Friday, June 29, 2012

Ferris Dunes

Ferris Dunes by andiwolfe
Ferris Dunes, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

Wyoming - habitat for the rare and endangered Penstemon haydenii. The day was hot, dry, winding and it was mid-afternoon. Always a challenge in those conditions.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mangrove ICM

Mangrove ICM by andiwolfe
Mangrove ICM, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

I've recently assembled a portfolio of Intentional Camera Movement images to enter into an arts competition. This is one of my selections for the jury. I've no presumptions that my photographic work is worth consideration, but I do like this image a lot.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ferris Dunes

Ferris Dunes by andiwolfe
Ferris Dunes, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

This is the habitat for one of the Wyoming populations of the Federally endangered species Penstemon haydenii. The American Penstemon Society and Wyoming Native Plant Society did a joint field trip to this site on Monday, June 25, 2012. We found P. haydenii, but not in flower. Some of the plants had been munched, and others had a few dried up flowers still on the stalks.

The site is very beautiful with Ferris Mountain as a backdrop, but quite hot in the middle of the day during the summer. The whole region is very dry this year. It was really great to be able to see this habitat - it is an amazing place to visit, but very difficult to get to.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Aspen Grove - ICM

Aspen Grove - ICM by andiwolfe
Aspen Grove - ICM, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

During a hike in the Laramie Mountains, I found an Aspen grove that seemed about right to try some intentional camera movement technique. Usually I put a neutral density filter on for a long exposure while moving the camera, but I didn't have that with me at the time. This image was done with a fast movement at f/22, ISO 200.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Union Pacific 7770

Union Pacific 7770 by andiwolfe
Union Pacific 7770, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

I have a Flickr contact who always posts pictures of trains as they are running on the tracks. I was at a field site with the American Penstemon Society that was next to the crossing. When I heard the warning bells go off I ran up the embankment to get myself into position to do this photo. the combination of open sky, train color, and the colors of Wyoming make a good combo, I think.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sainte Claire Hotel

Sainte Claire Hotel by andiwolfe
Sainte Claire Hotel, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

From June 6, 2012 - prelude to the AAW symposium. I had dinner with a large group of friends at the Italian restaurant housed in this beautiful hotel. It was right across the street from where most of us were staying at the Marriott. The decor is very classy, I think.

Monday, June 18, 2012

2012 AAW Symposium

Youth Turning by andiwolfe
Youth Turning, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

I've been posting a selection of photos from the 2012 AAW symposium on the AAW Facebook page with links from my woodturning facebook site. You can check that out in the sidebar of this blog.

This photo is an abstract of the tool bench in the youth turning room.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Eastern Spinebill

Eastern Spinebill by andiwolfe
Eastern Spinebill, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

This is one of the many honeyeaters native to Australia. It's such a treat to see an avifauna that is so different than the one in North America. I'm sure Aussie birders say the same thing when they come to North America to do some birding.

Honeyeaters have a niche similar to sunbirds, sugarbirds, and hummingbirds - pollinating flowers. They are after the nectar, of course, but the floral morphology is such that the bills or heads of the birds are dusted in pollen as they slurp up the nectar. Subsequent flowers visited receive a load of pollen to the stigmas.

Plants are pretty tricky in how they manipulate animals to perform this important service.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Australian sunrise

Australian sunrise by andiwolfe
Australian sunrise, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

Gold Coast of Australia -one of the mornings at Turnfest 2012.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Leaves of three, let it be...

Ahhhhh - it's that time of year again when the bane of my existence is everywhere. I'm one of those lucky souls who are severely allergic to poison ivy and poison oak. I've managed to avoid it in recent years, but when I do encounter this plant I usually end up on a course of steroids.

Monday, June 11, 2012

2012 AAW symposium - Day 3

Sunday of the AAW symposium is always difficult for me. It's not because of the long hours kept during the weekend, it's because I have to say goodbye to all my friends. I love spending time with my woodturning buddies - it's like one big happy reunion for three or four days of fun. Then Sunday rolls around and the farewells begin. I don't like that part at all....

The photography task I assigned to myself was a challenge. I took a lot of environmental portraits and action shots during the first couple of days, so for Sunday I wanted to do intimate portraits of hands at work. I photographed the hands of Dixie Biggs, Mike Lee, and Paul Fennell carving, and Stuart Mortimer, Mike Jakofsky, Jean-Fran├žois Escoulen, and Eli Avisera at the lathe. These are amongst my favorite photos of the weekend and I'm looking forward to processing the raw files. I also did some still life shots of work tables and tools - always fun to do.

