Friday, April 06, 2012

The “Little Club that could.”

Over the past couple of years, I had the opportunity to visit some meetings for the Inland Outlook Photo Club.  On occasion, I had the opportunity to address this club, usually with shooting in low light issues.  At a meeting of IOPC last night, I had the absolute pleasure to make a brief presentation discussing local efforts being made on behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP).  

14 local photographers have participated in the Spokane NTHP photographic project, and at the meeting last night in Liberty Lake, 18 additional photographers signed up for NTHP related projects to be completed in 2012.  Considering the additional possibilities with additional photog support, I think that we can certainly do additional roof shoots, and get into historic homes and neighborhoods with our camera systems.

After last night’s IOPC mtg, I came away with a number of thoughts about things other than the NTHP project that I was there to address.  Firstly, this club is going places.  

I have had some experience with other photo related organizations, and in my view some seemed to be headed in a completely opposite direction than the IOPC photo club.  In one case another local photo group has been treading water for so many years that they are still primarily focused on one thing and one thing only.  Yet, IOPC has gone well beyond that.  There is a varied interest of activities for members of all skill levels, and an extremely active role in community service projects.  

So many members of IOPC, including board members, participate in local community projects that the members can’t even imagine not having the opportunity to participate.  Many of the IOPC members are, or have been, photographers for the Inland Northwest Honor Flight program (501 C3).  This program flies WWII Veterans to Washington DC to visit the war memorials built in their honor.  Other IOPC members have been working for the past year on the national conference to be held in Spokane, for the NTHP.  Even the local media have recognized the efforts of the IOPC members in their personal efforts committed on behalf of the NTHP.  IOPC members who participate with Honor Flight, get mobbed by WWII Veterans and their families whenever the Honor Flight photographers show up to shoot at departures and arrivals of the WWII Veterans at GEG.  Capturing the emotions and tears of families and WWII Veterans draws the photogs and the Veterans together with a bond that I had never expected when these efforts began.

What I have seen in the past two or three years is a very talented and very proactive group of board members and club members.  Training, service, and commitments to their members certainly put this group at the top of the list of professional Spokane photo organizations.  The members of IOPC simply love what this club does, and it is so blatantly noticeable that it is a pleasure to see.  

I believe that the early efforts made by the original board members of IOPC sitting around a kitchen table, have reaped benefits for every single member that joins this club.  Actually I am in awe of what this club has accomplished in the past couple of years.  In my view, at the risk of not mentioning some board members, I think Dean Huggins and Palmer Halvorson have already accomplished what other local groups have never even attempted.  Personally I have worked with both of these fine photographers, and they are not just good Photogs, but very good people.  

For Spokane Photogs, if you need a place to learn and to get opportunities to practice the photographic trade, IOPC should be first on your list of things to do.  

For information on IOPC, go to this link and begin a most enjoyable experience for your personal and professional photography interests.  

Keep up the good work IOPC, you are a perfect example of the “Little club that could, and DID.”


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Galleries of three, just wasn’t to be

Earlier this year, the setup for the Gallery display at the IMAX Theater was determined, and I was able to get 31 Spokane Night Scenes framed images installed in the lobby of the IMAX Theater in Spokane’s Riverfront Park.  That exhibit will stay in the IMAX for some time to come, but at least I don’t have to manipulate or modify that exhibit all the time.  Setting up 31 framed prints was quite a project, and something that took 4 people an entire day to hang the prints.

Along comes March, and based on the yearlong project I was working on for the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) a gallery display was to be done at the Kress Gallery in Riverpark Square Mall.  I came up with 5 more framed prints and frames for this display, but putting this 5 print display at the KRESS was harder than putting together the 31 print Gallery at the IMAX.  

Two weeks after the KRESS display was setup, I got an invitation to do a display at the Mount Saint Michaels Campus.  Initially I decided that having three Gallery displays going at the same time, was simply impossible.  In looking at the inventory left next to my office, I had three prints that were framed and all of those could be displayed at MSM on easels, for their special event beginning March 18th.  

Well, that was for naught, as my wife’s mother suffered a stroke March 16th, and Cheryl and I had to spend the next 4 days in the hospital/ER at Holy Family.  I was finally able to make contact with my friends at MSM to let them know of our family issues, and that I would be able to display the three prints.  The largest print (24 X 36) would have gone over pretty well at MSM along with a 18 X 24 print which I had initially made available at the KRESS Gallery display.  

Perhaps I’ll be able to get those prints up to MSM at some point in the future, but as everyone knows about life, “it is what it is.”  A year or two ago I would never have imagined three Gallery displays at the same time.  Yet, in my view we live in such a beautiful place, that an appreciation for the landscapes and locations around us in Spokane is now being appreciated.  

These are the framed prints that “would have,” made the trip up on the hill to MSM.

