Thursday, December 25, 2008

Smoky Mountain Fall

All Images © 2008 Stuart Pearl

The clouds are beneath your feet. But you can easily change chairs for a different view. Every morning showcased a unique sunrise. Sometimes it was a mass of cotton candy filling the bowl in front of the deck.

Other mornings you could see blue gray peaks just breaking through the gauze. Certainly no two sunrises were alike, and each new canvas was special in its pallet of colors.

For years Jeanne and I had talked about visiting the Smoky Mountains. We finally made good on that plan in early October, shortly before my unexpected surgery. Planning such a trip starts out simple and Jeanne is an expert in the task.

We find a “green spot” on the map and then google for cabin rentals in the vicinity. Now the planning gets complex. She has tremendous patience as she reviews at least a hundred different venues. But she always makes excellent choices.
Switchback road to Sky Cove cabin

The particular rental was at 3500 feet. It was also at the end of a narrow, single lane, winding road with frequent hairpin turns. Second gear was recommended for the ascent…as well as the descent.

Our "Rental"

It’s not often I see the temperature gauge change in front of my eyes. But once we arrived at our “Sky Cove” cabin, the view was worth it.

This cabin was actually nicer than our home. We wanted our kids and their guys to join us so we rented something with multiple bedrooms. Unfortunately work and school didn’t give them the necessary free time.

Jeanne relaxing with a book after dinner

Our deck looked out upon the southern part of the Smoky Mountains. It gave great views while reading or enjoying dinner. There was a different sunrise or sunset to photograph everyday, and it was difficult to select the best images.

Livingroom and spiral staircase to the loft bedroom.

Our rental was just outside of Bryson, NC which is nearby the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Bryson is small and the main industry is now tourism.

"Downtown" Bryson, NC and Smoky Mtn. Scenic Railway

The Recession has hit this area hard. Evinrude Motor, numerous furniture manufacturers and other businesses have moved out over the past few years. If not for the gift shops, lodging rentals and new Indian Casino, income would be difficult for the area. Some still do survive on agriculture though.

One enjoyable day was spent riding the Smoky Mountain Scenic Railway.

It leaves Bryson on a 44 mile round trip traversing both the Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers, with stunning views of Lake Fontaine and their tributaries.

Approaching the Nantahala Gorge

We met a number of interesting folks from all over the United States. The train has conventional seating was well as an “open air car”.

This allows photographers an unobstructed view of the landscape.

Lake Fontaine with houseboats (below)

We also indulged our passion for hiking. Over the course of our five day Smoky stay we went on three hikes of varying difficulty. The easiest was the trip to Clingman’s Dome.

The walk to Clingman's Dome

On a clear day you can see a number of mountain tops across various states. Unfortunately fog hit the observation point the moment we arrived.

Jeanne at creek crossing on Alum Cave trail

Our most enjoyable trek was the hike up to Alum Cave Bluff. This was a 1,400 foot ascent over a one way distance of two miles.

Stu taking a break on Alum Cave hike

Anytime we do a hike of this duration and difficulty we pack lunch and plenty of water. At this time in our lives we’d quickly run out of energy without the additiona calories.

We stopped halfway up the trail at the “cave” and enjoyed our PB&J’s. Further up there is a permanent overnight camp with hot meals and showers, but that’s for hardcore backpackers. After chatting with some fellow hikers we began our 90 minute descent.

Jeanne and Stu at Alum Cave Bluff

The Smoky’s are really a beautiful place. Hopefully we can entice our extended family to join us the next time we return.

Sunset on southern range of the Smoky's

Like to see high resolution images of these views? Check out my Smoky Mountain Gallery on the web.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

An Evening With Kai Ryssdal

All Images © 2008 Stuart Pearl

Special access can provide a photographer with some interesting subjects and opportunities. It may be a new vantage point in the Cleveland Flats. Or it can mean an introduction to media personalities.

This is how I got to chat with Kai Ryssdal back on September 25. He is the host of Marketplace on American Public Media. It was also the last photo shoot I did prior to my current injury and subsequent disability.
Jane Temple of Ideastream watches Ryssdal from the Ideacenter control room.

Kai is a charming and gracious individual with a terrific radio presence, whose unique name has Norwegian origins. Although he has hosted Marketplace since August, 2005. journalism was not always his background.

Prior to this he was a carrier based Navy pilot for eight years, a Pentagon staff officer, and a member of the United States Foreign Service .