The kids in the youth program picked up their lathe packages after lunch. I was in the room to capture some of that action, and it is such a touching scene. I had a few tears in my eyes as I watched the kids say goodbye to the volunteers who had mentored them all weekend. I know I've said it before, but this is really one of the best programs AAW has to offer the woodturning community. These kids are the future of woodturning, and it's great that Powermatic/Jet Tools, Technatool, Crown Tools, and Woodcraft are so generous in contributing equipment and tools for the program.

I also did some street photography of the tear down of the trade show. It's pretty amazing that this event comes together so quickly and disappears just as fast. I hope the vendors are going home considerably lighter in inventory.

I'll be spending the next couple of weeks sorting, filing, backing up, and processing raw images into high resolution jpegs. Betty Scarpino, editor of American Woodturner, will have first dibs on what I consider my best shots. These and another 200 or so images will appear on the AAW website and facebook page. The rest will appear here on my blog, my woodturning facebook page, or Google+. So stay tuned for photos - I promise they will be up for viewing pretty soon.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

2012 AAW Symposium Day 2 report

Wow! Such a long day with so much packed into it for getting a wood turning fix. Sessions started at 8 a.m. along with the opening of the trade show, instant gallery, and exhibits space. I flitted in and out of the demos to take photos, but some of the highlights for me included the session given by Frank Cummings on "why we create." This started with a vintage movie showing the history of art and invention. It was really cute, but I liked the take home message about how it takes a long time of exploration to reach success. As a scientist, I fully identify with this theme. The examples in the film were about the decades long search for cures to diseases, often with no results, but that researchers keep working at it to find a solution. Frank made the analogy that this kind of dedication is what it takes to find an expressive voice in art.

I listened to just a few minutes of almost every rotation - enough to get a flavor of the demo, but not enough to report on details. There were several demonstrators with packed rooms, but others with just a few people in the audience. Sometimes scheduling works out that way. If you're going head-to-head with Richard Raffan, expect a lighter crowd :-). I did sit through the entire instant gallery critique, though, because my piece "Tesserae Serrai" was selected for the critique. Frank Cummings, William Moore, and Kevin Wallace were the jurors for this session and I am so relieved that they thought the piece was very successful.

A major highlight of the day for me was attending the drawing for the lathes in the youth turning room. I was able to capture some of those happy moments when the kids heard their name announced as a winner for the lathe package. Powermatic and the other sponsors of the program were very generous in donating 25 mini lathe set-ups for this give-away. There are some very happy kids who will become our next generation of turners. This program is a huge success story for AAW and all concerned. Congratulations!

The banquet last night was at the Parkside Hall - about a block away from the convention center. There was ample room, and the acoustics were fantastic. This was one of the only banquets I've attended where I could hear everyone at my table. The floor, walls, and ceiling were covered with sound absorbing material - what a treat.

I had a bit of a logistics challenge with getting a group shot of the youth turners and volunteers right after the dinner service was done, and then getting back in time to take a photo of John Jordan receiving his life-time achievement award - such a well-deserved honor. Richard Raffan received the POP committee merit award and it was humorous to watch Trent Bosch and Richard Raffan working at feeling comfortable talking to a large crowd sans a lathe to hide behind. At the end of the program we have a tradition of honoring prominent members who have passed away during the past year. Jan Peters was given a tribute first, Phil Brennion next. Bill Haskell did a touching memorial review of Phil's life and career. Phil Brennion will be sorely missed in our community.

The live auction used a mix of still studio shots done by Steve Wolfe onsite during the first two days of the event, plus live audio feed provided by the local union guys. The still shots were very useful for actually seeing the details of each piece. John Hill and Rob Wallace were the auctioneers, Nick Cook and crew did the support work. The auction moved along at a quick pace, and we were done before 10 pm. Another treat for those of us in the audience. I heard a rumor that more than $50,000 was raised at the auction, but I can neither confirm nor deny that number.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

2012 AAW Symposium - Day 1 report

I was pretty busy running around all day with my camera gear, which is great exercise and gives me a chance to sample a lot of different rotations. The panel discussions are primarily what I'm missing, but I will slow down a bit today to take in a few rotations. So far I've done about 30 GB of photos - maybe 2000 images to sort through from Thursday and Friday. I'll probably end up with as much or more today and tomorrow.

Highlights for me from a photographer's perspective: watching the reaction of the kids in the youth turning program when they are seeing a very cool or new technique demonstrated. I also enjoyed watching some of the kids looking at the instant gallery items - I took one photo yesterday of a little boy with such a sense of wonder on his face that I'm sure it will end up being my favorite from the weekend.

