“ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE…”

The primary purpose of this blog is, well…me!  Me promoting my photography and my business in the attempt to gain clients.  In fact, most website experts say not to blog about anything which isn’t directly relevant to advance Poole Photography and its business ventures.  But as those who know me well can attest, sometimes I just can’t always keep the color between the lines.  So fair warning, this post isn’t about me, my photography or gaining clients. Nor am I posting samples of what I humbly consider  brilliantly stunning images that I have photographed of weddings and brides, graduates, families and even sunsets.

Today I want to share the work of others and post about the photography exhibition I attended  last Friday.

RESILIENCE

I have written about Airi Katsuta and her 1.000 origami cranes and her photography show “Resilience” in these blogs here and here.

I was honored with an invitation to the reception of the latest showing of “Resilience” that was held at the Academy Theater at the Junior Drama Club Academy in Phoenix.  This time however, Airi graced the show with the addition of a few of her fine art and fashion photography pieces.

As her documentary photographs capture the emotion of the situation in Ishinomaki, Japan, Airi’s fashion and fine art images show the creative and fun side of her photography.  My favorite of these is her series called “Globophobia: Fear of Balloons.”  To see this series, click on this link.

To see all of Airi’s work that she has posted online, please click here, here, and here.

THE VENUE

The reception and show was held at the Junior Drama Club Academy which is located in downtown Phoenix.  It is a theater club for boys and girls 10-17 that not only teaches theater skills but life skills.  I got to spend a little bit of time talking Jeanna Delfin and Robert Joseph Gates, the two representatives of the JDCA that were in charge of putting the exhibition on and they graciously answered my questions I had about the JDCA.

The Academy has been in existence for 8 years but has just moved to the new location.  It serves about 20 members.  In talking with Ms Delfin, she really emphasized to me how the Academy  taught more than just theater craft, but also concentrated on teaching these young people life skills that they could take and use to help them be successful in their future endeavors.  Mr. Gates explained to me how the building was an old liquor store.  He personally did all the renovations such as building the stage and the lobby and rigging the lighting.  All on his own time and without funding.  It was obvious to me that these two are very passionate and committed to the ideals and values of the JDAC.

I also met two eighth grade young ladies who are members of the group and were serving as greeters for the evening reception.  I talked to them for a bit about the club.  I got the impression that their involvement is a huge deal to them in their lives.  Even as they go into high school which has theater opportunities for them as well, they told me they have every intention of staying involved with JDAC.  Trust me, having dealt with teenagers for 31 years, and finding very few of them passionate about anything, I could tell that these girls had a passion for JDAC.  The Academy must be doing something right.

I have given you a brief glimpse at the Junior Drama Club  Academy.  In my own words as I remember my conversations.  But the group itself puts its mission statement and beliefs much more clearly on its Facebook and Website.  So for the full, and better story, check these links here and here.

POST SCRIPT

One of my favorite photographs that night was a head shot Airi took of her cat, Whiskers.  I asked about the making of the image.  She told me it was done with window lighting and a point and shoot camera.  Hmm.  It seems that great images CAN be captured with something other than a Canon Mark 5D iii camera, a Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens and an off camera flash.

And since another golden rule of a photography website is to include pictures…here are a couple of cat photographs I have taken.  Enjoy your day.

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One of my favorite music boxes.  If you have cats, you, you understand.

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Amelia is very camera shy.  It is almost like trying to capture an image of Big Foot.  When she sees me reach for the camera, she immediately runs away to one of her favorite hidey holes.  I just took this snapshot of Amelia while writing this post.  Notice the eyes.

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Hilary has no such phobias about getting his picture taken.  He will wait for as long as I am taken pictures, basically hoping that somewhere in this process a snack will drop very close to his mouth.

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Got lucky once and was able to get this photo of them together.  Amelia is looking for the closest exit, Hilary is looking for the snack.

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THE MEMORIAL

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While I was walking around the park during my sunset session I noticed I was coming upon a park bench with what looked like litter on it.  As I got closer, the litter became dead flowers.  So I took a closer look.  It turned out to be a memorial bench.  As I continued around the part I found a couple of other memorial benches with flowers and cards on them.  What struck me about these memorials was the fact that the flowers and cards had to have been there for several days, which means the grounds keepers and the park guests were respectful of these memorials and left those items alone to be the tribute that someone had left for a lost friend or loved one.

I don’t get to parks much, so this may be commonplace at neighborhood parks, and ho hum news for most people.  But for me, it was very touching.  Just thought I would share.

DUCKIES AND HORSIES

While I am between jobs, I have started to participate in a few photography challenges on Facebook.  They are kind of fun and definitely stimulate my creativity.  They remind me somewhat of assignments that I used to hand out when I taught photography.  For example:  photograph yellow.  Shoot the assignment.  Think outside the box.

Before I continue on with the blog, take a look at this photo.  What do you see?  No sharing answers or looking at your neighbor’s paper.  Or texting the answer.

