Bicycles, Art, Oh MY!

Holy Moly! What a fun shoot. Cyclists! Bicycles! Fine Art mash-up! A four-year-old kiddo!

When Kevin Max, editor of 1859 Magazine asked me if I would photograph cyclists and their bicycles inside of an art museum, I told him it would never be permitted.

Lucky for us! The current Portland Art Museum “Cyclopedia” exhibit was about to launch, and the timing was right. The museum swapped out people on every hour whose responsibility was to monitor our moves: no one nor any equipment could get within four feet of any art piece.

Lucky for us again: nothing was broken, and fun was had by all.

1859 Magazine shoot at the Portland Art Museum

Prints For Prints: A Makeshift Studio in Rural Ethiopia

One thing that has become apparent while traveling anywhere is how precious a photograph print is to a family, especially in the rural areas of Ethiopia.  Most families have no record or image of their loved ones, and when we are able to give prints to villagers, it is appreciated beyond measure.

So this November, I will be traveling to Ethiopia with a small team of photographers and we will set up a small portable studio in several villages. We will capture portraits and donate the prints to the families we photograph. In addition, each US photographer will be paired with an Ethiopian photographer so there is an exchange of talents: technical skills, cultural awareness, and love for humanity.

We are planning a fundraiser to help with the costs for this project.  The concept is simple: we are calling the fundraiser “Prints For Prints”, and we will auction matted prints from photo-loving friends (both amateur and professional photographers). The prints will be sold at a very reasonable “affordable art” cost ($50-100 sliding scale) during a fun and relaxed party, followed by music by Portland’s very own Ethiopian funk band: The Tezeta Band!

This event will be held on August 8, 2013 starting at 7pm at the Secret Society Ballroom and we hope you will be able to attend.

All ages welcome until 8:30pm, then it is 21+.

Follow me at @jkabana on Instagram during November to see this project in action.

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PrintsForPrints

See our Website to view all of the prints and the fabulous photographers!

 

Villagers in Marovoay, Madagascar look at a Polaroid photo that was just made with their family.

(Villagers in Marovoay, Madagascar look at a Polaroid photo that was just made with their family.)

Prints For Prints Poster

 

 

 

 

Argentina: The Land Of Colors

Argentina is like a carnival in many ways.  From colorful street art to painted mountains to clothing with flare, colors are abundant everywhere you look.  Here are a few iPhone photos I took along the way as my eyes soaked in all of the colors around me.

View from the plane as we headed for Salta, Argentina

 

Wild donkeys in Jujuy, Argentina

 

On the road to Las Salinas Grandes, Argentina

 

Yummy empanadas, each of them with a different filling

 

The painted mountains surrounding Purmamarca, Argentina

 

Street Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

The mountains near Tilcara, Argentina

 

La Bomba stirs the crowd in an old warehouse in Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

Street Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

Street Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

 

Argentina: Las Salinas Grandes

I love salt.

Lots of it.

So I was one happy girl when we finally reached the salt flats in northern Argentina near Purmamarca.  Following a beautiful drive to reach Las Salinas Grandes, we were surprised to find that all of the buildings (and the tables inside of them) were built from salt.

Salt flats in the distance near Purmamarca, Argentina

 

People walking in the distance at the salt flats in Argentina

 

Buildings and tables and floors are all made of salt at Las Salinas Grandes, Argentina

 

Blocks of salt are removed and water is added so that the salt crystals can be extracted

 

Salt bags at Las Salinas Grandes, Argentina

 

Daughter Brynn jumps high in the land of salt at Las Salinas Grandes, Argentina

 

Global Press Institute: Argentina Office

It was an honor to be on assignment in Argentina this week, teaching photography skills to women reporters at the Global Press Institute office. Each woman was thrilled to get their donated cameras from Pro Photo Supply, and they eagerly absorbed all of the information that was packed into a two-day class.

We covered camera operation, lighting, composition, aperture/shutter speeds and the psychology surrounding taking a compelling portrait.

I will truly miss being with these women, and I look forward to reading their stories and seeing the beautiful photographs they will make which will enhance their articles.

Dina, Ro, Lucila, Bettina, Ivonne are excited to get their new cameras

 

The women reporters at Global Press Institute in Argentina try out their new photography skills

 

Women reporters use their new photography skills while photographing a juggler on the streets of Argentina

 

 

Exhibit: 2013 Kellicutt International Juried Photo Show – Through A Lens: Ten

I just received notification that one of “The Market Workers” was juried into the Michael H. Kellicutt International Photo Show in San Francisco, California.  Jurors are Tom Till, Kim Komenich and Crista Dix.

“Selam” is a market worker in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.  He sells vegetables and performs other labor such as carrying heavy items. It is an honor to represent these exceptional Ethiopians in celebration of their hard working and innovative spirits.

See all of the images selected for this show here.  Opening reception and awards ceremony will be on July 6, 5-8pm at the Coastal Arts League Museum in Half Moon Bay, and the show will run from June 28 – August 6, 2013.  The show will also be displayed at the Gallery At Calumet in San Francisco from August 9 – September 11, 2013, with an opening reception on August 15.

