Sunday, June 20, 2010

Coming In July - Gwen Trahan

Award Winning Safford Middle School Photography Program.
Our July 1 program will be presented by Gwen Trahan who recently started a photography program at Safford Middle School. She has already led her students to great achievements—they won three of the top five awards at the Center For Creative Photography annual High School Photography Day in May of this year. Come hear Gwen talk about the program and show some of her students’ work.

Gwen is building the program at Safford from the ground up and is anxious to establish a well-equipped darkroom for the next school year. WPHS member Judy Laviolette has helped her list items you might be willing to donate:
• Any form of digital cameras
o SLR, point-and-shoot, etc.
• 35mm SLR cameras
o Fixed or interchangeable lenses
o Fresh film
o Fresh paper
• Working darkroom equipment
o Enlargers & timers
o Negative carriers
o Contact sheet makers
o Beakers, tongs, trays, etc.
• Lighting equipment
o Lights or light kits
o Reflectors, stands, etc.
• Fun stuff for experiments
o Disembodied lenses
o Gels, etc.

If you want to contact Gwen about donating items before the meeting, you can call 520-419-1329 or email her at

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June Program Summary

Bill Page Tells Us About The Galapagos Islands.
Our June program was Bill Page, giving us a close-up look at the Galapagos Islands. We were expecting to see lots of birds, but learned much more. Bill talked about how the Islands were originally volcanoes, with some islands older than others. He also showed the various climate zones on the islands that are so visible even in short distances. Bill talked about why the ocean currents made these islands special, carrying some animals clinging to driftwood all the way from the mainland to this isolated group of islands over 600 miles from the coast of Ecuador. Many birds probably got to the islands by being blown along with storms. For some of the animals, there are no natural predators in this habitat and it is speculated that they have evolved accordingly.

Bill showed some incredible pictures of birds—blue-footed boobies, a heron, pelicans and frigate birds as they puffed their red chests and as they stole fish from the pelicans. There were even penguins frisking about. He talked about Darwin’s famous study of the finches and showed pictures of some of them, pointing out the differences to us.

However, Bill had photographed several other interesting types of animals. The Galapagos Islands are famous for the giant turtles that have always been fighting for their existence, usually threatened by humans. We saw a picture of “Lonesome George” the last turtle of his particular subspecies in the world. There were sea lions and Bill’s story of a too-close encounter with a particularly big one. The lava rocks make great homes (and backgrounds) for the large marine iguanas and the colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs.

Bill Page obviously has a tremendous enthusiasm for photography and the subjects of his photos. Although the cameras are heavy, he (and his wife) carry two of them with different lenses. Thank you, Bill!! You are a master photographer and teacher and, in such a short time, we learned so much about the Galapagos Islands and their inhabitants.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bill Page On Tap For June

Our program for June will be presented by Bill Page. In 1991 Bill retired from teaching sciences in New York State. He taught grades 7 through 12 in public school and graduate courses in Long Island University. His interest in birding and photography began during his youth when he was a farm boy in Pennsylvania and continues today.

Bill and his wife Joan have traveled to the sub-Antarctic islands and the Antarctic Peninsula in 1996 and again in 2000. In 2003 they traveled to Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. Additionally they have photographed in Africa, Alaska, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Galapagos, Panama, Peru, and Trinidad & Tobago.

At our June meeting, Bill will share his Galapagos show with you. Combining some of the most interesting birds in the world with Bill’s great photography will make this a special program!
And here is the rest of it. Click Here to Read More!

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Meeting Notes

Ed Jackson showed us some of his favorite books on camera collecting and photography. He has been a long-time photographer and a more recent collector. He says the books help him dream of what he’d like to have. He noted that the “bible’ of camera collecting is Jim McKeown’s well-known Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras which is over two inches thick. Paul Garrett showed us the first edition which was only about a quarter of an inch thick. There are other price guides, but Ed thinks McKeown’s is by far the best and most comprehensive. Another classification of books are those giving a historical perspective, highlighting some of the most important cameras. A beautiful and comprehensive book is Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital by Todd Gustavson and George Eastman House. This book not only traces the camera’s development, but talks about the inventors and artists who use them. Another of Ed’s newest favorites is Classic Cameras by Colin Harding. The articles focus on 75 classic cameras with great pictures and history for each one.

