The Marcia Policar Gallery Presents: Photographs by Randy L. Rasmussen

By: Krasimir Karamfilov

January 24, 2018

Anemone flower

During the month of February, The Marcia Policar Gallery at The Art Institute of Portland will exhibit the photography of Randy L. Rasmussen, a photography instructor in the Media Arts program at The Art Institute of Portland.

This exhibit is unique because Rasmussen created the photographs on display with experimentally adapted lenses for his 35mm Canon digital cameras. Using commercially available adapters, he connected a wide range of lenses, originally intended for Exacta, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax cameras, among others.

In addition, Rasmussen creates adapter combinations that allow him to use everything from a slide projector lens to a turn-of-the-century cinema lens to both medium and large format lenses. This is possible because the lens-to-sensor distance of the Canon DSLR is one of the shortest of all contemporary digital cameras. Most easily-adapted lenses were designed to be in focus at a greater distance from a sensor (or a film plane), allowing for the addition of a carefully-calibrated adapter.

Such lens experiments appeal to Rasmussen for their serendipity of low cost and high quality. “Typically, the lenses I like are available at thrift-store prices and yet they often represent the pinnacle of lens design and glass quality,” Rasmussen said. “A premiere Nikon lens, made in the 1970s, might now cost me a couple hundred dollars, but I have also found off-brand lenses of incredible quality for as little as five dollars,” he explained. In contrast, Canon EOS lenses can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars apiece. “I can sample the look and feel of these different optics for a lot less money,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen has spent most of his career working as a photojournalist, beginning with his hometown Montana newspaper when he was 16 and continuing to a 35-year career at The Oregonian. In addition to teaching, Rasmussen is a freelance photographer, doing both editorial and commercial work. He and his wife, Cinda Hugos, live in Lake Oswego where they have cultivated a garden “studio” for Rasmussen’s lens experiments.

Rasmussen can be reached at or More of his photography can be viewed at

The public is invited to the opening on First Thursday, February 1, 2018, between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

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By: Krasimir Karamfilov

January 24, 2018

photography Digital Photography