Making Pig Products more Personable

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KR Darling Downs I; © Ian Poole, 1980

It is 1980 and my fledgling photographic business is grateful for any assignments thrust my way.

My close mate, the Art Director, turns up at my Studio in the old pink church, with a set of water colour renderings that he has just had drawn at the direction of the client.  The Client thought that it would be a good idea to show the source of his product in a cute and humorous way.

The source was a pig!     And the product was bacon! 

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KR Darling Downs II; © Ian Poole, 1980

That is how the KR Darling Downs Christmas Card Assignment was launched.  My reservations about the quality of the concept are more pronounced today than they were way back in another century.

After all, an advertising photographer is just a hired camera sitting around waiting for a commission.

My job was to reproduce the artwork as accurately as possible for printing of Christmas Cards and a possible brochure.  This was a time of black and white newspapers, and whilst it may have been reproduced in the Toowoomba Chronicle, that was not a concern on this occasion.  Working at the 115 Warren Street, Fortitude Valley Studio, and using my Sinar P2 (5×4″) screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-5-34-12-pmcamera, Kodak Ektachrome transparency film and a Kodak Color Control Patch – I more than had this assignment covered!

Founded in 1911 as the Darling Downs Bacon Co-operative, KR Darling Downs eventually closed in 2006 putting 350 people out of work.  The company was a large employer in the Toowoomba region.

My connection was via the advertising agency Hertz Walpole and its art director Gary Edgar.  Over later years I was to produce some food photography for brochures.  My everlasting memory was of executives from the bacon company driving down from Toowoomba bringing packages of product for use in the photography sessions, and their boredom eventually culminating with their disappearance from the studio around lunchtime to visit a hotel.  Fortunately not to be seen again that day!

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KR Darling Downs III; © Ian Poole, 1980

Agency:  Hertz Walpole, Brisbane
Art Director:  Gary Edgar
Artist:  Unknown
Client:  KR Darling Downs Pty Ltd, Toowoomba

You may also enjoy
– https://poolefoto.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/ghosts-from-christmas-past/
https://poolefoto.wordpress.com/tag/cassells-fashion-brisbane/

These transparencies (IAN POOLE does PHOTOGRAPHY file #4737) (and many others), will become part of an online searchable database at the John Oxley Historical Library within the State Library of Queensland during 2017.

 

 

The Failed TV Campaign

 

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Channel O; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

When you work closely with one or two major clients it is possible to become part and parcel of their visual sounding board and assist in producing new ideas or presentations.

Such was the attempt at winning the sales and promotion account with the Brisbane TV station Channel O.  (Now Network 10, Brisbane)

My good friend (and valuable photography client) Gary Edgar, was Art Director at the Brisbane office of the Hertz Walpole Advertising Agency.  As was the case then and now, agencies would regularly pitch ideas to clients seeking to gain their advertising budget.

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Gary Edgar; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

Whilst elsewhere in Australia the Channel O network had become Channel 10 in January 1980, in Brisbane the network still traded under the Channel O banner.  A situation that continued in Brisbane until 10 September 1988.

This campaign had everything going for it.  The art director and the photographer playing major roles.  A friendly TV cameraman (he had access to a camera) and of course that staple of the 1980s – a pretty female face wearing a swim suit!   This was August 1980 after all.

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Channel O Model; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

The model’s name has been sadly lost over the decades, but it is highly likely that she was the receptionist at the advertising agency.

Gary was a keen sailor and it naturally followed that both he and his 14′ Hobie Cat had to feature in a proposal that was aimed at sun, sand and water loving Brisbane audiences.

The water activity shots were photographed at Shorncliffe on the Redcliffe Peninsula during one of our regular Sunday afternoon sailing sessions.  Gary wasn’t the only one with a Hobie Cat – it was an activity that we both indulged.

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Shorncliffe; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

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“O” for the Glasses; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

The studio photographs were taken at the Old Pink Church in Warren Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.  The electric motorised Hasselblad (500EL – same as the one taken by NASA to the moon) in the top photograph, was a cantankerous old beast that was used mainly in the Studio.  Too big, too heavy, too unreliable to take outside!

