Photography

Sweet Tooth Show - Select PNW Exposures on Display at the Nutty Squirrel in Magnolia by Ian Hameroff

Starting today, a selection of some of my most popular photographs will have an opportunity to be your proverbial cherry on top of a wonderful, sweet treat sojourn to the PNW’s very own Nutty Squirrel Gelato shop in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle.

This award-winning proprietor of “expertly crafted...local-centric Italian ice cream” also extends their hometown artisanal flavor (see what I did there?) by welcoming in featured local artists to exhibit in their locations. I was fortunate enough—thanks to my long-time friend and fellow visual artist Sydney Davis—to be invited to hang a number of my exposures in one of their four locations for the month of August.

Building off my successful show—“On Black and Blue”—last Fall at Stretch and Staple, but sticking to a more local(ish) theme, I tapped into my catalog to put on offer exposures I’ve captured in the PNW.

All wrapped and stacked for the journey to Magnolia.

As I shared in my “about the artist” placard displayed at the Nutty Squirrel:

The Pacific Northwest (PNW) offers an amazing array of subjects, from natural beauty, to signature architecture, to even the most common place objects. This exhibit features selections from across the PNW, captured during the period of 2009-2017.

PNW exposures hung up around the awesome Magnolia Nutty Squirrel Gelato shop, as known as “Nutty HQ”

I am also using a mixture of media: a number of canvas prints, a few metal prints (which really make things pop!), and a couple of prints I matted and framed.

Canvas prints. Metal prints. Framed prints. And, a bag full of tricks to get them all up on the windowed walls of the gelato shop.

Here’s a sampling of a few of the exposures you’ll see if you swing by:

  • Portico Ceiling (24” x 16” Canvas print) - I captured this exposure while visiting the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, WA in August 2014. I personally love this shot. It’s a great reminder that the best view may not be the most obvious one or right in front of you. In this case, you’d need to look straight up as you stood outside the entrance of our state’s Legislative Building. The depth and detail can really draw you into the photograph.

  • Pike (18” x 12” Metal print) – Capture in 2009 at the Pike Place Market, and is part of a larger series of nighttime neon signs I photographed. On the advice of the guys at Stretch and Staple, I printed this one on metal, and boy does it make it pop! The blues and reds stand out, and the subtle reflection gives it a three-dimensional feel.

  • Greenwood Sunset (10” x 8” Framed print) – A more recent print of an exposure captured whilst looking off the back side of our house in 2013. I printed these on luster photo paper that added a bit of relief to the image. The texture combined with the colors makes it almost appear to be an oil painting. I paired this one with a similar shot from a different time of day to show off the natural beauty of the PNW.

These three along with the rest of my displayed works are available for purchase.

If you find yourself in “the Village”—as Magnolia’s business district is know to the locals—please do swing by and let me know what you think. You can find the Nutty Squirrel at: 2425 33rd Ave W Unit: B, Seattle, WA 98199

 

"On Black and Blue" - A Photography Exhibition by Ian Hameroff

For weeks, I’ve been preparing for my first significant photography exhibition hosted by Greenwood’s triple threat—print shop, art gallery, and now micro-brewery—Stretch and Staple. This prep included settling on a theme, selecting the right exposures, getting feedback on the set, deciding the materials and dimensions to print said selected photos, and then ultimately pricing the individual pieces.

In parallel, I spun up a variety of marketing and awareness generating efforts with the goal of getting a good-sized crowd to the big event.

Then finally—after initially getting the invite by the Stretch and Staple crew on July 23rd—the big day arrived yesterday (Friday, September 14th). My first major shindig would be featured among other shows and showings of the September edition of Art Up PhinneyWood’s art walk.

I arrived at the shop about 30 minutes before the metaphorical kickoff of the event at 6p. I found Taylor McAtee and Vishal Goklani putting the finishing touches on the seventeen photographs that would comprise my “On Black and Blue” show.

Vishal hangs the last of the photographs

Taylor and Vishal survey the spread

I was awash with a mix of feelings: Amazement and awe upon seeing these pieces printed on the mix of metal and canvas, as well as anxiousness about whether or not these exposures would have the impact I hoped for during the show. It didn’t take long to see my gallery wall complete.

My exhibit ready to rock!

Will all of the pieces hung just right, the crew at Stretch and Staple shifted gears to readying their bar. My show would also serve as a soft-launch of the gallery’s recently launched micro-brew venture: Snapshot Brewing. Having these tasty and super fresh libations made the evening even more fantastic. I’d recommend the Golden Hour Pale Ale and the Low Key Stout.

Now, it’s official!

And, before I knew it, the crowds started to come through. I was both humbled and stoked to see so many of my friends and colleauges make the journey from near and far (in some cases nearly 40 miles!) to see my art.

I was also touched and humbled by the kind words and reviews of the various pieces. It was such a blast and really hope the positive vibes continue as my exhibit remains on display at Stretch and Staple for the next 30 days. Which means if you missed last night’s show, you can still swing by and see the set at time that works best for you.

A great crowd throughout the entire evening. (Photo Credit: Vladimir Petrosyan)

A huge thank you to everyone—those I know and those just passing through as part of the art walk—for taking a few minutes to check out my stuff.

And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t again thank Taylor and Vishal of Stretch and Staple for the opportunity. Thank you!

I’ll do a separate post soon with a little more detail on each of the exposures that were shown, including some background based on the questions I received by folks during the event. Stay tuned!

Patterns in PDX by Ian Hameroff

The recent Labor Day holiday afforded us an opportunity to sneak south to our Cascadia neighbor for a long weekend. Only a few hours away by car--or a few extra when traveling with a 9-month old--Portland offered an opportunity to take out my trusty FUJIFILM X-T2 and capture a bunch of exposures.

Always looking for ways to catalyze creativity when on a photographic walkabout, I set off looking for "interesting" patterns in the buildings, facades, and environs of the downtown. Like most such endeavors, you start off slow, tentatively releasing the shutter once or twice, but then chimping repeatedly to see if there's anything in what you've shot. Fortunately, between going bananas photographing my daughter and finally getting a chance to air out my FUJINON XF50-140mm F/2.8 lens meant it didn't take long to get going.

Here are a few samples of the exposures captured during this excursion.

Curtain
"Curtain" - An onimous scene is cast upon the hotel room window by this quasi-transparent cloth.

Curved
"Curved" - Downtown PDX buildings can create the illusion that diamonds turn into oblong shapes.
Armor Plates
"Armor Plates" - Places along Willamette River waterfront presents interesting subjects.

In and Out
"In and Out" - Portland parking places presents photographic possibilities.

Mirrored
"Mirrored" - Sometimes the object you seek is hidden in another.

Shadows and Steel
"Shadows and Steel" - Beneath one of the many steel structures that gives Bridgetown its nickname.

Ruled
"Ruled" - Modern buildings are lined (or ruled) from bottom to top.

You can see the rest of these in a (mostly) black and white series on my portfolio site.

 

 

SAVE THE DATE: Upcoming Photography Exhibition on September 14th! by Ian Hameroff

I'm pumped to announce and share details about an upcoming exhibition of my photography on Friday, September 14, 2018.

This exhibition will feature a selection of 15 or so exposures I captured during shoots in Seattle, Vancouver, Hawai'i, San Francisco, Montreal, Florida, Austraila, and Brazil. I've grouped these photographs under the theme "On Black and Blue". More on that in a moment.

This exhibit will take place at Stretch and Staple--an awesome Greenwood neighborhood professional photography gallery and canvas printing company--as part of the September "Art Up PhinneyWood" art walk.

cropped-artupchowdown_header1.jpg

This event marks the first show of my work in more than 2 years. The last one was the 2016 Microsoft Art Collection Employee Art Exhibition where my photograph "Broken" was one of 29 artwork pieces shown out of nearly a 100 submissions from Microsoft employees around the Puget Sound.

With this being my first exhibition of more than just one photograph, I spent a bunch of time trying to think through a theme to help make my "curation" a little easier (or, at least make the exhibit a bit more organized vs. random). Working off a portfolio of more than 2,000 photographs (some okay and some great) it's super important to have some kind of game plan. 

I chose "On Black and Blue" based on two factors.

First, there's been a recent set of black and white (and, sepia) exposures I've assembled that I've really, really love. Not to be narcissistic or anything, it is just that I truly enjoyed looking at these photographs...and I was also fortunate to receive lots of positive feedback from others.

For example, this shot below (titled "A Tavern View") was captured while my oldest friend was visiting us here in Seattle last summer. We happened to stop at a downtown Seattle pub for some lunch while I was taking him around for some sightseeing. I captured this shot with my trusty FUJIFILM X-T2 (did a little work in Adobe Lightroom) from the table while we waited for our burgers and brews:

A Tavern View

Second, I've always had this fascination with taking singular objects or subjects, and capturing them on the deep (and sometimes not so) blue sky. While oft a rare sight here in the PNW, you do get some neat views like this one from 2009 outside of our city's famous Pike Market Place:

Pike

So, for this show, I married the two "concepts" and it's hopefully something you'd find engaging, as well.

Here are the specific details of the event:

Add To Your Calendar

And, to stay up-to-date on this event, as well as all things related to my photography, just follow my new @HameroffPhoto Twitter. I'll keep posting updates over the coming weeks as we get closer.

See you on September 14th!

Journey to the Kamokuna Lava Viewing Area by Ian Hameroff

Editor's Note: I fully acknowledge that a long time has passed since my last post. In addition to the normal "excuses" of not having the time (especially after the recent birth of my daughter), I found myself having to resurrect my site and blog from the metaphorical dead. During this excused-laden period in 2017, I failed to properly heed several warning emails from Microsoft that made it very clear that the underlying database flavor I ran my Azure-hosted WordPress site was going to be deprecated. Instead of doing a backup and restore of my site's content to the new recommended database platform, I lost all it all when the MySQL DB was dropped. I was heartbroken. And, it was all my own fault. No one to blame, but myself. Considering one of my past roles at Microsoft was communicating these types of end-of-service events to Office 365 admins, there was a little bit of irony in play. While I did lose a bunch of posts, I luckily did not lose my FIFA World Cup 2014 adventures journal. That would have been way harder to swallow. Fortunately, I had a prior export/backup of all of these World Cup Brazil posts. I just finished spending a month rehydrating the XML transcripts into this new personal website. I'm going to be a little more careful moving forward, for sure! On to the topic.


In August 2017, my wife and I traveled to our most favorite place on earth: the Big Island of Hawai'i.

While we had just visited Hawai'i a few months earlier, this trip had an extra-special meaning for us. It would be our babymoon. Our last hurrah before both the later stages of my wife's pregnancy and then the arrival of our daughter would make such trips difficult.

One of the benefits of having visited the Big Island as often as we have, is we've experienced Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park from several different perspectives. The wife and I have hiked across Kīlauea Iki, made several trips down the Chain of Craters Road by car, marveled at the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater during the day and at night, and even flew over Halema'uma'u and Puʻu ‘Ō‘ō by helicopter.

The only thing left was to witness the amazing--and amazingly destructive--force of nature of the active, flowing lava from Kīlauea as it met the Pacific Ocean. 

To accomplish this "bucket list" entry, we strapped on our hiking boots, grabbed some bottles of water, flashlights, my trusty FUJIFILM X-T2, and did the 8-plus mile roundtrip hike out to the Kamokuna Viewing Area

The trail from the end of Highway 130 to the Kamokuna ocean entry viewing point

The trail from the end of Highway 130 to the Kamokuna ocean entry viewing point

Oh, did I mention my wife was 6 months pregnant?

She was! And, in way better shape than just about anyone on the trail.

After conferring with the fine NPS volunteers on the best route to take, we embarked from the NPS visitor center and made the long drive down Pāhoa-Kalapana Road (Hawai'i Route 130) to its bitter end. We found ourselves at a highway terminus that was one-part parking lot, one-part bazar, and one-part base camp for the adventurous thrill seekers wanting to walk (or bike) 4-plus miles each way to one of Mother Nature's most awesome displays.

At the Start of the Lava Viewing Journey

Maura and I set off with about an hour prior to sunset, with the expressed goal of reaching the end of this trail in time to see the lava fireworks (in all of its glory) in the dark. This also meant that we'd be returning to our quasi-basecamp in the darkness. Luckily, we wouldn't be the only ones. Between those traveling by foot, on bike, and the occasional East Rift Zone local passing by in their dust cloud generating pickup trucks, the hike to the lava ocean entry viewing point was not a lonely one.

About 3.5 Miles to Lava

The trail we followed was nothing more than heavy machinery compacted earth; the byproduct of a fairly recently cleared path after a prior, early 2000s flow wiped out the original, paved roadway.

A quick aside: we were very sad to learn during a prior trip that the relatively famous "Road Closed" sign (shown below from a visit in 2010) was now gone. A victim of the federal government's bulldozers tasked with craving out an escape route in the event Pele (the goddess not the futebol god) decided to unlesh more lava flows. As you've probably noticed, this indeed happened earlier this year.

Road Closed.

While a flat and smooth path, the terrain that bordered each side of our two car lanes wide trail was anything but. In addition to the blackened fossilized lava flows hugging both sides of our route, we passed by the heroic (or insane) homes built by the off the grid citizens of Kalapana Gardens. This "neighborhood" was built atop 40-60 feet of "new earth" that covered the buried remains of the original subdivision that was erased from the map after a series of flows in the 1990s. I didn't take any photos of these homes out of respect for (or fear of) these folks. But, it would be fair to say some of these homes/minor compounds looked more like favelas for ne'er-do-wells than handcrafted outposts for these resilient pioneers.

Reaching the End of the Trail, as the Lava Reaches the Sea

After several miles, we began to see the white, fluffy steam plume created as super hot molten lava crashed into the cool waters of the Pacific. And, with the day retiring well into dusk, we also saw little balls of fire on the hill to the north. This was from the active flow peaking out of lava tubes feed by Puʻu ‘Ō‘ō.

A Safe Distance

A few minutes later, we found ourselves at the end of the path. National Park Service Rangers directed the throngs of visitors to head left, but to watch their step. We were left to negotiate the undulating surface of once flowing lava frozen in time. 

Standing on the East Rift Zone a short ways from where active lava flows into the Pacific Ocean

Standing on the East Rift Zone a short ways from where active lava flows into the Pacific Ocean

It didn't take long for our efforts to be rewarded.

Dusk and Glow

As if controlled by Disney's famous Imagineers, the full power of Pele illuminated the sunsetting sky, But, it was mere tease to what we'd see once the darkness of night enveloped our view.

Volcanic Plume and the Sea

As if it was possible to visualize a verbal argument between two waring parties, the effects of Tūtū Pele venting Puʻu ʻŌʻō into the Pacific Ocean was intense. 

Reds.

Oranges.

Steam.

Anger.

And, at the same time submission.

No matter how powerful, hot, and vicious the lava may have been on the surface, it was ultimately no match for the waters of the ocean. 

It almost gave new meaning to the ocean's name. Pacifying liquid earth and turning this raw material into newborn land.

Plume

The hundred or so witnesses that stood with us all remained in the silence awe often invokes. The darker the nighttime sky, the more pronounced the colors. 

Soon, our community began to relax. A pair of French visitors tried in vain to capture an Instagram-ready photo, with one of them attempting to employ forced perspective to create the illusion of her companion's ability to hold the volcanic plume in her arms. After several attempts, they finally resigned to the fact that neither the iPhone's camera nor the lighting conditions would yield the desired result.

Maura and I stood in our euphoric trance for nearly an hour, before deciding to navigate around the French duo, a lady who hiked the same distance with a very long lensed Canon DSLR, a South Asian family that had a disagreement that boiled over to the point of the patriarch leaving his wife and two disobedient sons behind, and gaggle of tourists all attempting to locate a trustworthy patch of ground to stand witness themselves. 

