For articles, see f2 eZine Content Archive 6 - Apr - Jun 2001

Archive 6 - April - June 2001

WIPI News Article #1



By Nancy Clendaniel

Taking photographs of musicians comes naturally to Philadelphia native, Nancy Clendaniel. She got her start back in1964 when, at the age of 16 yr., she was given the opportunity to go backstage and photograph her heroes - Sonny & Cher. Wielding her mother's blue plastic Brownie, complete with flashbulbs, the photos that Clendaniel took that night would be the first "onstage" shots of her career. As she was building her portfolio Nancy's focus swung back and forth between photographing musicians and photographing legitimate theatre. She got her stage training by shooting stills for The Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven, CT), New Haven's Summer Theatre - Theatre in the Park, culminating with working as house photographer for playwright David Mamet's - St. Nicholas Theatre (Chicago, IL) and most recently at The Village Theatre (Issaquah,WA).

Nancy began her career documenting musicians both in studio & onstage at the Yale School of Music & the Yale Repertory Theater where she worked with world class artists including Maria Muldaur, Phoeboe Snow and Carmen DeLavallade, appearing with the Willy Ruff-Dwike Mitchell Duo. By 1977, Nancy was touring the mid-west with the popular duo, Sandler & Young.

Living in Chicago during the late 1970's, Clendaniel worked at the Ivahoe Theatre, photographing emerging artists like Jane Olivor and Randy Newman! By 1980, Nancy was offered the job of "camp photographer" for John Davidson's Singers Summer Camp, out on Catalina Island. Her first real paying gig, John offered Nancy free lodging, free food, $200 a week and film costs if she would document his students and guest instructors. Learning to work in a darkroom that was raided each night by Toyon Bay's razor back piglets was not so hard. But learning how to live and work among celebrities was a challenge. Some of Davidson's guests included Kenny Rogers, Andy Williams, Florence Henderson, the mime duo Shields and Yarnell and her personal favorite – comic cum jazz musician – Peter Barbuti!

Upon moving back to the mainland, Nancy was offered the job of house photographer for a new venue in Beverly Hills – The Beverly Theatre. For seven years, Nancy was privy to photograph some of the finest musical artists on the planet. Sometimes it meant working seven days a week, but it also meant the opportunity to work with some of the most legendary performers in entertainment. The bulk of these artists were in the jazz field, including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Stephane Grappelli, Hiroshima, Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie, Phyllis Hyman, Bobby McFerrin, Wynton and Bradford Marsalis and Jaco Pastorius.

Today, Nancy lives in Seattle with her son, dividing her time between being a mother and photographer. Nancy held the position of Director of WIPI from 1987 - 1991 and again from 1999 thru Spring 2000. In addition to freelance photography and teaching assignments, she has photographed the Olympic Music Festival and contemporary jazz artist, Diane Schurr.

For a complete list of my music archives, "The Clendaniel Collection" please visit my website: www.clendanielphotographyPbase

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WIPI News Article #2 - Archive 6

Mary Fahy
Pinhole Art: A Marriage of Mechanics and Mystery

All images are copyright Mary Fahy.

Story By: Julia K. McLemore, photographer/writer

An early college assignment in pinhole photography became a career -- and a calling -- for photographer Mary Fahy. Instructors tried to interest Fahy in other types of cameras - ones that use lenses and mechanical shutters - but Fahy kept coming back to the pinhole. Since then, her handmade cameras have traveled with her to Europe and the American Southwest . They are also constant companions at her family home in the Midwest. The pinhole camera is a tool on commercial assignments, a recorder of friends and family, and often, a quiet mirror of herself.

The idea of the pinhole camera dates back to the camera obscura. Its product is visual movement, light and shadow and surprise artifacts which cannot otherwise be seen by the naked eye. Fahy describes the pinhole as, " at its most primitive and experimental. The allure is this simple camera's ability to create a marriage of mechanics and mystery."

Contrasting with cameras which utilize lenses, the gripping images derived from a pinhole portray the essence of dreams. Places, objects or people are transformed into translucent, blurred spirits--icons only possible in one's imagination.

Fahy's work consists of color and black and white photographs which explore family relationships, friendships, the passage of time--always telling a personal, but universal, story. Her images also represent everyday entertainments, dreams, childhood memories and her own religion.

As solemn as Fahy's topics can be, she often adds an element of humor, creating a bond of shared humanity between herself and the viewer.

Virtually any light tight container can become a pinhole camera. Commercially built cameras are available, but the handmade aspect appeals to many pinhole aficionados.