 

Dance With Me

I got into some trouble once because of the way I was dancing.  I wasn’t thinking about anything except the music that night, and I just let the seductive beats hit my body and let go.

“I like your dance”, he said.  Not “I like the way you dance” or “I like your moves”.  I heard him, and I think I knew what he meant, but being in Africa where rules and structure are consistently challenged, I was somewhat unsure.

I am a middle age lady, have birthed three kids who are now in college, and my body is not as elastic as it once was.  But the more time I spend in Africa, the more I can’t stop myself from letting my rickety legs interpret the music I hear.

Rhythm. Even that word looks erotic at first glance. RRRRRRR, followed by hhh, a twist on the “I”, then a sexy th, followed by mmmmmmmm.

We are born through a series of contractions, intensity increasing until we break through barriers and scream ourselves silly, those screams also expressing a pattern of rhythm, back and forth and back and forth.  What happens between that entry into life and how many of us become so self-conscious about moving our booty to music is something I have pondered for years. In Africa, dancing occurs any time a semblance of a beat is heard, while driving, walking across a fancy hotel lobby or in the midst of a surgical process.

But that late night, I found out that dance has the potential to bring out the animal in a person.

And, perhaps, why should it not?  It was just a close call lesson to be more mindful of the power of dance.

Several weeks later I was sipping beers in a shady spot of an outdoor restaurant in Ethiopia’s deep south with the director of an NGO who was hosting me during an assignment. We started talking about courtship and procreation.  He told me about a tribe in Ethiopia that practices “evangandi”, a quest for procreation through the power of provocative dancing.

This is how it works:  under a full November moon, the boys and girls all come together in a big field and they dance erotically with each other. The kind of dancing where you look into each other’s eyes, then look away, then look again, knowing you hooked someone with they way you move.

If a boy and girl choose to have sex, they sneak away into the forest and exchange their passions under that incredible citylights-free African moonlight. If the girl gets pregnant, this is celebrated, as it means she is fertile.  The baby is given to the girl’s father’s family, and she is free to marry the boy she had sex with, or someone else.

Last summer, under a starlit night in my own backyard, conversation waned and the few remaining dinner party friends listened to the beat of a calypso band coming from our LP record player. Steve, a formidable friend I have known for years, asked each of us to dance with him. I am not one to sit on the sidelines when good music is playing, and when he came over to me, my heart did a quick start at the inquisition.

I was not prepared, at all, for what happened next.

Steve’s subtle moves, his directive hand and confident style made us all fall in love with him. After the swoon fest was over, he slipped away without much of a goodbye. I think he realized the power he had over each of us. We have been yearning to dance with him since.

Each year I return to the Pendleton Round-Up rodeo to watch the way dance turns girls’ hearts inside out when those strong cowboys take the reins of music’s influence. The streets are cleared, and under the dark sky night, boys tip their hats beckoning to show those girls a thing or two about how to move to a beat. Silly blond haired girls are flipped up and over their shoulders, brought down to ground where they beg to be lifted back up while the boy just teasingly stares at her plight, both of them laughing from the place where bliss resides. It makes me happy to know our conservative and dance shy culture has a segment who know what soulful pleasure that dancing can instill between two human beings.

When we dance, nothing else matters. It is a remedy for all ills. Try it!

It just might be what we were born to do.

 

 

In Bed With A Magazine

My affinity for magazine photo assignments has escalated into a full blown love affair. I find myself sneaking into my office at 2am to finish editing and polishing those images so they will fly off of the printed pages.

And I am a cheap date: magazine editorial rates can pay for a few books, but hardly enough to help with college tuition for my three offspring.

But if truth be told, I do this because I repeatedly fall in love with some of the subjects. I never know when it will hit me, and it is a random thing. The way a hand brushes lint from a skirt, a pause in a spoken sentence, a flip of an attitude, a squeal of glee, one sarcastic comment.

I go home, download the images, and BAM. I am in love.

Here are a few people who have had that effect on me.  There are more tucked away on external hard drives, but I snagged a few here because, well, I love to think about what they bring to the world, one small gesture at a time.

(See if you can guess who each person is. Scroll your cursor over each image for the answer.)

An author:

 

A girl living happily on a commune:

 

A beer maker and a building restorer:

 

A folding bicycle maker:

 

The Littlest Cowboy In Frenchglen, Oregon:

 

An indie movie maker:

 

A dancer:

 

A redneck bar stool philosopher:

 

A bookstore owner:

 

An architect with a penchant for the drawing outside of the box:

 

Two crusty miners in Plush, Oregon:

 

A TV and movie star caster:

 

A Shakespeare Theater lover:

 

A lovely creative force who conceived of The Girl Effect:

 

A bread maker:

 

Another author:

 

A chocolate shop owner:

 

A mean ass goalie:

 

An environmental visionary:

 

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