Sacred Heart Medical Center icon (24 X 36): 

Spokane River Pano (12 X 40): 

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral (Cropped version, 16 X 20): 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Kress Gallery experience

The 14 members of the photography team for the National Trust for Historic Preservation have been working on the 2012 project for NTHP for a full year.  These photographers have donated images to the local organizers for the 2012 national NTHP conference which is to be held in our own community of Spokane.  Spokane is actually the smallest community to have ever gotten this event for their City.  At this point, well over 1000 images/photos have been provided for the conference committee. 
I have had a great time working with many of these photographers, although for the first time it was the KRESS Gallery event that got all of us together in one spot.  

The KRESS Gallery event had been discussed by many of the local organizers for many months, and to our good fortune, it was the KRESS Gallery who agreed to host all of the photographers and to allow each photog to display some of their photos with prints on the walls of the KRESS.  The event at the KRESS was to be held in conjunction with First Friday, and it was a perfect event to be scheduled on the monthly First Friday event schedule.

The following photogs and team members contributed to the NTHP project and all displayed at the KRESS Gallery (KRESS Gallery display remains until March 27th).  

NTHP Roof rat night shooters (on dwtn rooftops).

NTHP Team members
Barbara Murray
Rob Chiappe
Todd Conley
Dean Huggins
Herman Marchetti
Jeff Schindler
Eric Strate
Juli lynch
Pat Schilling

The Gallery event at the KRESS Gallery was an unbelievable success.  At least 150 people would cycle in and out of the Gallery every half hour, and by the end of the evening there were thousands, easily.  Recognizing these very good technical photographers for a year’s worth of work was an absolutely terrific evening.  

The Spokesman Review published an article in the newspaper about this event on Friday March second, the same day as the Gallery event was to take place.  I’d like to think that this publicity helped get hundreds of people to speak with the NTHP photographers and inspect the images of our community in Spokane.

What a fantastic evening, at a fantastic venue, with thirteen super photographers and friends.  

None of this would have been possible without the work of Jennifer McWilliams from the City Preservation office.  Jennifer and I traded so many emails or phone calls, that it is no wonder that her work made this a success.  Jennifer explained that her City position is funded by a grant, and her responsibility is to work on the 2012 NTHP conference.  I think that Jennifer is an outstanding City employee, and I hope that we can retain her services with City government in 2013.  This young lady is an incredibly hard worker, and what a loss it would be for the City to not keep her on board for some very important functions.

John D. Moore, CPP
Spokane Night Scenes

Friday, February 24, 2012

Walking on top of Spokane

My night season is beginning to wind down in 2012, and it has been the most productive season I have EVER had.   I think I’ll remember this season as being the busiest and most fun of them all.  I have been working on the National Trust for Historic Preservation project since March of 2011, and this project resulted in a number of rooftop shoots during daylight, and many of those also occurred after dark. 

Gaining access to these rooftop areas has been complicated at times, but nonetheless it has been incredibly fun.  Shooting from a rooftop allowed me to get some very good technical photogs to climb the roofs with me.  My standing rule for a night rooftop visit was to have a minimum of two shooters, for safety reasons.  A normal shoot included photographers, Chris Thompson, Paddy Hoy, and Josh Burdick.  We began to shoot on top of so many places that we became known around downtown as “the roof rats.”  True, we scurried about on top of one place or another.  Mostly we had to hurry to meet the time schedules of the building engineers and property managers and their staffers.  Almost invariably our night shoots concluded at or near 5:30PM so the building staff could go home and not have to work a lot of overtime for us.

I suppose I have mentioned this before, but for a night shooter…shooting always at ground level has a number of difficulties.  Chiefly, the main problem is high intensity light sources.  High pressure sodium, Metal halide, even fluorescent lights can create HUGE obstacles after dark.  So, early in 2011 I began to work on getting myself above ground level to shoot in daylight, as well as after dark.  NTHP provided me with a list of their targets to shoot, but it was my intent to shoot Spokane with views never before seen.  To do that I had to get on top of the tallest buildings downtown, as well as some of the “shorter ones.”
I have been on top of rooftops before (after dark), such as the City Hall building, the Doubletree hotel, the Davenport Hotel, as well as Spokane’s Clocktower in Riverfront Park.  So the value was not lost on me about what the potentials could be by getting all over downtown Spokane, by walking all over the rooftops downtown.  

At some point, when I have time, I’ll write a lot more about the experiences I had on these rooftops.  Here is a list of the shoots from elevations/buildings that I have had thusfar.  I will try to include a link or two shot from each of the locations.  Right now my total of visits to Spokane “above ground” locations stands at 32 buildings.  

Old National Bank building (2)

Chase Bank building

Riverpark Square Mall (2) RPS Parking garage (1)

Small Business Resource Center building

The Davenport Hotel (2) and the Davenport Tower (1)

Knitting Factory

Montvale Hotel (3)

Spokane Club (2)

Peyton building

Hutton building

Bank of America building

Sherwood building

Fernwell building (3)

INB Performing Arts Center

The Paulsen building

The Clocktower in Riverfront Park

Spokane City Hall

Wells Fargo building

Doubletree Hotel

Sacred Heart Hospital Parking Garage

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Davenport Hotel Tower

The Davenport Hotel Tower

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the rooftop of the Davenport Hotel Tower building.  I was unsure exactly what the view from this tall building would be, but it turned out to be fantastic.  In addition to good views of downtown Spokane, Mother Nature treated us with a brilliant sunset.

