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The Man Behind the Camera

Year after year, Patrick Hinely, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1973 and has been the school’s photographer since 1980, has been publishing his favorites in the Annual Fund calendar.

A selection of those works, “Photographs from W&L Calendars,” is now on exhibit in W&L’s Kamen Gallery until Dec. 15, and there will be a reception for Patrick at the gallery on Oct. 7 at 5:30.

The exhibit features 25 images, going back to the first W&L calendar (1979–1980), including five film originals among 25 digital prints. While some of these views could also be on postcards, Patrick prefers to think of them as “tableaux for longer-term visual edification, a set of photographic meditations about our National Historic Landmark campus, hoping they are not only moments captured but also timelessness distilled.”

He believes images can speak across decades and evoke enjoyable recollections and a feeling of ongoing connectedness to W&L, and need not have any further agenda.

“The calendar reminds us warmly of this place, as much a place in our hearts as in more tangible dimensions,” he said. “It’s odd to think that some of the views seen here are already gone forever, and while all of these moments are gone forever, it is reassuring to realize that there will always be more, long after we are no longer here to see them.”

While he often hears others say that he sees things others don’t, Patrick noted that we all see the same things. He just notices them: “This is a place like no other, and I am glad to be able to share some of my glimpses of its beauty with others who love this place as I do.”

He added, “Alumni of all ages have told me how particular images have spoken deeply to them, some saying they’ve even framed a few of their favorites. I always thank them for their kind words, and tell them I hope to do better next year. So that’s what I’m doing here: framing a few of my favorites. I hope to do better next year.”