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Last week’s challenge was to submit a picture of the sunset.  Letting my procrastination tendency run wild, I finally went out to shoot the sunset on Friday the 13th.  By the time I got to my “secret sunset location”, I was too late. (photographers’ always seem to have a “secret location”.  I don’t have one, but it sounds cool to say it),  The sun had gone below the horizon.  That sucker sinks fast.!  The results were pretty dismal. This is one of the semi-best of a poor sampling.

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On Saturday, I made myself leave an hour earlier,  I returned to my double secret sunset site,   There was also an extremely interesting cloud formation that I felt might give me the opportunity to get some above average sunset images.

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As the above image shows, I got there in plenty of time.  I was able to take advantage of the cloud formation with the bright sun shining through.

While scuttling around the park trying to get several shots from different vantage points, there were  a couple of song lyrics running through my head.  “Waiting for the Sun” is an all too obvious lyric from the  Doors song of the same name. The other lyric was from Led Zeppelin’s “Battle of Evermore.”

“Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the eastern glow.”

Yes, I am aware it is talking about “the sunrise”, but I am granting myself a little  artistic license in this case.

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I also took the opportunity to experiment a bit.  I had hoped to get the sunset reflected in the water, but as it turned out, the best sunset shots were on the other side of the canal and the bridge was not close to where I was shooting, meaning I couldn’t easily travel back and forth.  I chose to stay on the side that gave me the best view of the sunset.

I came away very satisfied with the overall quality of my sunset series.  I was able to track and photograph the sun as it dropped down under the cloud cover to its’ descent below the horizon, creating all those wonderful colors that make up our outstanding Arizona sunsets.

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As the original plan of shooting the reflection off of the water was not an option for me, I came up with the  idea of photographing the reflection of the sunset off of the windows of a nearby office, just to add a little touch of creativity to the session.

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I am pleased with my sunset session.  I do not normally shoot landscape photographs, so this was a bit out of my comfort zone.  I am glad I took the challenge.  I will share more of my favorite images from this session on my Facebook gallery.

NOW LET’S TAKE OUR ATTENTION BACK TO THE FIRST PHOTOGRAPH.   HAVE YOU FIGURED IT OUT?

Charles Schulz, the creator of the comic strip Peanuts was a genius.  I loved Peanuts growing up and I bought every book of Peanuts compilations that I could.  One of my favorites strips had Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus laying on a hill gazing at the clouds.  Lucy remarks that shapes could be seen in the clouds.  She asks Linus what he sees.  Linus replies that he sees the map of the Caribbean, a famous sculptor, and the stoning of Stephen.  When Lucy asks Charlie Brown what he sees, he replies, ” I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind.”

My friends and I began using the term “duckies and horsies” as a catch phrase for things that are relatively unimportant or frivolous compared to other life events going on in the universe.

And with that HUGE hint, I hope you saw the same thing I did… a duck!

While waiting for the sun to go down, I did amuse myself by taking several photographs of the many ducks that inhabit the park.

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Now this may seem like “duckies and horsies” to you, but I thought it pretty cool of Mother Nature to arrange having a “cloud duck” for me to photograph as well as the live ones.

In the interest of full disclosure, my friends and I always use the term “duckies and piggies” for the last 40 some odd years.  I was surprised when I looked up the strip today that the it actually said “ducky and horsie.”

Finally, in the context of larger events, I am sending my prayers and good wishes to the Navy Yard victims and the Colorado flood victims.

To see the actual comic strip by Shulz, click here.

“Waiting for the Sun” words by Jim Morrison/music by the Doors.  Copyright Doors Music Company

Battle of Evermore Writer(s):   James Patrick, Robert Plant.  Copyright: Flames Of Albion Music Inc

THROWBACK THURSDAY: THE LEGEND LIVES ON

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The above photograph is one I took as a very young lad.  Those of you that grew up in Arizona will recognize the performers as Wallace and Gerald of Wallace and Ladmo fame.  The photograph was taken at Legend City, an attempt in the early Sixties to re-create Disneyland in the desert.

We decided to make the trip to Legend City the first year it was open in 1963.  From Prescott it was a 100 mile trip to the fun park.  I remember we left very early in the morning, so early that the sun was just rising when we got to Phoenix.  I also remember getting my dad getting lost on the one way streets in downtown Phoenix.  The other thing that stands out in my mind about that morning was the smell.  To get to the park we had to pass the stockyards,  Fortunately, the smell dissipated by the time one got to the park, except on the occasion of the wind blowing to the east, then one could catch a whiff of the yards over the smell of fried chicken at one of the parks food booths.

Of course the day is a blur of fun and fast food and soda.  The big highlight of the day was seeing Vonda Kay Van Dyke and her ventriloquist act at the the Golden Palace Saloon.  For those who don’t know, Vonda Kay took that act and became Miss America in 1965.

My second and last trip to Legend City was when I was in junior high and a mediocre drummer in the junior high band.  We took a trip down to Legend City and marched down Main Street with other school bands.  And on a school day, too.

Legend City never became a success.  I suspect a lot of it has to do with being located in a desert.  Riding a roller coaster in 110 degree heat can’t be all that fun.  It eventually closed for good in 1983.  Salt River Project offices now sit where the City once stood.

Legend City did have a 50th anniversary celebration in June of 2013.  The Legend City website can be found here.