Ed’s favorites for information on collecting cameras include the set by Ivor Matanle: Collecting and Using Classic Cameras and Collecting and Using Classic SLR’s. Other good sources are Jason Schneider’s Camera Collecting, Book One, Book Two and Book Three which include articles originally published in “Modern Photography”. He also introduced a wonderful website: It is very comprehensive and well organized.

Then there are the books that focus on a specific brand. These included books such as The Story of Kodak, Leika Manual (one of many), and Nikon Rangefinders. Two books that Ed especially recommends are Nikon - A Celebration and Canon i- A Celebration by Brian Long. Other favorites include Jason Schneider’s Camera Collecting, Book One, Book Two and Book Three which include articles originally published in “Modern Photography”.

Most of us use our camera books for reference, but Ed has read many of the books in his collection cover-to-cover. Thanks, Ed, for an opportunity to see some books that we might want to add to our collections. (We can always buy another book case…..)
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Our speaker for the May meeting will be our own Ed Jackson. The title of his presentation will be "Books on Camera History and Camera Collecting”. The books will be available for you to peruse to see what you will want to add to your own book collection. The “Show and Tell” for May will be after Ed’s presentation and will also focus on books for photographic history or collections. Bring your favorite book and tell us about it (if Ed hasn’t already featured it). End of Article. Click Here to Read More!


Our April program certainly convinced us that photography has a great future. First we saw five high school students receive prizes for their entries in the Spring WPHS Show High School Photo Contest. Their work was considered some of the best we’ve had by judges and members alike.

The second part of the program consisted of presentations by Ashley Whaley and Claire Warden, our 2009 College Scholarship winners. Both are students at Arizona State University and demonstrated a strong sense of both the artistic and technical aspects of photography.
Ashley showed us some of her work around a variety of themes. One theme was hands—portraits where one really got a sense of something special about the person by focusing on their hands. She also had a series of “staged” work telling a story about people who had lived in a house that had been abandoned. We got a feel for their lives by looking at the images Ashley produced. Ashley works both with film and digital processing.

Claire has published a book containing some of her best images. She shoots with a 35mm camera and then scans and prints the images digitally. One of her series of works was a variety of textures, conveying the feeling just with the texture. Claire noted that she particularly focuses on networking with photographers and gallery owners and curators, so that, when she’s ready for a full time job, these connections can produce results, even in a tight job market.

Both students are interested in photography and curating exhibits. Claire currently works part time at the gallery at ASU and both have secured internships at galleries for this summer. Ashley and Clair truly appreciated their scholarships because the money went directly into their education and photography, allowing them to concentrate a little less on part time work and more on their classes.

Ashley Whaley and Claire Warden are both skilled photographers and the WPHS can be assured that we invested in good students. Thank you to Ashley and Claire for great presentations—we expect to see your work in prestigious galleries in the future.
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Friday, February 26, 2010

March Program - Dr. Rebecca Senf

Our speaker for March is Becky Senf who is a curator at the Center for Creative Photography. She will be speaking about the real Ansel Adams. Becky has studied Ansel Adams and his photography extensively so you know her program will be interesting.
Dr. Rebecca Senf is the Norton Family Curator of Photography, a joint appointment at the Center for Creative Photography and the Phoenix Art Museum. She curates three exhibitions a year for the Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography in Phoenix and her past exhibitions include Debating Modern Photography: the Triumph of Group f/64; Richard Avedon: Photographer of Influence; Human Nature: the Photographs of Barbara Bosworth; Edward Weston: Mexico; Odyssey: the Photographs of Linda Connor; Charting the Canyon: Photographs by Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe; and Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic Portraiture. Senf grew up in Tucson and went to undergraduate school at the University of Arizona, studying the History of Photography. She spent ten years in Boston, Massachusetts where she earned a Ph.D. in Art History at Boston University. In Boston she worked on the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s major exhibition Ansel Adams from The Lane Collection, for which she also co-authored the exhibition catalogue. Her current exhibition on view at the Phoenix Art Museum is Ansel Adams: Discoveries (Jan. 31, 2010 to June 6, 2010). Upcoming projects include Exposing Time: Capturing Change Through Photography (March 6-June 27, 1010) and Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Photographer at Work (2012). Click Here to Read More!