’s chorus performed prior to Stock’s presentation, singing a senior citizen themed version of “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things,” in which items such as false teeth and walkers were substituted for the original list. They also invited the audience to join them in singing, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

Jay Stock’s work can be viewed at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *