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Posts Tagged ‘photography blog’

Photographing Tarik Currimbhoy’s Kinetic Sculpture

August 7, 2017 2 comments

I have had quite an adventure lately shooting my friend architect/sculptor Tarik Currimbhoy’s wonderful kinetic sculptures.  The works I have been photographing are tabletop size, sleek forms in stainless steel and bronze called Rockers.  The trick was to convey movement.  I shot some video, which will be on Tarik’s website http://www.tarikcurrimbhoy.com in due course.  The challenge was to photograph these elegant pieces, which are narrower at the top, in a way that would convey movement.  First I shot stills of the various versions:

But  Tarik needed photographs to use in print materials.  I experimented with various sorts of double and triple exposures, and I think I nailed it!

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My Historical Archives Part II: FDR to National Park Service Resource Center

July 8, 2016 1 comment

Over a five-year period, I made thousands of photographs of sculptor Neil Estern creating the full-round statues of President Roosevelt, Eleanor and their dog Fala for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Park in Washington, DC. Dozens of the images were reproduced in the book Shaping A President: Sculpting for the Roosevelt Memorial, written by Kelli Peduzzi; and a large group of black & white darkroom prints and color photographs appeared in solo and group exhibits across the United States. (Many of these images are on my website.)

I followed Estern working on this historic project as he sculpted the tiny maquettes and larger scale models in clay in his Brooklyn studio, enlarged them in clay at Tallix Art Foundry in Beacon, NY, and supervised the many phases of bronze casting.   At each stage of creation, I was struck by the forceful personae emerging out of inert substances. Neil’s concentration was total. The figures, even in armature form, seemed to interact with him and appreciate his perfectionism.

I felt like a fly on the wall. I endeavored to illustrate the unfolding emotional relationship between the sculptor’s artistic intensity and the complex personalities of the President and First Lady emerging from armature and clay.

The Memorial Park was inaugurated in May 1997.

Last summer, I contacted various government archives to find a home for my archives. I was thrilled when they were accepted by the National Park Service. Their offices and storage facilities are located in Washington, CD and Maryland, where objects related to the monuments on the National Mall and Memorial Parks in this area of the country are preserved.  Here are the materials in my studio before I packed them up:

I still retain the copyright, however, and sets of exhibition prints.  My husband and I drove to Maryland earlier this year to deliver them to Curator Laura Anderson.

Archive Bldg

Me with Laura

The next day we were given a tour of the facility by Tom Sonderman, Director of the NCR Museum Resource Center,. It was fascinating.  Along with historical documents, there were objects left at the Vietnam Memorial by visitors, furniture from historic homes and all sorts of interesting ephemera.

I am honored that these historic materials – negatives, slides, darkroom notes, work prints, shooting diary, etc. are now part of this wonderful archive, where they are available to the public for research and exhibitions.  2017 will be the 20th anniversary of the monument park and there is talk of an exhibit.  Meanwhile, I am on to new projects!

iPhone in the Snow

February 7, 2014 2 comments

We have had a snowy winter here in NYC.  It was messy underfoot on Monday, but beautiful above, so I took out my iPhone and began to capture what I saw:

Broadway and 95th Street

Broadway and 95th Street

On the way to the subway.

On the way to the subway.

Subway entrance on Broadway and 96th Street.

Subway entrance on Broadway and 96th Street.

View from The Ground Floor Pilates studio.

View from The Ground Floor Pilates studio.

Later, outside of CVS at 96th and Amsterdam Ave.

Later, outside of CVS at 96th and Amsterdam Ave.

Photo Album: Post #5 Jacmel 2013

June 14, 2013 1 comment

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Here are a few that might fill in the blanks left by my reporting:

The fact that Art Creation Foundation for Children offers three meals a day to its youth is very very important.  Here is where money for food goes:

Sorting beans for lunch

Sorting beans for lunch

Kids enjoying lunch.

Enjoying lunch

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Dining area

Dining area

And here are more photographs of what the children are learning and accomplishing:

Mosaic vases

Mosaics are used to create vases out of bottles.