This rooftop was not without issues, and it got pretty cold up on top of this structure.  Yet, as the sunset diminished and the downtown lights began to come on, this was simply an incredible view.  For a photographer to have gotten access to literally all of the tallest buildings in Spokane, and to see the sights that I have seen, is certainly humbling.  These opportunities come along once in a lifetime, and I wanted to insure that I got as many images as I could in the hour or hour and a half that I was on top of this Tower.

The view from the Tower, had a great view of the original Davenport Hotel, although at more of an angle than when I had shot that Davenport Hotel from the ground or parking garage levels in the past.  Looking down on that historic Davenport Hotel, was quite an experience.  

From the Davenport Tower location, I had a wide open view of Interstate 90 (I90), and the entire southern edges of the downtown area.  The view up onto the northern edges of the Spokane South Hill was also wide open from the height that I was located.  Shooting these busy streets after it began to get dark, gave new meaning to the traffic flow on I90 at the Sunset Hill area through the entire downtown of Spokane.  Traffic was HEAVY on this night shoot on downtown streets as well as the I90 corridor.

Views from the Davenport Hotel Tower

A  view from the roof of the Wells Fargo building, toward the Bank of America building

 A  view from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower toward the Parkade
A southeast view from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower

A southwest view from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower

A northwest view from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower

A northwest view of the Davenport Hotel from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower

A north view of downtown Spokane from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower

A north view of downtown Spokane from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower

A northeast view of downtown Spokane from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower

A southern view of downtown Spokane from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower

A eastern view of downtown Spokane from the roof of the Davenport Hotel Tower

Many of these and additional images will be supplied to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for their national conference in Spokane this year.  


Monday, January 16, 2012

The Spokane Parkade

The Parkade was the target of mine for a recent photo shoot, from the top of the Old National Bank building in downtown Spokane.   One week prior to this recent shoot, the Parkade was featured prominently in one night shot from the top of the Chase Bank building, but the lights were not illuminated on top of the Parkade roof.  Such was the case for the shoot from the Old National Bank building two weeks ago.

I spoke with Steve Gelhausen about the Parkade lights, and Steve knows something about how to get those lights turned on.  Steve has worked at the Parkade for the past 43 years, and Steve arranged for me to have the lights above the roof of the Parkade, turned on.  As a result, my second shoot from the top of the Old National Bank building was perfect to see the lights displayed on the Parkade.  My thanks to Steve Gelhausen, and of course, Steve’s son Adam who tipped his father off about the light issues I was requesting when I shot the downtown area from the Old National Bank building.

On shoots prior to 2012, I cannot ever recall specifically targeting the Parkade for a night shoot, but it is so prominent in downtown Spokane, that the Parkade building and its rooftop lights are visible from almost everywhere.  The Spokane Parkade, is simply put, a downtown landmark.  Everybody knows it, everybody sees it, and everyone recognizes it.  Of course there are other landmarks visible downtown, including the RFP Clocktower, the bell towers of Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, The Old National Bank building, and even the Davenport Hotel.

Yet, the Spokane Parkade building is very colorful, as well as displaying the rooftop light that is so easily viewed from locations throughout downtown Spokane.

In some select shots over a period of years, here are some examples of Spokane’s Parkade building in downtown Spokane.


John D. Moore, CPP
Spokane Night Scenes 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spokane’s Old National Bank

The past two weeks, I have had the privilege of shooting from the roof of the Old National Bank building, after dark. The cooperation and scheduling of the two visits was second to none, and in particular I would like to thank Jesse Putnam for his assistance to me on top of the grand old building.

Two weeks ago, I was able to take up 7 other photogs for the shoot, and many of their images will be presented to the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) for use at and before their national conference in Spokane this year. This week, I needed to take additional shots of something I was unable to get last week, so I took one other photog to the top. My preference, for safety issues on rooftops, is to always have at least two people when access to a roof (after dark) is undertaken. 

Simply put the Old National Bank views were nothing even close to being “less than spectacular.” In fact, the views of downtown Spokane were close to being the best from any of the rooftops I have visited over the past year. To have two opportunities to view what I was able to view, was an awesome opportunity. To have gotten an opportunity to give some very technical photogs an opportunity to join me on the Old National Bank building, even made these visits more fun for me.

I wish that everyone who lives in Spokane had the same opportunities that I have had to see the views of downtown Spokane over the past year. Unfortunately the best thing I can do is to try and capture some of the views, and then share them online.

Some of these night/evening views of downtown from the Old National Bank building, and other rooftops, begin at:

Daylight views of dwtn Spokane for NTHP:

John D. Moore, CPP