Relaxed and wearing colorful suspenders with a theater motif, Kai and I talked as he prepared for his 6:30 PM Marketplace broadcast from WCPN’s studios.

He actually did most of the talking while I snapped candid portraits. Kai was in Cleveland to speak about the current financial crisis. That morning he responded to callers on The Sound of Ideas with Dan Moulthrop.

Later that evening Ryssdal spoke before a sell out crowd of over 200 people in the Westfield Auditorium at the Ideacenter. The Glenmede Corporation and Alpha Group Agency were sponsors of the evening.
Ryssdal traced origins of the current financial crisis, pointing out similarities and differences between 1929 and the present. He then followed up with questions from the audience. Some of the audience interaction took on a debate aspect.
I photograph a variety of subjects - it’s not all weddings or the Flats. In addition to my event and fine art photography, I donate time to the Cleveland NPR and PBS affiliate, WVIZ/WCPN Ideastream.
Several times during the year I will be contacted by the staff regarding station events.
Not only is this a fascinating community organization, but I’ve been able to meet film makers, on-air talent like Gwen Ifil and Dick Feagler, and also a number of interesting station personalities.

Ryssdal speaking to audience members on September 25, 2008.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flats Featured in Holiday Card

"Winter Arches" © 2008 Stuart Pearl

For more than 100 years the Cleveland Sight Center has served people of all ages who are visually impaired or blind.

Each year the Center has a holiday card sale which features the work of local artists, illustrators, print makers and photographers. All proceeds benefit the Center and aid them in providing programs and services for those in need.

This year I was very fortunate to have "Winter Arches" selected as one of the Holiday cards they are offering to the public. The image features an early morning view of the Detroit Superior Bridge taken last February during a bitter cold snap.

Other cards feature the work of Seth Cwast, Andrew Morell, Fran Bayless, Jeanne Regan, Al Fuchs, and famous 20th century artist and industrial designer Viktor Schreckengost. All cards are now available for this holiday season. Visit the Sight Center Sale and support a Cleveland institution.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Photos Shown In Butler Museum Exhibit Opening

"Coming Up the Cuyahoga" All Photos Copyright Stuart Pearl 2008

Each year The Butler Institute of American Art holds its Midyear Exhibition. This competition is a national juried show. Painter, print makers, and photographers from around the country submit their work. The show opened today at the Youngstown cultural institution.

This is the first year I've entered the Butler show. To my great satisfaction, all three of my submissions were accepted. The black and white print "Coming Up the Cuyahoga" won Best In Show which comes with a monetary award.

Stuart Pearl

It was additionally purchased by the museum for its permanent collection as well as by a private individual. It shows the bulk carrier Algoway being guided up the Cuyahoga by a river tug, at the Lorain Carnegie Bridge.

"Girders and Stacks"

This bridge and portions of the old Powerhouse Complex are part of my Cleveland Flats series. It shows the twin brick stacks of the Powerhouse framed by the rusting ironwork of the decommissioned B&O railroad bridge near Settlers Landing. Hidden amidst the girders you can just make out part of the Nautica Stage tent.

"Memorial Glow"

This photograph of the Veterans Memorial Bridge (Detroit Superior) was shot last winter from the old Superior Viaduct. The temperature was about six degrees as the sun rose over a crystal clear morning. Golden light illuminated the inner girders of the trusses, and I had only seconds to make the shot before the glow faded.

The picture above of the snow covered Superior Viaduct was not a show entry. But this was the vantage point for "Memorial Glow."

Our family has a tradition of involvement with the Butler Museum. My sister Sharlene Green is a very talented painter as well as college art professor and has been accepted to the Midyear Show in the past. Our father Moses Pearl had paintings shown in Butler exhibits and competitions four times since 1957. His water color painting "The Pass Over" is part of their permanent collection.

Over 800 entries were submitted for the 2008 competition. Of those, 104 pieces were selected for display from over 60 artists. The show runs from July 13 - August 24 at the Youngstown museum.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rosewood Gallery Accepts “Steel Sunrise”

This year has been very successful for juried photo competitions. In Spring I was notified that “Steel Sunrise” had been accepted by the Rosewood Gallery for their 2008 Dayton, Ohio Show.

“Steel Sunrise” Photos Copyright Stuart Pearl 2008 (Click Picture to Enlarge)

The above photo is my black and white interpretation of the Arcelor Mital Steel Mill located in Cleveland’s Flats. I felt this image was best respresented with a complete absence of color. The cubes of scrap iron, battered rail cars and smoking stacks impart a sense of grittiness that are best conveyed in shades of gray.

