Setting up for my haikyo exhibition

The gallery space in RAW Vibes as we bring the very first haikyo photographs in.This late night RAW Vibes owner Jeff and I worked tirelessly for as long as our eyes could stay open to get up all the 16x20 prints for Friday night's haikyo exhibition.  It was fun, but tiring, but we made good progress.  I am writing this with an exhausted just enjoy the sneak preview photos of the exhibition for now.  I'm going to sleep.....

With all the haikyo photographs catergorized and put next to their respective wallspace, we were ready to start hanging.


Jeff has good hanging skills and we got the haikyo prints all within a single millimeter of each other.


All the 16x20 haikyo prints up! I left after this, but Jeff may have labored on as all the 16x9 and 24x36 and 8x10 images still needed to be hung.

Haikyo - Urban Decay from Japan Exhibition

The flyer for my first exhibition in Florida. Exhibition opens November 13, 2009 at

On Friday November 13th at 8pm at RAW Vibes Art and Performance Space I will have my first exhibition in Florida!  The photographs I will be showing for this exhibition will be my haikyo photos from Japan.  I must admit I never expected this collection of photographs to be the first images I publicly showed in the U.S., but I became very fast friends with the owner of RAW Vibes, Jeff Henriquez, about a month ago and he was a very big fan of the haikyo images.

Over 60 photographs will be on display in prints ranging from the standard 8x10 up to the gallery standard of 16x20 all the way up to a few selected pieces at 40x60!  Prices will vary accordingly with many prints available at very reasonable prices for all budgets.  For those with no budgetary concerns, the 40x60 prints will make a striking statement in your business, home or office.  Orders can be placed on site for any piece already sold that you wish to also purchase (25% deposit required).  

I will be present the full 3-hours of the opening night to answer any questions about the haikyo images.  I will also give a brief presentation on the collection of haikyo images in general, including what exactly haikyo is, how they were found, and what it is like to spend the night in an abandoned hotel!

Admission on opening night is $7.  If you leave a comment below, I will choose at random one person to receive two free passes to the opening (you and a guest).  Refreshments will be served at no charge.  

Please RSVP for the opening on Facebook or by leaving a comment below.

Thank you for your support and I hope to see everyone on the 13th!


Haikyo - Urban Decay from Japan exhibition

  • RAW Vibes, 2109 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg, FL, 33713 -- 727-557-8266
  • Friday November 13, 2009 
  • 8pm-11pm

RAW Vibes Art & Performance Space Grand Opening

Cutting the ribbon on the Grand Opening of RAW Vibes Art & Performance Space in St. Petersburg

Two weeks ago I first met Jeff, the owner of RAW Vibes Art & Performance Space in St. Petersburg.  I showed him some of my haikyo photography from Japan and to my surprise he really liked it.  Jeff quickly began talking about having an exhibition of my work and of RAW Vibes' upcoming grand opening.

Some of the paintings and photography already on display at the grand opening of RAW Vibes.

I arrived a bit fashionably late to the grand opening (had to stop at Publix and buy more Gatorade!).  Even from half a block away though I could tell the place was already packed as there were some people also outside milling around.  After meeting Jeff at the door and giving him a small grand opening present (a framed haikyo 8x10 print) and getting a water from the bar (I do not drink), being a relatively shy person I just quietly browsed all the paintings and photographs along the lengthy wall spaces.  After that lap I got the ok from Jeff to start shooting away, and I went right to work and as I raised my D300 to my eye all my shyness went away, as it always does.  I now had a purpose and could stop being in the event and switch to being in the event while outside of it via my lens.  This is how I feel most comfortable at such social gatherings--in them, but not of them.

 The crew that helped get RAW Vibes up and running (owner Jeff, center with hat & white shirt)

I was mostly on the hunt for candids and interesting angles, but there were a few posed shots like the above one with Jeff and the crew that helped him get RAW Vibes off the ground.  I know the guy on the far left is the photographer whose work was on display, and the guy second from the right was one of thew two DJs.  The guy to the left of Jeff is an illustrator.  

A flamenco dancer was the first entertainment of the night.

Jeff gave a short speech thanking everyone who made the grand opening possible and to everyone who came out to show their support.  A small stage was setup and and a flamenco dancer performed several dances which got the people in attendance quite energized.  I was focused on trying to get a good shot switching between full power flash, and a bit of shutter drag as can be seen in the above image.  

Jeff takes a turn at the turntables to be the DJ for awhile.

After the flamenco dancing Jeff took over the turntables and did a bit of DJ-ing.  I thought the dark brown wall behind him made for an interesting color background.  Fortunately, he was wearing a white shirt too.  I had to to experiment with angles to get only Jeff in the shot as there were always people ambling in and out of frame.

Pedro put on a strong spoken word performance ending in two hip hop songs.

In a very subtle way, all of a sudden Pedro (above) commanded the attention of the crowd with a seemingly out of the blue spoken word performance.  There was quite a diverse demographic on hand from perhaps his usual target audience all the way up to older family members and kids, so it was interesting to see how the words he was spitting fell on the different people in the crowd.  He transitioned into a hip hop performance with a crowd pleasing number with I think his wife rapping back and forth with him during the chorus.  

David rips into an energetic freestyle in the "Black Box" roomLast but not least for the happening in the main gallery room, was David, a well-known poet in the St. Petersburg area.  I had met him that first night I met Jeff, but this was my first time to hear him speak.  I was immediately impressed as his normal somewhat laid back demeanor dissolved into a rapid-delivery poet of demanding attention.  He gave only a few sentence burst in the main gallery room, and said if you were feeling what he was saying, then join him in the back room, also called the "Black Box" room, a place where Jeff has stated several times there is "no censorship."  A bold performance ensued and I was able to make my best photograph of the evening (above).  

RAW Vibes Art & Performance Space exterior at 2109 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33713 Although the performances continued on, I made my way home early as is also my custom.  

RAW VIBES Art and Performance Space info: