A Quick Excursion to Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena and Another Piano

23 Apr

Vroman's Bookstore - Pasadena, CA © G Bernabe

It might seem like I’m going out of my way to track these pianos that are part of the public art campaign by British artist Luke Jerram called Play Me I’m Yours, but I’m really not. My wife wanted to go to Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena (695 East Colorado Blvd.) to hunt for a few books, so I took off work a little early to go with her and the kids.

Vroman's Bookstore - Pasadena, CA © G Bernabe

Vroman’s Bookstore is “Southern California’s Oldest & Largest Independent Bookstore,” though I’m not sure whether she actually found what  she wanted because I spent most of my time outside photographing the public art piano and several very talented pianists who stopped by to play some tunes.

Nikon Coolpix P7000, f/2.8, 1/230, ISO 100, Aperture Priority Mode

I was taken by a woman named Betty Ford (below), a very lively woman and an active piano teacher. She made that piano sing as easy as breathing. She told me that she was waiting for her student to drop by and play on the piano and maybe accompany Betty with a violin (guess her student is really talented), but I didn’t get to stick around for that show.

Nikon Coolpix P7000, f/2.8, 1/160, ISO 100, Aperture Priority Mode © G Bernabe

She graciously posed for this photo after I asked permission to photograph her.  When she first saw me with my little Nikon P7000, she told me that she thought I was part of a news organization sent to photograph the piano.  I hope she appreciates that she’s featured on 48 Shots!

Nikon Coolpix P7000, f/4, 1/55, ISO 100, Aperture Priority Mode

I also met Robert Gorski, another pianist who couldn’t resist the lure of the piano (above).  What a super talented and nice guy!  I listened to him play a few perfectly played songs before I asked for permission to shoot these photographs.  [Robert, if you actually end up finding this website, drop me an email and I'll forward these photos to you.]

After listening to both talented musicians, I thought that it was a waste that the photos I took don’t really capture the sounds of the wonderful songs these people play on these pianos.  So the next time I stumble upon another of these pianos being played, I’ll forego shooting stills and record the session in video mode.

Nikon Coolpix P7000, f/4.0, 1/80, ISO 100, Aperture Priority Mode © G Bernabe

All photos shot in RAW format and processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.6 and Nik ColorEfex.

Check out more of my photos taken during our excursion to Vroman’s Bookstore:



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