JAMESTOWN William S. "Butch" Poole of Jamestown will present an exhibit of abstract multiple-exposure nature photography shot with an iPhone 3GS camera at the James Prendergast Library Art Gallery Sept. 14 through Oct. 19.
"There was no plan to shoot and sell iPhone art. I had a new iPhone - so the obvious next step was to buy apps and see what they do! After months of playing around with an app called DXP, I developed techniques for getting unique abstract nature images," said Poole, who retired in 2001 after teaching biology in Jamestown for 33 years.
"I'm having so much fun, I hope to live 200 more years!" he said.
Nature photography with a twist will be on display at Prendergast Library this fall as William S. “Butch” Poole shares layered, multiple-exposure pictures taken with a camera phone.
Although he had enjoyed being out in nature most of his life while hiking, camping, canoeing, and traveling, his video and 35mm photography skills were self-taught.
"The first professional image work I did was making 22 one-hour nature videos (shot in 8mm format and dubbed to VHS) in the 1990s, marketing them locally in shops, art shows, and art and craft shows. I did still photography so as 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 and eight years of digital, he switched solely to iPhone photography in the fall of 2009. About a year later, he tested selling his new material at some art shows and was pleased with the reception from the general public.
"With this new photography technique, I have done more shooting and hiking in the last two years than in the last 5-10 years of my previous work. Thanks to the iPhone and the app DXP, I've shot over 25,000 images in the last two years," he said.
There will be a reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 14, to meet the artist and discuss his work.
"My whole nature experience has been totally rejuvenated with the iPhone and photo apps. Making these images is just pure fun," he said.
Poole describes his images as an overlay of shots of real nature objects or scenes along with applied effects that are part of the DXP app. A final image can involve the merging of two to more than 30 shots; most of the work features between two and 15 fused images.
"Some photographers say, 'I don't take photographs - I make photographs.' Well, that couldn't be more true 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 here, or go on for many more layers of images," he explained.
Most of his work is done while hiking in all types of habitats to locate a wide variety of subjects from nature.
"Every outing is like a big fun experiment! It's an opportunity to just let creativity run wild," he said.
Sometimes he finds subjects in rapid succession, but other times he may hike 10 or 20 minutes before finding what he wants. He can select from the nature objects around him or use pictures that were taken in other seasons and stored in the iPhone's memory.
"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 a half-decayed fruit or mushroom and it makes an interesting contribution to an image," he said.
Library hours to view Poole's work are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The next Prendergast Library Art Gallery exhibit will feature photography by Andy Palermo of Jamestown.
The library is located at 509 Cherry St., Jamestown. For information, call 484-7135.