Saturday, March 31, 2012

A night trip to Butler University ...
planetarium, landscape and Hinkle

A trip to Butler University's Holcomb Planetarium and Observatory this week made for great picture-taking, and it would have been a lot better ... if it had not been for dense clouds in the night sky.

Members of the Indy Meetup Photo Club paid a visit there Thursday as a group outing, and we enjoyed an entertaining show indoors with the slide show and constellation projector. But when we were ready to climb to the mirror telescope to look at the real sky and attach our cameras to the 'scope to take some pictures, the guide gave us the bad news about the cloud cover. Maybe for another day.

But the night didn't end for me there. The temperature was a wonderful balm, so I roamed a small portion of the campus to grab some night shots I found interesting. Most of those were taken in and around the south mall, which is fronted by three stalwart buildings -- Irwin library on the east, and Atherton Union and Jordan Hall on the west. ResCo, one of the newer residence halls, also fronts the mall, just south of the library.

When I was done there, I drove a few blocks north to Hinkle Fieldhouse (lead-off picture) to capture some after-dark shots of a place I've visited a dozen times or so in the past four years to see the Butler Bulldogs play basketball.

These shots are from that shoot.

Above: A nice backlit shadow magnification effect, not to mention leading lines, in a bench scene in the south mall of Butler University.
Above: The northwest end of Irwin Library, juxtaposed with landscaping that fronts the south mall.

Above: A couple silhoutted by the warm light along Atherton Union on the south mall's west side.

Above: Atherton Union, looking southwest in the south mall.

Above: I always try to manage at least one prone shot in a shoot. This was that night's shot, looking south toward the Phi Delta Theta fraternity on the west pedestrian path of the south mall.

Above: A bench outside Holcomb Planetarium and Observatory.

Above: A nicely illuminated tree toward the northwest end, near Jordan Hall, of the south mall.

Above: The planetarium projector. 

Above: Jupiter's red "eye," as captured from the planetarium slide show.

Above: The mirror telescope in the observatory is massive, and I included a picture-taking IMUPC member in the bottom left corner to offer some perspective. The telescope, along with the lines in the observatory dome and the telescope's shadow, also present some interesting shapes and lines composition.

Above: IMUPC member Bob Coleman inspecting the mirror inside the telescope. The staff opened the scope portal, introducing some luscious twilight sky to add some sweet blue color to this image.

Above: When it was my turn to climb the short stairs to inspect the telescope's mirror, I wanted to see if truly was a mirror in the classic sense. Sure enough; that's my camera and those are my hands holding it on the right as I took this picture of the mirror.

Above: IMUPC member Phil Taylor tries out the adaptor that connected his camera to the new picture-taking telescope that staff brought downstairs to show us, even though we couldn't use it because of the dense clouds.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Taming of the Shrew,
at its normal venue

In February, when I checked with Garfield Shakespeare Company founder and director Joe Cook about finding a dress rehearsal time when I could grab pictures of the troupe's spring 2012 performance of The Taming of the Shrew, he told me about two interesting twists to this year's show.

One twist would be that the company would open the show with two performances March 2-3 at a newly opened venue, the Sanctuary on Penn, a converted church at 701 N. Pennsylvania St., in downtown Indianapolis, before returning to its usual spring show venue, the Garfield Park Arts Center, for two more weekends of shows. The Sanctuary's owners, Scott and Berriebarbara Wheeler, had a daughter, Tempiellen Knutsen, who was a cast member in the play (she was playing younger daughter Bianca), and had welcomed the troupe to use the facility, which was still under renovation. Actually, Tempie had made her GSC debut last fall playing Ophelia in the company's production of "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark."

The other twist was that Knutsen, because of a conflict with a school activity the weekend of March 16-18, could not perform in that weekend of plays at the Arts Center. So a second "Bianca," Elysia Rohn, a college student but GSC veteran, would study and step into the role for that weekend's shows. Cook asked if I could grab shots of the show that would include both "Biancas."

