August 2016 was a great month

For different but related reasons August 2016 was a great month for me.


In Good Company

Firstly I had a comprehensive portfolio of my photographs published in the online magazine f11::for PHOTOGRAPHERS AND AFICIONADOS.

Secondly I gained my Master of Photography (M.Photog) status with the (AIPP)


In Equally Good Company.

The first achievement was the result of over nine months of submission and collaboration with the f11 Publisher and Creative Director, Tim Steele.

With some gentle (and often times not so subtle) prodding, Tim was able to move me away from a grab-bag of retrospective images culled from a lifetime of photography into displaying a targeted and curated array of complimentary shots.  For this I will be eternally grateful.  Whilst I have a fair record in curating photographic shows for other people this was proof positive that the artist should rely on the input of a dispassionate party in such an exercise.

As a long time exponent of the black and white process and genre, it was an eyeopener to me that not a single monochrome image was included.


Istanbul Dolls; © Ian Poole, 2015

The wonder of colour was never more evident than in this portfolio.

Issue 57 commencing at page 98 gave a comprehensive survey of my more contemporary photographs.  The supporting essay alluded to a voyeuristic photographic eye – a statement that I don’t shy away from, albeit not in the wide angle, camera in the face documentary style that is employed by some practitioners of so-called street photography.  I am no Vivian Maier!


Observations; © Ian Poole, 2015.

What this project did do for me was to isolate a not strongly held view that I was attracted to people and place.  Having been fortunate to travel a few times over the past few years it was obvious that I would document those moments.  But it was the urban landscape (with its attendant population) that attracted my lens more than “the landscape”.  It took an analysis of various submissions for Tim to make this point so strongly – a fact with which I am pleased.

The second part of the bookending of the month of August was my gaining my M.Photog.  The road to this achievement has been paved with many challenges (I Earned a 73 ……. and a few other scores) and (Failure) and (The 2015 APPAs).  In this 40th year of the APPAs (Australian Professional Photography Award), it was a nice co-incidence for me.

I had attended the “test run” of the APPAs 41 years ago at the HYPO Convention at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, and entered the second APPA and earned a Silver Merit.  Having decided early in my membership of the AIPP that I was a better Judge than an Entrant I chose for a long period to restrict my involvement to the judging table – UNTIL!   Some six years ago a few of my Institute “Friends” took me aside at an Awards Dinner and monstered me.  “Put Up or Shut Up” was the demand.  Thank you Mike Langford APP.L GM.Photog FAIPP,  Jackie Ranken, Peter Eastway APP.L GM.Photog FAIPP FNZIPP Hon. FAIPP Hon. FNZIPP, Ian van der Wolde APP.L M.Photog III Hon. FAIPP, Andrew Campbell APP.L GM.Photog and David Oliver AAP.L GM.Photog.  So, with the exception of the disastrous 2014 Year of the Bronzes, I steadily worked my way through gaining my Associateship and then Masters.


Birmingham Gallery Cafe; © Ian Poole, 2016.

This year’s Award images also contributed to my gaining a Master of Photography within the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography Iris Award system.


Tallin, Estonia; © Ian Poole, 2016.

Huge thanks need to go to Living Image Print and Andrew Merefield (and Darren Jew who was away swimming with whales) for the care and professionalism given to putting these pixels onto paper.  A skilled job for a pair of skilled professionals.


Opposite The Ritz; © Ian Poole, 2016.


Edinburgh; © Ian Poole, 2016.

……and a final comment must be made to my talented mentor Adam Finch M.Photog.  Adam has continually challenged, critiqued and encouraged my photographic output.  No good photographer can exist without a mentor (or an Editor).  Thanks.





Mongkok, Hong Kong


Mongkok – a View; © Ian Poole, Hong Kong, 2016.

A brief stopover in Hong Kong not only broke the Australia-Europe journey, but gave me a few moments in one of my (many) favourite cities.


Raise the Red Flag; © Ian Poole, Hong Kong, 2016.

The artwork in the Cordis Hotel appears to be revolutionary and following the China Party line.  I have a feeling that it is just a little less than that and has a tinge of unorthodox about it.