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Eyewitness News; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

 

 

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Gary Edgar (alternate); © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


These photographs form part of the Poole Collection held by the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.  #5072 – Hertz Walpole Advertising, these transparencies (and thousands of other negatives and transparencies) will be available for public access within the next twelve months.   These materials, as well as films and digital stories are available for viewing in the John Oxley Library Reading Room or online via their catalogue OneSearch.


 

Ghosts from Christmas Past

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Poole Yule + Cindy Limque; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, c1977

There was a time when I spent a lot of time creating Christmas cards and photographic invitations for parties.

The above shot was created very early in my career at 115 Warren Street, Fortitude Valley and I was very proud of the old pink church that I shared with David McCarthy.  It took every piece of lighting that I possessed to illuminate the interior of the church, and using Kodak Ektachrome type B (Tungsten) film to record the lighting correctly but enhance the blue of the twilight, I felt that I was working at the extremes of creative photography.  Image my horror to discover either that year or the next, that a Melbourne photographer had used a similar technique and shot for their card!

Ian-Poole-Brisbane-PhotographerSharing a studio space as I did meant that David and I were able to co-host a Christmas party each year and share the costs etc between us.  The need to create an interesting invitation that would attract the attention of our respective clients was paramount.  Various advertising agency creative directors were kind in offering us their writing and art direction skills, but Kevin Fielding and Gary Edgar were two who gave generously of their time and skills.  Ian-Poole-Brisbane-PhotographerAdditionally there was a big input from our respective staff, not only assisting in the production and shooting of the image to be used, but the complex production of the text and subsequent printing of the photographs.  The invitations were always sent out as 10×8″ black and white prints to reinforce the fact that we were creative advertising photographers.

The complexities of sharing the hosting of such a party was illustrated in many ways.  There was a time when Brisbane was a two brewery town – Castlemaine Perkins Fourex and Carlton United.  The two respective advertising agencies were our clients albeit not necessarily for photographing beer.  As was the custom of the time, our parties were held in a large courtyard under a large poinciana tree, with a BBQ in one corner and several plastic rubbish bins filled with ice and cans of beer.  Knowing that the majority of our guests drank XXXX beer and not wishing to offend the Agency representing VB beer, we spent the night surreptitiously scattering VB cans into the bins so as to appear as if the beers were disappearing equally. Ian-Poole-Brisbane-Photographer

This was the late 1970s and early 1980s – the Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen years in Queensland.  Whilst the gerrymander (I have referenced the ABC’s Antony Green for a succinct explanation) gave the ruling Country/National political party a stranglehold on Queensland politics, elections were nevertheless strongly fought.  So it came to pass that our Christmas Party was held the night before a Queensland election and we had the amazing scene of three sitting members of Parliament fighting each other to work the tongs at the BBQ, thereby being in a position to offer an opinion with every hamburger cooked.  After some consternation at this, David and I eventually chose to avoid the BBQ that night and concentrated on having a drink with clients hoping that the festivities did not turn ugly.

I seem to recall that the gerrymander won again the next day!


 

My First APPA Silver Award c1977

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APPA Silver Award; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1977

Entering the second Photography Awards held by the Institute of Australian Photography (IAP) in 1977 was as nerve racking as it was entering the APPA held in Melbourne by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) last year (2015).  The IAP was the precursor of the AIPP – Australia’s premier professional photography body.

My very first Silver Award came from an image taken during the following campaign shot at my Warren Street Studio (Brisbane).

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Harlequin Music Centre #5; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1976

Whilst this is a different frame from which the Award print was made, it is interesting to note the Hasselblad format Ektachrome transparency and the information contained therein.  I was still using Lowel Tota lights prior to investing in a commercial set of Bowens flash gear.  Very effective lighting but terribly hot in a Queensland Studio.  But it was an easy way to get a lot of lighting for little investment.

Harlequin Music (later to become Toombul Music Centre) and later still closing its doors in 2008, was the campaign client.  My client was good friend Gary Edgar, Art Director at Pemberton Advertising Agency.

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Harlequin Music #3; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1976

Whilst some of the shots were to be used in press advertisements, the primary reason for the shooting session was to create some strong, powerful images to be used as large wall decorations.  The Art Director and I were concerned that normal continuous tone photographs would not  have much impact.  I had been experimenting with a black and white technique called tone line drop out.  This high contrast technique (or line conversion) was more commonly used in commercial printing and produced a negative/positive that had little or no grey – just black and white.