Between wedding and Bar Mitzvah work I love to explore Cleveland’s urban landscape. Wandering this area is very relaxing. The range of exposures provide an opportunity to hone my digital skills. This industrial zone has proven to be a fertile area for many satisfying images. Some of these have been submitted to local shows.

Morning and evening, as well as sunny or overcast woll result in totally different representations of the same landscape. I will often scout an area for weeks, experimenting with various exposures and angles before settling upon the desired image.

The above photo of Mital was shot several days prior to the black and white phot, during heavy overcast. The sunlight was spotty and my timing was all wrong for the type of shot I was seeking.

Lacking the desired impact, this print was not submitted to Rosewood. It has a pleasant painterly aspect to it, but lacks the contrast and drama of the image that ended up being accepted. I feel the success of black and white photo owes much to the sunlight which had just broken through the clouds.

Taken within minutes of that first sunlit shot is a similar view in color. It focuses on Mittal’s scrap loading rail yard.

Had it not been for my sister Sharlene Green , I never would have found out about the Rosewood competition. She is a very talented painter in her own right, has had gallery shows of her paintings, and has been accepted to various competitions over the years. She is also a college professor at Tri-C.

Sharlene had two oil paintings accepted by Rosewood this year. Her work “Foliage And Falls at Brandywine “ is one of those and can be seen below. It had previously been displayed at her Tri-C East Show in 2006.

“Foliage And Falls at Brandywine “ by Sharlene Green

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Something Different - A New Gallery

"McCauley Pond Woods - Adirondacks"

"Photograph something different. I'm tired of looking at pictures of the Cleveland Flats." My wife can be quite helpful with her suggestions.

I'd been hearing these comments for months. So I finally decided to do something about it. With this blog entry I am launching my new Urban & Landscape Gallery.

"By Wade Lagoon"

While the Flats body of work concentrates on industry and architecture near the Cuyahoga River and lakefront, my new gallery will contain a more random mix of images. They may include vacation shots, rural landscapes, as well as the skylines of other cities.

You can access the new gallery by clicking HERE. Once you get to the main page you can click on the photos individually to enalrge them, or click SLIDESHOW for automatic viewing. I hope you enjoy these new pictures. Drop a line and let me know what you think.

"The Hermitage - Nashville"

All photographs copyright Stuart Pearl Photography 2008.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Photos Selected for JCC Show & Holiday Card Sale

Sunrise at State Fish” by Stuart Pearl

Since going digital I have been making a greater effort to submit work to competitions and exhibitions. This year has started off well. “Sunrise at State Fish” was accepted for exhibition at the Mandel JCC Annual Photography Show .

The JCC show is one of the largest and most prestigious open photo shows in Northeastern Ohio. The 2008 Show Opens with a reception on May 5, 7:30pm at The Mandel JCC. It is free and open to the public through June 8 during building hours.

More than 110 photographers submitted over 540 images to the competition. Approximately 65 photographs are being exhibited. "Sunrise at State Fish" was taken about 7:30 A.M. this past January as the sun was just starting to touch the silos behind the building. I’m told that part of the older structure dates to the Civil War era

Winter Arches” by Stuart Pearl

Each year the Cleveland Sight Center holds a competition for area artists. Paintings, photographs and illustrations are submitted for possible consideration as holiday greeting cards.

My photograph “Winter Arches” was recently selected as one of the images that will be used in the Center’s 2008 holiday card sale. This is one of their fund raisers and a variety of different cards featuring area artists will be available for purchase. The cards go on sale this fall from the Sight Center.

The partial view of the Cleveland skyline was taken from the Oxbow bend on the west bank of the Cuyahoga. It is actually shot in the opposite direction of the picture showing State Fish.

Sunrise is just starting to glow in the pastel white arches of the Detroit-Superior (Hope Memorial) Bridge. The Settler’s Landing Cabin can be seen in the shadows of the opposite bank. The river is partially frozen and hundreds of noisy gulls feast upon fish trapped in the ice.

It’s hard to believe that Northeast Ohio was blasted by winter snows just last month. At one point it was difficult to even reach our driveway.

But with the recent warm weather many of our blossoming trees and shrubs have already reached their peak. These are some of the apple blossoms framing the Wade Lagoon at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Above is a sunrise view of the Museum grounds, looking directly north to the main building with it’s classic columns. The square structure just to the right of the building is part of the new museum expansion. It is scheduled to be completed in 2011 at an approximate cost of $258,000.000.