Fahy's cameras are ordinary cornmeal containers which have been made light tight (see illustration below). The "lens" is sealed over a larger hole on one side of the container and a piece of film is placed inside the box, opposite the lens. The shutter is a simple piece of cardboard. The curve of the box shown here provides a curved perspective in the final image. As light passes through the pinhole, it refracts and reconstructs the image. Everything in the image remains in focus.

As simple as the camera sounds, it takes a great deal of experience to produce a reliable composition and exposure. There is no viewfinder to assist in composition. Fahy says that every camera has its own personality. Exposure becomes more precise as the photographer gets to know each one. According to Fahy, "Even though there is a formula for calculating exposure-the f-stop is divided into the focal length of each camera--the timing involved is mostly intuitive, exposing the film to a world in motion."

When it comes to commercial application, Fahy admits that the unpredictability of the pinhole can be a drawback. "Art Directors want predetermined images for their campaigns. But, those who can trust the possibilities of a pinhole image are very satisfied with the product."

The pinhole process allows Fahy to search for connections with her models. Placing the pinhole close to what she is shooting allows the viewer to enter the subject's world. Then, as she describes it, "The subtle alchemy of the pinhole alters the subject, transforming the personal into the universal. It makes the mundane alluring and the grotesque beautiful."

The exposures can be long-minutes to hours in length. This added time allows a shared meditative experience between subject and photographer. When Fahy photographed Maternal Spirit, the length of the exposure combined with the quiet simplicity of the woods caused Fahy to feel closer to her mother than ever before.

The love for Pinhole Art and its possibilities has resulted in publication, gallery exhibits, public service and advertising campaigns. Mary Fahy captures the beauty and the sadness of her world and serves it as an offering to her viewers.

All images are copyrighted and may not be used without the permission of Mary Fahy.

To find out more information or to view additional images please go to the Pinhole Studio's web site.

WIPI Features From Abroad - Belgium - Archive 6

By Lucette Virelle - Belgium
(all images copyright Lucette Virelle)

Click Here for French Translation

I was born in Belgium, a long time ago, between the two mondial wars. The only consolation of my age is the distance I covered, so interesting in this century where all changed so rapidly.

I am practically born IN PHOTOGRAPHY, my father was one of the first fans of photography in these heroic years where photography was both Art and Still life report. He worked with 9x12cm glass plates he developed in our cellar.When developed, they were put with a sensitive paper between two wooden frames and exposed at the window, under the sun rays. And that during (a certain undefined time). Sometimes, it was good, and sometimes burned, he would have to begin again !

As a child, I was modeling for him. I was at the same time proud to be a model but stressed a lot. In this time, the exposure periods were very long and I had to remain motionless so that my initial smile was rapidly transformed into a grimace. All these memories are nostalgic souvenirs...

I was naturally always interested by photography, but it is only many years after, that I began to take photos myself. First with an AGFA ISOLETTE, than an OLYMPUS PEN EE and finally with a long series of NIKON, NIKKORMAT, FE, FA ? 8O1 ... and all the good optiques therewith.

In 1975, I entered into a photo club in Brussels and now I am also in a photo club in France. In the photo clubs, we don't learn technique, but by seeing many good pictures, we learn to see differently. In the beginning I was under the influence of my father's photos, nice landscapes against the sun with something or somebody in the foreground. But now, my subjects are real people and still life reports. AND... created pictures.

I began with B/W papers in my bathroom then onto a true laboratory, then Colors (Cibachrome). I tried everything and anything, even Bromoïl technique.
At the same time I was painting and I learned serigraphy while in an academy during 4 years.

These 2 arts brought me naturally to the numeric photomontages
As a painter, I wanted to do surrealism, onirism ... BUT IT WAY TOO DIFFICULT. In photo too, it was also too difficult, many papers ended up in the dustbin.

With PhotoShop (or another dood logiciel) it is easier to realize. NOT NECESSARY EASY as people think, but realizable with a lot of good scanned photos, or with a numeric camera (I have an OLYMPUS CAMEDIA 3030Z) but above all, with a lot of imagination !

The serigraphic technique permitted me to understand the notion of tracings in photoShop.

Naturally, I go on taking photos any time it's possible, otherwise, how could I enter anything into my PC? Overall, taking photos is always my first source of joy... to catch an instant of light or of life. That is the only true purpose of a photographer.

Lucette Virelle

For articles, see f2 eZine Content Archive 6 - Apr - Jun 2001