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Harlequin Music #1; © Ian Poole, Brisbane c1976

The actual shoot was fairly big deal for me, as it involved gathering a large amount of stock and props as well as hiring a specialist model.  Judy Addis was a Jamaican born model who was working for a local model agency (June Dally Watkins) and had a secondary job as a jazz singer.

She was perfect for the processing technique we had in mind.  From the tests that we had done in the Studio darkroom I realised the number of conversions needed was going to stretch the time of my assistant (Cindy Limque) and Wayne Eeeles (who worked in the David McCarthy Studio) was drafted to assist.  The resultant shots from the session were then converted to prints via high contrast negatives for the client selection.  To enable a photographically inexperienced client to pick and choose, a huge volume of material had to be produced.

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Harlequin Music #2; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1977

Note the music cassettes and cartridges being placed into the toaster – Art Director sense of humour!

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Harlequin Music #4; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1977

The ease in which Photoshop has done away with these arcane is amazing.  Such skills were held by the most experienced of darkroom workers.

I am indebted to Wayne Eeles for not only assisting with the treatment in the first instance, but corroborating the details recently, as my memory fades – unlike the well processed black and white negatives from which these scans were made!

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Harlequin Music #5; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1977  (Oh to have had Photoshop to strip out the light stand waaay back in 1977!)

 

 

 


 

A Hard Day’s Work in the Park

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Botanic Gardens Bicycles I; © Ian Poole, 1975. (Denise Moran and Gary Edgar)

The life of an advertising photographer can bring many different work places and complex exercises in logistics and model direction.

Such was this series of illustrations for a bicycle distributor shot in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens early in my career.  The shoot was firmly controlled by the Art Director from the Brisbane office of Pemberton Advertising – my friend Gary Edgar.  The only paid talent was the young girl hired from a model agency.

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Botanic Gardens Bicycles II; © Ian Poole, 1975.

Many thanks to Denise Moran (Sabcar Model and girlfriend), Francis O’Brien (long suffering receptionist and all round good egg – Frank where are you, and please contact me……), Doug the ABC technician (equally where are you today and please contact me).  How the bikes were transported to the Gardens has been lost in the annals of time.  I can report that this was a time when four hours of riding and photographing bikes did NOT bring park rangers tumbling out of the bushes demanding permits, park fees or threatening incarceration.

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Botanic Gardens Bicycles III; © Ian Poole, 1975.  (Denise Moran, Doug the ABC Technician and young Sabcar model)

As is common with all start-up photography businesses I was confronted with a client brief that wanted EVERYTHING and had a budget that would barely encourage you to get out bed in the morning!  The brief called for a range of photographs illustrating bicycle use across a range of ages – and naturally was to be pleasant to view and show fun.  There were no lyrca clad bodies called for in this series of shots.

Nothing has changed in forty years.

Working with both 6x6cm Hasselblad and an F3 Nikon outfit, and attempting to document in both black and white and colour transparency, it was a case of using almost every piece of equipment that I then owned.  The 200mm Nikon lens was longer than my 150mm Hasselblad lens and was pressed into use to achieve the Art Director’s demand for long shots across the duck pond.  Whereas the 50mm Hasselblad Distagon worked perfectly to achieve Botanic Gardens Bicycles I – look for the double notches on the left hand side of the illustration proving Hasselblad use.

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A Tender Biking Moment; © Ian Poole, 1975

Fortunately the light was soft (insofar as Brisbane sub-tropical light can be) and the exposures for the transparency film (Kodak Ektachrome) were not too difficult to monitor during the afternoon.  Looking at both the black and white negatives and the transparencies I am pleased to report that the exposures were uniform and well exposed.  Obviously some careful metering done during the assignment.

I have no memory of taking a European holiday on the proceeds of this assignment, but I do recall that there are probably worse ways of spending an afternoon working.  I apologise here for the bell-bottoms, the flares, the stripes and the wild and woolly hairstyles.

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Tender Biking Moment II; © Ian Poole, 1975.

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Art Director Giving Posing Directions; © Ian Poole, 1975.

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Deep in the Forest; © Ian Poole, 1975.   (Francis O’Brien and Gary Edgar)