Another shot of the photography group.

Another shot of the photography group.

Students doing homework after school.

Students doing homework after school.

Group working on papier mache projects.

Group working on papier mache projects.

The work is painted.

The work is painted.

Paper can be glued to a mask base.

Paper can be glued to a mask base.

A fabulous mask

A fabulous mask

A colorful vase.

A colorful vase.

The showroom in our new building.

The showroom in our new building.

A mosaic design begins with a sketch.

A mosaic design begins with a sketch.

The mosaic pieces are cut and glued to mesh.

The mosaic pieces are cut and glued to mesh.

The tiles are cemented to the wall.

The tiles are cemented to the wall.

Grout is added when the wall is complete.

Grout is added when the wall is complete.

You can see how the children’s imagination and skills have evolved in these images.  And they are so proud of their work!

ACFFC will celebrate its tenth anniversary as a 501c3 corporation later this year.  This milestone is the perfect time for us to reflect on the amazing achievements of the past decade and move ahead on plans for the future.  A future that looks very promising for the Art Creation Foundation for Children youth!

4-13-2_168 ©DSmook

Papouche: Painter, Dancer, Carpenter: Post #3 Jacmel, Haiti 2013

Papouche is a gentle giant.  He was one of the first people I met on my visit to the Art Creation Foundation for Children last year, and was a tremendous help to me this year.

His was a difficult upbringing in Port au Prince in a home for street children, where Jen Pantaleon of Zanmi Lakay first met him and began to work with him in 1997.  Even in that environment, Papouche made many friends because of his integrity, his respect for himself and others, and his wonderful smile.

In 2000 when the group home closed Papouche was back on the street.  Jen was glad to find him again the following year at yet another group home.  He was able to take part in Zanmi Lakay programs learning carpentry, and was sent back to school.  He is very intelligent.  He is also a fabulous dancer.

After the house in Port au Prince where he was living collapsed in the earthquake, Papouche was invited to move to Jacmel and become a part of the Art Creation Foundation for Children.  He is older than most of the youth, but was not yet able to earn enough to live on his own.  It was not an easy transition, but he has blossomed at the foundation.

He has become involved in a dance troupe that performs in the annual Karneval parades and is now teaching dance.  He has learned to paint both on a small scale,

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and on a large scale.

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He has used his carpentry skills to rebuild homes for ACFFC families, and to great advantage in the new building.  These are cubicles he has constructed in the new computer room.

4-13-5_021 computer room

Papouche is a leader with the mosaic team and visiting groups, and works on assignments for Zanmi Lakat.  He is earning a salary and respect, making friends, and his life has changed dramatically.  He has worked hard and, despite the obstacles, is making a productive and satisfying life for himself.

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He is a wonderful role model for the younger children!

First blog by Diane Smook

March 6, 2010 5 comments

This is my first blog entry.  Ever.   I already have a website for my exhibited portfolios.  The reason for this blog is personal.  I need to focus on photography after a long period without shooting new work.  If I am the only one reading this, it is OK.

After a botanical project (ongoing) using a Mamiya 6×7 studio camera, where I scanned the film and printed digitally, using my Nikon D300 feels very liberating.  Also no exquisite chrome or negative, but you can’t have everything.

I just finished laying out photographic diary of a trip to Africa I took 2 years ago.

Took me that long to keyword, organize a work flow and figure out which book company to use.  After attending a fabulous event sponsored by ASMP in NY where 20 book companies were sent the same variety of images to print in book form, I became aware of A and I Books in CA.  They will print books more than 100 pages and have a decent help line.  I used their design program so that I could create my own templates and adjust for my own crops.  They have called me with questions on the material I sent them.  I have hopes for a beautiful book.

Here is one image of an elephant.

I was a little closer than I had planned.  The lens is only 200mm (although in the D300 it acts like a slightly longer lens).  Can you see the eyelashes on this little thumbnail of a photograph?