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James Prendergast Library
William S. “Butch” Poole of Jamestown will present an exhibit of pictures that include traditional nature photography, abstracts and multiple-exposure iPhone photography in the Prendergast Library Art Gallery March 18 through April 22.
There will be a reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 18, to greet the artist.
“Making these iPhone images is just pure fun!” he said.
“Some photographers say, ‘I don’t take photographs – I make photographs.’ Well, that couldn’t be truer for me now. I lay one or more nature ‘items’ on a white, black, or colored background sheet and take the first image. Then I arrange the second nature ‘item or items’ on a background sheet and take that image followed by merging the two images together. It may end there, or go on for many more ‘layers’ of images,” Poole said. Most of his pictures have between two and 15 merged images, but they may involve more than 30.
“When I was doing traditional nature photography, it took lots of searching for that perfect scene or specimen. With abstract multiple-exposure work, I can incorporate an imperfect flower or mushroom, and it makes an interesting contribution to an image,” he added.
Poole taught high school biology in Jamestown for 33 years before retiring in 2001. He has enjoyed being out in nature most of his life while hiking, camping, canoeing, and traveling. His first professional image work was making 22 one-hour nature videos, shot in 8mm format and dubbed to VHS, in the 1990’s, and marketing them locally in Western New York.
“I did still photography to have pictures to put on my VHS videotape jackets. The still photography sales started ‘taking off’ when VHS was dying,” Poole said.
After 13 years of 35mm film work with various cameras and eight years of digital, he switched to iPhone photography in the fall of 2009, using an app called DXP for multiple-exposure iPhone photography. About a year later, he tested selling his new iPhone material at some art shows and was pleased with the reception from the general public.
“I’m having so much fun, I hope to live 200 more years!” he said.
He started featuring both iPhone work and traditional nature photography in his art show booth in 2014, and the next year he went back to shooting with traditional photo equipment as well as the iPhone and photo apps including Pict.Edge, Grungetastic, Slowshutter+ and OverCam.
Most of his work is done while hiking in all types of habitats to locate a wide variety of subjects from nature. He may identify subjects rapidly or hike awhile before finding what he wants. He also uses pictures that were taken in other seasons and stored in the iPhone’s memory.
“Every ‘outing’ is like a big fun experiment! It’s an opportunity to just let creativity run wild,” he said.
There is less gear to carry around with the iPhone, but even with traditional photography Poole says, “The good news is you can probably do it into old age. Maybe you’ll carry less equipment or a lighter tripod, but you can find ways to keep shooting.”
His advice to photographers is, “Try all the different things you can think to attempt. Many won’t be successful, but each feeds another idea or two and on and on and on and….”
Library hours to view Poole’s work are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The next gallery exhibit will feature the Chautauqua County Art Teachers. The library is located at 509 Cherry St., Jamestown. For information, call 484-7135.