In a post on March 5, you saw my pictures from the Knutsen/Bianca performance at the Sanctuary. Today's post is more pictures of Shrew, but this time at the much better-lighted Garfield Park Arts Center. The lighting alone motivated me to take more pictures I had planned when I dropped in on the Sunday matinee performance, which was the last.

That's Elysia in the lead photo at the top and seated, immediately below, in a scene with her Shrew sister Katharina, played by Susan Yeaw.

You can find a full gallery of shots from the Garfield Park Arts Center performance of The Taming of the Shrew at my online galleries at

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Singer-songwriter Ellis Paul revisits
the Indy Acoustic Cafe Series

I'm finding myself in "catch-up" mode once again, at least as it pertains to this blog. I'll start with the older shoot here. That was this past Saturday's installment of the long-running Indy Acoustic Cafe Series at the Wheeler Arts Community Center in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis.

This night's featured performer was Ellis Paul, a singer-songwriter out of Boston when he first appeared in the series in 1998. Paul now makes his home in Virginia.

He ran late for Saturday's show and jokingly blamed the recent change in time from Standard to Daylight Saving. He made up for it with his music, his passion in the performance and with some pleasant stories between songs, including one that transitioned into a cover of a Roy Orbison classic, for which he borrowed sunglasses from a member of the audience to add a touch of reality to the Orbison "look." It was the Orbison tune he was singing when I took this post's lead photo (above).

He even had a couple of audience participation songs -- one in which choreography was a key component; you'll see a shot below of audience members participating in that. You'll also see, at the very end, a frame from his last song, when he left the stage and filtered out into the audience and performed "Annalee" without the benefit of microphones and stage lights. In fact, lighting right smack dab in the middle of the crowd was almost non-existent, so I did what I'd never done before on my Canon 7D -- I pushed the ISO to its maximum level,12,800. I filtered the image through noise-reduction software in post-processing.The shot of the crowd in the front row participating in the choreography was a challenge as well. I was seated on the floor at stage right, and stage lighting drops off dramatically when it hits the crowd, even in that front row. I used aperture priority at wide open at 1250 ISO and rested the camera on my knee, using the live view fuction to compose and focus then waited till I saw the crowd movement would hit a freeze point then tripped the shutter. The shutter speed on the shot below was 1/6, not something I could have done ordinarily hand-held, even with my image-stabilized 70-200mm f/2.8L lens.

A full gallery of shots of Ellis Paul's show can be found in my gallery. For those of you who haven't dropped in there recently, I've photographed 11 shows in the Series now, so I've created a separate sub-category for them in the Music folder.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Through the Lens: Eye of the Beholder
opens to large crowd at GPAC

Saturday's reception to open this year's "Through the Lens" photography exhibit at the Garfield Park Arts Center was a pleasing success. This was the Indiana Photographic Society's sixth annual show at the GPAC -- and the second that I have been involved with.

This year's theme was "The Eye of the Beholder," and by all indications, it was the largest-attended opening in the modest history of the show. Club President Tony Carlino said he asked the arts center staff how the attendance compared to other exhibit openings, and they said Saturday's was one of the highest -- if not the highest. We had a nice ambiance this year, thanks to a string quartet from Perry Meridian High School. It easily surpassed my recollection of last year's opening, and I have to say I was even more excited when three of my children and three of my grandchildren showed up -- as did five members of the Indy Meetup Photo Club, the other local photography club I belong to. It made the evening for me.

These photos were taken from the reception; most I grabbed early on, well before the crowd reached high volume. By the time attendance peaked, I was immersed with enjoying visits from family and friends. If any of you read, please know I was very happy to see you -- and grateful you took time out of your day to stop by.

If you missed the opening-night reception, you have plenty of time to see the exhibit. "Through the Lens VI: The Eye of the Beholder" will remain on display through April 15. Admission, always free, is during normal hours of the GPAC (for location, see map on the Photo Potpourri homepage), which are 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. The center is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

And if you're out of town or can't make it otherwise, I posted the pictures I contributed to the show at my page on Facebook, Joe Konz Photography.