I'll be posting pictures in a week or so. There are some already on the AAW Facebook page, but I will need some post processing time to sort through all the images, select the best ones for processing, and then to give Betty Scarpino a selection for the journal. Afterwards, AAW will publish a selection of my highlights and the rest will go onto my Woodturning Facebook page.

I really enjoyed watching the trade show action yesterday. The demonstrations that take place there are very intimate with a few turners gathered around to watch what is going on. The exchange of questions and answers is very intense in this setting. Watching attendees peruse the instant gallery and exhibits is also a lot of fun. Another highlight for me was the interaction I had with a security guard who is assigned to the exhibits gallery space. I showed him my "You will reap what you sow" entry and explained the symbols inside the pod chambers. I put a headlamp there for people to explore the piece and my new friend is telling everyone about it as they enter the exhibit. So my little bit of outreach has had some good effect in that people can actually learn a bit about my piece and have that extra little surprise as they shine the flashlight into the chambers.

There are a couple of other academics on the demonstration roster this weekend. Rob Wallace, my good friend in plant systematics, has a few rotations. He had quite a crowd gathered last night for his Special Interest Night sessions on Gizmos. Sara Robinson is a wood mycologist from Michigan Tech and she's been giving demonstrations on do-it-yourself spalting. I had a nice chat with her at dinner on Thursday night. The woodturning community is made up of people from all walks of life and career tracks. I mostly meet retired engineers, but there are a few of us in the biological realm - mostly medical - and other areas of expertise.

Today will be a long one with the banquet and auction taking place tonight. I'll write up a synopsis tomorrow morning if I don't have a chance to do it this evening.

Friday, June 08, 2012

2012 AAW Symposium - prelude

Today was the set-up day for this year's AAW symposium, which is in San Jose, California. The trade show, instant gallery, and the exhibits space was a buzz of activity as everyone scrambled to put things into place for tomorrow's opening. Despite all the frenzied activity, there was a lot of laughter and good cheer spread all around the San Jose convention center.

I spent the day running around the site taking photos of all the action. Every year there is the fun of watching people reconnect since the last gathering of woodturners. It's as if no time has elapsed and everyone picks up where we left off from last time we met. That's one of the great joys of this community of artisans.

In addition to the regular activities of registration packet pick-up, merchandise sales, "Learn to Turn," and putting together all the lathes and demonstration equipment, there was a new activity in the form of a gathering of international turners to discuss how to enable interaction among the turners who live in different parts of the globe. I'm sure there will be many interesting developments from what is started here in San Jose.

One of the most interesting things I photographed today was the behind-the-scenes assembly of all the demonstration gear. The local clubs really do a lot of work to make it all happen. Despite the physical labor involved, I heard a lot of laughter and comradeship going on while all the power tools were being used to build light and camera stands and safety shields.

The exhibits reception was this evening. I have a piece in the "Beyond Containment" exhibit as well as in "A Walk in the Woods" exhibit. It was fun to watch people checking out the pieces in these exhibits as well as the one featuring the PoP merit award winner, Richard Raffan.

My brief walkabout in the instant gallery as pieces were being placed on tables gave me a nice preview of how great this exhibit will be this year. I'm looking forward to checking it all out tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.

Elizabeth Lundburg gave a well attended demonstration as the first of our four emerging artists to be featured in the instant gallery space. She demonstrated her surface techniques and talked about design inspirations.

All-in-all, the symposium is off to a good start.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Corpse Flower time lapse - two views

My latest photography project was for a time lapse video of our latest giant Corpse Flower to bloom at The Ohio State University. The video shows two views - a time lapse sequence from the side, which covers about two weeks prior to flowering and two days after; the other view is from an overhead cam showing the three days from bloom through wilting of the spathe and spadix.  

Please share the video - thanks.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Smiling Cow

Camden Harbor by andiwolfe
Camden Harbor, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

Interesting name for a gift shop. Seen in Camden, Maine last summer.

Sunday, June 03, 2012


Iris by andiwolfe
Iris, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

If I had my career to start again, I might specialize in the Iris family. I really love the diversity of floral shapes, colors, and habitat adaptations of the genera and species in the family. There is a diversity hotspot in South Africa. Alas, the group has been thoroughly worked by other systematists, but I still love the group.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Farm scenes...

Farm scenes... by andiwolfe
Farm scenes..., a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

My last morning in North Carolina during my May trip had beautiful morning light. This is the back of a shed on the farm of my friends John and Patty Hill. I love the interplay of color and textures combined with the light filtered through the leaf canopy.

Friday, June 01, 2012


Iris by andiwolfe
Iris, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

Another of the irises I photographed while in North Carolina. Getting the blue color to come out right is always a challenge, but I think this one is accurate.