Friday, April 30, 2010

An exhibit inspired:
Remembering Ernie Crowe

For a six-week period in each of the past three years, members of the Indianapolis Photographic Society -- a group of people who indulge the craft of photography -- have displayed examples of their work in an exhibit at the Garfield Park Arts Center in Indianapolis. They've used the "Through the Lens" label to identify this annual exhibit.

The society holds its weekly meetings at the center, and in exchange for doing some promotional and public relations photography work for the center, the center gives the society members wall space in its main gallery hall to display their work each year for "Through the Lens."

Saturday, May 8, marks the opening of the society's fourth annual "Through the Lens" show, and this year's is a bit special because the society has dedicated it to one of their members, Ernest Crowe, who died -- unexpectedly, according to his obituary -- on Sept. 8, 2009. He was 61 years old.

Crowe, a retired chemical research employee of Reilly Industries, held degrees in organic chemistry (bachelor's, Purdue University) and chemistry (master's, Western Michigan). The majority of his years in photography he did so in the film medium, although in his last years he did scan many of his prints into digital images. His primary interest was nature -- the zoo, flowers and, as his obituary described it, "unique life forms."

"Through the Lens: Artistically Speaking, in Memory of Ernest Crowe" is free, runs through June 23 and is accessible during regular art center hours: Tuesday through Thursdays, 2 to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 2 to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. It is closed Mondays. The center is at 2432 Conservatory Drive in Garfield Park, just south of the Burrello Family Center.

For related links:

Crowe's obituary

Crowe's gallery at the Indianapolis Photographic Society website

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tad Robinson toasts new CD

Local soul and blues singer Tad Robinson, a five-time blues music awards nominee, threw a party Friday at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis to mark the release of his latest CD, "Back in Style."

I'd photographed Tad in February at a more intimate show at Eddy's Neighborhood Bar and Grill at Geist when the ensemble was just Tad and keyboardist Kevin Anker. But on this night, Tad had his full band -- including a two-piece horn section -- and they put on a spectacular show for the partygoers.

Lighting was not the greatest; I alternated between my Canon 50mm f/1.8 and Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, while using ISO levels of anywhere from 1600 to 2000 (with the "nifty-fifty") to 3200 to 6400 with the Tamron. Shutters ranged between 1/80 for the slow numbers to 1/250 when I used the 50mm. A noise-reduction filter in post-processing helped remove a lot of the noise.

But as it turned out, the limited illumination availed me to exploiting some dramatic lighting, especially for images I chose to copy as black-and-white conversions, as I hope you'll agree from the examples shown here. I also shot a 7+-minute video in HD during a blues number in which Tad did a short harp solo, and his guitarist, Paul Holdman, had a prolonged solo. Problem is ... the video is 2.44 GB, and blogger won't allow uploads of any single video exceeding 100 MB, so I can't include that in the post. But it was of very high quality (even better than these stills!)

To see a more complete gallery from the stills shoot, follow this link: Tad Robinson at the Jazz Kitchen.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Images of volcano in Iceland

If you haven't seen many photos from the Icelandic volcano, follow this link. There are some amazing shots:

Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland

Friday, April 23, 2010

Evidence of spring

Not that you really needed visual evidence spring has arrived ...

I like to get out at least once each spring -- before the blooms on the flowering trees have been blow to smithereens -- and get shots. If I miss that, then I try to salvage my spring ritual with some shots of the outdoor spring bulbs, usually the tulips, daffodils, hyacinth or crocus in my gardens. I got my outdoor shot successfully this year, late in the afternoon of April 15, and had a gorgeous day to find what I wanted.

One of my more interesting shots was the one at the top -- taken blindly by placing the camera in the dirt at the bottom of a mound where tulips were planted, then pointed upward to catch the tulips backgrounded by the sky, enriched by a polarizing filter.

Spring's best-known weed -- the dandelion (above); below, the violet bloom on another lawn weed.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Annual Spring Bulb Show, revisited

Because I'd never led off consecutive posts with fish images ...

Actually, having the experience of one trip behind me, and knowing that the bulbs I captured last Saturday would actually open up later in the week -- and during a warm afternoon sun -- I returned to the show to capture more (and, thankfully) satisfying images, including the fish in the two koi ponds.

I wondered whether they should rename the ponds "coin" ponds, there were so many spots loaded with "wishing well" coins. Part of the challenge of capturing fish images there was positioning the vantage point to reflect the fewest amount of coins, but it was nearly an impossible task. All of the coins in the photo above, and most of the ones in the other fish picture in this post were erased in post-processing.

The bulbs -- well, tulips, primarily -- indeed were open on my return visit, and the light hit the flowers in both the glass atrium area where the spring bulbs were displayed and the tropical plant display in the temperature-controlled main section of the Garfield Park Conservatory in a most splendid way.

The image of the crocus plant below (purple bloom with orange-gold stamen) actually was outdoors, right outside the conservatory's main entrance.