These artworks by Jiang Shou, variously titled Red Guards – Going Forward! Making Money! were scattered around the hotel.  Featuring featureless faces with wide open mouths shouting slogans, these child-like guards illustrate the blind worshippers of capitalism.  The use of the Little Red Book of Mao and a mobile phone locate the artwork into a contemporary period.

Shou uses sarcasm to report the changes in culture over the years.


Red Guards #1; © Ian Poole, Hong Kong, 2016.


Red Guards #2; © Poole, Hong Kong, 2016.


Red Guards #3; © Ian Poole, Hong Kong, 2016.

Hong Kong Airport is a great people watching space and waiting for my hotel shuttle bus was a perfect time to indulge.


Airport; © Ian Poole, Hong Kong, 2016.


Hong Kong Harbour; © Ian Poole, 2016.


Maris Rusis : Original Photographs


Maris Rusis, Tewantin;         © Ian Poole 2013.

As a Director at Gallery Frenzy I naturally take a great interest in work that is displayed on its walls.

When the exhibitor is a long standing friend and admired fellow photographer, I take a very careful and personal interest.  Such is the case with our next Exhibition  Maris Rusis : Original Photographs.  Rusis is an unabashed photographic analogue pedant.  His disdain of digital photography is well known to me, and has been the reason for the consumption of many bottles of red wine late into the evening.  Whilst he has shown erratically at some quality galleries (Point Light in Sydney and the late and much lamented Imagery Gallery, Brisbane), cajoling Rusis to Gallery Frenzy has been a major coup.  He will be the opening exhibitor at Gallery Frenzy’s new second gallery.

Abandoned Drive-in Cinema, Chinchilla

Abandoned Drive-in Cinema, Chinchilla;  © Maris Rusis

Eschewing colour photographic materials (as well as digital), Rusis is an avowed proponent of black and white photography; and this is best explained by quoting from the exhibition catalogue “All pictures are made from light-sensitive substances,principally gelatin-silver halide emulsions on film and paper substrates.  Process is done by hand and follows the original pattern of exposure, development, fixation and archival finishing.”

This exhibition is a delicious mix of negative sizes ranging from 6x7cm Mamiya RB67, 4×5″ Tachihara 45GF and a venerable 1991 8×10″ Tachihara 810HD triple extension field view camera.  With Rusis reaching an age when regular shooting excursions with the 8×10″ are becoming less frequent, it is the contact photographs from these negatives that excite me most.  Photographs created by contacting directly onto the exhibition paper have an honesty and beauty that cannot be replicated.  We have many examples in this exhibition.

Archer Park Motel, Rockhampton

Archer Park Motel, Rockhampton; © Maris Rusis

The reportage of banal motel rooms occurred during a road trip shared to far North Queensland.  Using a Mamiya Sekor-C 37mm f/4.5 Rusis maintained control with this difficult lens, and produced intriguing photographs of such a dry subject.  Archer Park Motel, Rockhampton is classic illustration of both banal reportage and self-portraiture.

North Queensland art photographer Glen O’Malley is recorded with the author at O’Malley’s Woopen Creek home in FNQ.  This photograph is one of a number taken in and around this area.  Whilst very much the technical photographer, Rusis has an ability to communicate with his subjects whilst obtaining a fly on the wall rendition of his chosen subject.  This is no small achievement using the style of equipment that he does.

Maris Rusis : Original Photographs will open at 6:30pm at Gallery Frenzy on Monday 3 February and run until 22 February 2014.

Woopen Creek, Ian and Glen

Woopen Creek, Ian and Glen; © Maris Rusis.

A Post on the Road to the Nevis Valley


A Post on the Road to the Nevis Valley, New Zealand; © Ian Poole 2013.

The Nevis Valley was first used as a trail route by Maori people. Early European settlers farmed the valley and in 1862 a Maori farmhand found some gold in the river. Years later, pioneering miners decided to investigate reports of this find and they soon struck it rich. Efforts to keep the find a secret failed – and so began the Nevis Valley gold rush.

Saved by the remoteness of this valley, the remains of numerous stone buildings from the gold mining days offer a fascinating insight into the perseverance and ingenuity of early pioneers. The relics include everything from the cemetery and settlement buildings through to a woolshed and the first ski hut.