Red

With this literal hellfire in our rearview, we set off to retrace our path back to our rented car at the makeshift basecamp from which we departed hours before. Suddenly the 4-plus miles (all in the dark, sans the occasional passersby on foot or bike with their own flashlights) return felt like 40 miles.

After arriving back at our car, we collapsed into the seats and prepared for the long journey back to our hotel on the other side of the island. Even though I was throughly exhausted from a very full day, the images of what we experience fueled my desire to get back to our so I could immediately examine my exposures in Lightroom, and relive the whole experience again.

São Paulo Street Art: In Batman's Alley by Ian Hameroff

São Paulo, Brazil is a very diverse city offering everything one would expect for a place that's nearly 600 square miles and home to more than 11 million people. Amongst its most interesting features is the "grafites" (or graffiti) that's sprayed on many a building across the city.

Much of this appears to be nothing more than a strange street dialectic that looks almost alien, like an ancient race had landed and scribed their proclamations at across the tops and bottoms of building facades. But the prevalence of "Pixação" shouldn't overshadow the real "street art" you can find almost everywhere--welcomed or otherwise--along the ruas and avenidas of São Paulo.

In fact, there are some places where this artwork can found in an ever evolving "open air gallery" that is like a living organism of aerosol spray, crafty designs and an array of messages--often a mix of political, societal and artist ego. One such place, called Beco do Batman or "Batman Alley", exists in the Vila Madalena neighborhood.

Late Morning Along Beco do Batman

Beco do Batman is a fantastic place to visit.

White Tree House

It is really alive and ever changing, as evidence by the total lack of any trace of the art from the last time I was there in 2008.

As an aside: I had one of my photos from that prior visit featured in a photography show and it still remains one of my most favorite captures I've ever made.

Just like I did in 2008, I took my trusty Nikon and captured about 50 or so exposures. I would have liked to have taken even more shots, but it was a super busy day all along the alley. At least four groups were taking pictures at a various points, including some that look like either a professional shoot or students from the same photography class asked to complete an assignment in this rich location.

Beco do Batman's popularity was further bolstered by all of the "gringos" in town for the World Cup and after it was featured in the in-flight magazine for (at least) TAM Airlines. Just a few moments after we made our way out of the alley, a car stopped us to ask for directions to the site.

Beco do Batman

There is no particular rhyme or reason to the spray painted canvasses that are basically the back walls of the various houses and buildings that line the alleyway. Oh, this is an active thoroughfare, as we had to step aside many times to allow cars to travel through the one-way connector.

Não

A lot of the art here is created by some of the better known graffiti artists, like "Não" (which means "No" in Portuguese). And, it seems like there is a lot of respect for the art of others, as few of the "pieces" are corrupted by over-spray from other works.

The following is a sampling of photos I took during this most recent visit (NOTE: the titles are my own for the pictures and not the original artist's. Hope the original artists don't mind my interpretation of their work.)

"Eye See You"

Eye See You

"Hulk"

Hulk

"Rising Sun"

Rising Sun

"Cow Trance"

Cow Trance

"The Beast"

The Beast

"Ghost"

Ghost

"The Conversation"

The Conversation

"Face"

Face

As you've likely noted, the diversity of the artwork is incredible. Different styles. Different messages. Different subjects.

You even get the occasional protest or activist tag amongst the other works.

The Best Protest

The loose translation: "Not consuming is the most powerful protest"

And, the street art is not just confined to the alley called Beco do Batman.

Grafites Parking Spot

It can be found all around Rua Gonçalo Afonso, like this driveway less than a hundred yards away from one of the ends of the alley.

I really loved a few bits of graffiti a little further away from Batman Alley, like this fantastic work I've called "Falando":

Falando

And this one that looks like the artist's rendering of Q*bert.

Q*bert's Garage

I have a bunch more shots from our trip through Brazil for this year's World Cup Finals. I hope to get through the nearly 1,000 exposures before the next World Cup!