Award-winning photographer shares tips for success

Eric Alper featured Artist in Residence at Lamar Soutter Library

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

June 08, 2012

The vivid landscape pictured here is one of the photographs in the exhibit “Nature, Landscapes and Life” by Eric Alper, on display in the Lamar Soutter Library.


The latest exhibit of the Lamar Soutter Library’s Artist in Residence series at UMass Medical School features photographs by Eric Alper, MD, professor of medicine. “Nature, Landscapes, and Life” is on display through Friday, Aug. 31.


Photography is a hobby for Dr. Alper, but his award-winning pictures are far from amateurish. “I was inspired by early successes to continue to develop photography as an art,” he wrote in his artist’s statement. “I hope to evoke a reaction, whether this be through the warmth of familiarity, calmness or beauty.”

Alper first started taking photographs 20 years ago, with subjects ranging from local favorites like the Old Stone Church in West Boylston, to the rugged landscape of Acadia National Park in Maine, to the sun-drenched beaches of Belize. Landscapes are complemented by close-ups of flowers and butterflies; all are drenched in color and compositions are simple but strong, making the photos as striking when viewed from a distance as they are at close range.

“I enjoy photographing nature and landscapes, and colors, shapes and patterns,” Alper noted. Beginning with the beauty found in nature, he often enhances and, in some cases, significantly augments his images with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, making pictures that are as creative as they are beautiful. Images printed on canvas take on painterly qualities while retaining the sharp detail only photographs can capture. Some photos are untitled, while for others the titles invite a second look, such as “Sunflower Love,” in which closer examination reveals a naturally occurring, heart-shaped outline in the flower’s center.

A highly respected faculty member and clinician, Alper is a graduate of the School of Medicine who also completed his internal medicine residency at UMMS. He became the first hospitalist physician at UMass Memorial Medical Center in 1996, a role he continues in to this day. He also serves in a number of medical education and hospital administration roles, including director of the UMMS medical error and patient safety interclerkship, and medical director of the inpatient electronic medical record systems for UMass Memorial.

An artist’s reception will be held Monday, June 11, at 5 p.m. The reception will feature “Improve Your Photography,” a talk beginning at 5:30 p.m. in which Alper willshare knowledge gleaned from his ongoing efforts to refine his art through practice, reading, sharing on the web, and a series of courses.

To see more of Alper's work, visit