DESERT BOTANICAL GARDENS

I freely admit that I am not up on current artists and trends and all of that.  I had know idea who Chihuly was or the artwork he did until my friend Shannon Gillis raged about how much she hated going to the Desert Botanical Garden’s and how much she hated Chihuly’s work.  As I had no prior knowledge of Chihuly or any vision of what his work looked like, I viewed Shannon’s rant with much amusement.

As it turned out, I and the wife took a trip during Christmas break to the Desert Botanical Gardens and the Chihuly exhibit.  At the risk of sounding trite and corny, I must say I was blown away.  Chihuly’s work is really great.  And as impressive as it is, what I really found outstanding was the organic quality of his work.  The works were designed to reflect the environment of the Gardens.

Here a few of my favorite images from that visit.

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For more of Chihuly, click here.

CHIHULY UPDATE: I am including this photo just to show the sculptures climbing up the mountain.  And they were lit up at night.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR – BELATED…

January 6 was my birthday.  I got a few belated birthday wishes and cards, which is cool with me.  I sort of set aside January as a birthday month.  I enjoy the greetings and wishes whenever I get them.  So this is my belated New Year’s blog.

 STRESSED  I celebrated my uniform number on January 6.  Being a man of a certain age with a few health risk factors, I found myself scheduled for a stress echocardiogram test on the 8th.  I will tell you that I wasn’t looking forward to this test. With my brand new endocrinologist reminding me a few times on my first visit that “I am no spring chicken”, and the fact that I am, and I quote Jack Reacher “slower than the U.S. Mail”, I was not looking forward to running on a treadmill.  This is all added to my biggest fear of doctors, the fact that one day they WILL find something wrong with you.

So the test day comes.  I do a little stretching for the first time in 7 years, and I am ready to go.  This test is a little more advanced than just a regular stress test.  The assistants do an ultrasound of the heart while you are resting.  Then it is up on the treadmill to get the old heart rate up to some insane level for 6 minutes, then on the table for another ultrasound.  Easy Peasy.

I get done with the first ultra sound and then hop up on the treadmill.  About every 3 minutes the tech elevates and speeds up the treadmill.  I am pretty sure by the time I reached the last speed, Usain Bolt could not have caught me.

Back on the table for the ultrasound.  Having just won the Olympics, I am breathing quite hard to say the least.   I really enjoyed the part where the tech said “breath in a little and hold your breath.”  If I had any breath I would have said “you got to be kidding me.!”

The best news was that I am not on my way to a quadruple bypass, but that my heart is healthy and everything is normal.  Pretty good way to start of my uniform year.

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MY 2013 FAVORITES  The are arranged in the order they were taken.  Just a few of my favorites from the year.

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Shontionn and Maria’s Engagement Session:  They are now expecting their first child.  Congratulations kids.

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Matsuri Festival: I met this remarkable young woman and photographer at the Matsuri Festival.  She and her sister Riho are now on a 31/2 month Peace Boat Cruise.  Last photo she posted to Facebook was of her planting a tree in Madagascar.

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Sergio Portrait Session:  A head shot I did of former student and aspiring comedian Sergio.  I think he regrets having me do this.  Every time I see him I demand “make me laugh, funny man!”

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Nilza’s Senior Portrait Session:  She is currently rocking the college life at NAU.

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Down Syndrome Day Picnic: My first DSNetwork event.  A few of my photos even made some of their literature, which is kind of cool.  I have been one of several photogs at two more DSNetwork events.

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Jason and Katie Engagement Session:  Now enjoying a wonderful married life.  I love their posts and updates on Facebook.

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Hazel Maternity Session: Hazel, my favorite banker.  Now enjoying time with her new son.

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Customer Appreciation Session: Vonn and Jana at Vonn’s Customer Appreciation Day session.  They did all the hard work, I just got to have fun taking pictures.  My kind of day!

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Jason and Katie Wedding: Jason and Katie on their wedding day.  One of their favorites, which makes it one of my favorites.

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Blanton Family Session:  I like this one because the light hit the waterfall just right to turn the background golden.  I wonder if the architect knew this would happen.

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Aaron and Sarah Maternity Session: They went from being told they could never have children to this blessed turn around in their lives.

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Hana and Michael Engagement Session: I am looking forward to shooting their wedding in March.

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Barsness Family Session:  This is the cutest picture of Avery.

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Wojahn Family Session:  The two boys were just the best kids to photograph all day.

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Aaron and Sarah’s Sam:  Had to pick this as a favorite since I did the maternity session.  What a cutie.

MY FAVORITE CANDID  I freely admit that my favorite type of photography to capture are the candid photographs.  They capture, I believe, the true essence and spirit of the moment.  In this candid, bride Katie insists on giving groom Jason a piggy back ride.  I captured this picture just at the moment that Katie realized they were about to do a face plant into the dusty surface of Sahuaro Ranch Park.  Classic.

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FINAL THOUGHTS 2013 was a good year for me.  I took photographs of some marvelous people.  Poole Photography continues to grow.  I am looking forward to great 2014.

I would also like to thank the staff of John C Lincoln Heart Institute.  They were the ultimate professionals and were a calming influlence for a patient who definitely made it clear that he wanted to be anywhere else but at the testing site that morning.  Fine people.

I hope everyone who reads this has a great year and God’s blessings.  And for those who don’t read this post, I wish all these good things for you too.  You just don’t know that I did.

Tim Poole is a retired high school teacher who has started Poole Photography LLC as his second career.  He enjoys doing wedding photography, especially small, DIY weddings.  Tim also is a monthly blogger for the Photographer’s Adventure Club website.