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Photo exhibit shows man's focus beyond the camera

Paul Murcko III had his interest piqued in photography quite a few years ago, with the gift of a camera from his parents.

Now, at age 64, the lifelong Fairfield resident has his artwork displayed at Sullivan-Independence Hall, an exhibit arranged though the Fairfield Arts Advisory Council.

"We have been here a couple of times looking at the artwork," his father, Paul Murcko II, said, and he approached the first selectman's office about the possiblity of hosting an exhibit of his son's work. "This is all self-taught," the senior Murcko said as he and his son oversaw the hanging of the photographs on a recent afternoon.

Because of developmental disabilities, Paul Murcko III did not attend high school, but he said a middle school guidance counselor suggested photography as a way of expressing himself in the seventh grade.

"I would love to take pictures like Ansel Adams did," he said. "He was the best."

Murcko said he started taking photos using a 35-millimeter film camera. He's used disc cameras, too, and now has moved to a digital camera.

Many of the scenes in his photographs will be familiar, taken at local beaches.

"I like to get a perfect setting," Murcko said, taking into consideration the objects that are his subject, and the colors. Sometimes, he said, he doesn't even need to leave home to find that perfect setting -- he just changes the perspective, like taking a photo of a snow covered bush from a different angle.

This is the first exhibit sponsored by the advisory committee, according to co-chairwoman Sherri Steeneck. Some of the photographs are for sale and Steeneck already has marked one as "sold" for herself.

An opening reception for Murcko's exhibit will be held Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. in the lobby of Sullivan-Independence Hall, 725 Old Post Road, sponsored by the advisory council. The exhibit will be on display through March 28.

greilly@ctpost.com; 203-556-2771; http://twitter.com/GreillyPost

Genevieve Reilly

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