“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.

2013-09-22_22.12.49

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

2013-09-22_23.02.28

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.

IMG_4126

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.

IMG_6886

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.

Advertisements

MATSURI a FESTIVAL of JAPAN (Phoenix Style)

IMG_8906

DRAGON MASK by MASKS BY ZARCO

The good people of the Photographers Adventure Club, PAC for short, hold monthly photography contests for its members.  This month, under the supervision of event organizer Evy Olivia, the contest was a photo shoot at the Matsuri Festival of Japan held down at Heritage Square Park.  I had not participated in any of the previous contests, so I thought this would be a great time to enter one, not with any expectation of winning, but as a chance to enjoy the new experience of the festival and to practice and improve my photographic skills.  On Saturday, many of the PAC members were meeting together at 10 AM to go as a group and shoot the parade.  Unfortunately for me, I had another commitment that morning and could not make the 10 AM meetup, but I did have the organizer’s number and could call her when I got to the festival and meet up with the group at that time.

Saturday morning, functioning on about 3 hours of fitful sleep, (my Medifast counselor asked “are you OK?   You don’t look good!) I finally got my act together and headed downtown.  As I was driving, my I-pod, which normally tries to make every other song a Christmas carol, shuffled a back to back selection of “Sea of Tranquility” by the Japanese trio Rin’ followed by Deep Purple’s “Woman from Tokyo”.  I thought this to be good Karmic evidence that this would be a great day.

Although there were a few bumps along the road, such as going the wrong way in the parking garage, paying $12.00 for parking and $3.00 for a Pepsi, and not meeting up with anyone from the PAC, (I decided that at 1:00 everyone was probably gone or getting ready to go)  I had a great time.  Visited some nice exhibits, met some nice people, bought some incense and a CD from the Nippon Kodo booth, sampled and purchase some Hawaiian Crispy Wafers (Cherry Vanilla) from the High-T Snacks booth.  (hightsnacks@amigo.net), and shot some decent photographs.  I sit here now, lighting the incense, listening to the CD and noshing on a Cherry Vanilla Wafer while I share my thoughts and photographs of the day.

DRUM SHOW

I normally head to the events and displays I like first, and then take in the rest if time permits. Being a drummer, the first thing I headed for was the drum show. So had everyone else. There I was with my 50mm lens getting shots of the back of people’s heads with the drummers way in the background.  I kept thinking of a play on words of a line from “Jaws”.  “We’re gonna need a bigger lens.”

IMG_8871

Many photographers are reluctant to crop their original images.  Although I agree that composition should be done in the lens, I have no guilt or shame when it comes to cropping. I will crop any image if I believe that crop makes for a stronger picture.

crop

I eventually maneuvered myself up as close to the stage as I could.  I took this picture of a drummer watching the show from offstage.  I was reminded of the lyrics “the drummer relaxes and waits between shows” by Neil Young.

IMG_8883

HERE COMES THE SUN

It was suggested to bundle up because it was going to be cold.  After all, it DID snow in Phoenix just a couple of days before.  I wore a sweatshirt, which I quickly ditched.  People found many ways to try and keep out of the sun and cool down.

IMG_8915       IMG_8924      IMG_8933

THE DRAGONS

Once again I followed the sound of drums, and came upon this performance.

IMG_8949

IMG_8974

Another example of my willingness to crop. I wanted to showcase this tambourine.

tambourine

The “dragons” unmask.

IMG_8980

One of my favorite photos of the day.  One of the “dragons” lost a flower from  his mask.  The child quickly picked the flower up and gave it back to him.

IMG_8987

The Dragon Masks were provided by Masks by Zarco

THE BONSAI DISPLAY

I would love to own and care for a Bonsai tree.  However, I know it would end up an epic fail.  I once  bought a lucky bamboo plant that promptly died.  These trees were at  The Phoenix Bonsai Society display.

IMG_9007     IMG_9019

The following photograph initially reminded me of a Japanese ink painting.  I turned it to black and white trying to emphasize that similarity.

IMG_9025

THE STORY OF 1,000 CRANES

IMG_8999

As I was photographing this display, a young woman came up to me, gave me her business card and asked if I would send her copies of the pictures I was taking.  Being an affable guy, naturally I agreed to do so.  We started chatting and I asked what the cranes were made of.  She told me they were mad out of cyanotypes.   I knew what a cyanotype was.  When I started teaching photography I had a supply of special blue print paper so I taught the making of cyanotypes until the supply was gone.  Cyanotypes are made by the placing of objects on the special paper and exposing the paper to the Sun.  Whereever the objects are, the paper stays white. The paper that is exposed to the light turns blue.. Look at the following closeup.The objects she used on her cyanotypes were feathers.  All the cranes were made out of feather covered paper.

IMG_9001

BUT, as my friend Shannon Gillis says, there’s a story…there’s ALWAYS a story.

This is not your typical high school photography class cyanotype paper.  The artist, Airi Katsuta, makes her cyanotype paper from scratch.  She takes a special type of paper, coats it with two different chemicals to make the paper light sensitive.  Once the paper is made, she proceeds with the laying on of the feathers.  All 1,000 cranes were created from handmade cyanotype paper.  For a complete look at  the step by step process illustrated with photographs of Airi making the paper and the origami cranes, click here

But the creation of the 1,000 cranes did not come about because of her desire to make a pretty wall hanging or a conversation piece at the Festival. Airi started creating the cranes after the May 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  That summer, she went to Japan intending to stay a week as a volunteer working in the village of Ishinomaki.  She ended up staying longer and was determined to come back to Japan after her senior year at ASU was finished.  She used the symbolism and importance of the 1,000 cranes in Japanese culture as a fundraising vehicle to raise enough money to go back to Japan to continue her volunteer work.  Additionally, Airi, as a photography major, used her photography skills to record the devastation and recovery of Ishinomaki.

For the full story of the 1,000 cranes and Ms. Katsuta’s efforts, click here.  To view her photographs of the village, click here.

IMG_9013

Airi Katsuta, it was a pleasure to met you, and thank you for letting me share your story of the 1,000 cranes on my blog.