Even in the age of Instagram and ubiquitous sunset photos, great nature photography is still something to behold. For well over three decades, Cardiff-by-the-Sea-based shutterbug Abe Ordover has been snapping grand, heart-stopping and even haunting portraits of nature at its finest. An established curator and gallery owner as well, Ordover has also been presenting nature photography exhibitions at the San Diego Natural History Museum (1788 El Prado) for the past nine years, but his latest exhibition, The Last Hurrah: The Photography of Abe Ordover, is just that: a last hurrah.
"I'm going to miss it," says Ordover, who is retiring this year. "It doesn't mean I'll stop being an artist, but I won't be curating any more shows."
While it's certainly a loss for theNAT and for San Diego at large, The Last Hurrah will certainly be a grand send-off. Held inside Ordover's namesake gallery space on the fourth floor of theNAT, the exhibition features some of the photographer's best work from the past 20 years. From a breathtaking shot of two penguins atop an iceberg in Antarctica to the desolate red desert of Namibia, Ordover's works are extremely varied in both style and substance.
"In terms of travel, I've always gravitated toward the extreme. I've been to the arctic twice and deserts all over," Ordover says. "There will be a number of shots in this show that I've never shown before."
While The Last Hurrah might be the last chance to see Ordover's work for a while, his retirement already includes a planned trip to Costa Rica in December and a trip to Madagascar in 2017.
"Obviously, I'll bring my camera with me," Ordover laughs. "I am almost 80 years old so I better start getting to places."
The Last Hurrah opens Saturday, Sept. 3 (museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and admission ranges from $12 to $19. There will also be a free opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. sdnhm.org
SHORT AND SWEET
Before the advent of YouTube, short film carried a certain amount of prestige by forcing established and burgeoning filmmakers to tighten up their games and hone their storytelling chops. But try getting someone to watch an online video that's longer than GIF-length these days, and it's like you're asking to borrow $100. CityBeat's 5 Minute Film Festival, on the other hand, celebrates local short filmmakers and those who favor craft over memes, storytelling over LOLs (well, there will be some LOLs) and innovation over viral fame. Live-action narratives, documentaries and some bonkers animation fill in this year's line-up. The event goes down at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, at The Music Box (1337 India St.). Tickets are $17.50 at sdcitybeat.com or $20 at the door.
The whole idea behind San Diego Opera's recent community engagement programs has been to get opera in front of diverse audiences who might not otherwise get to see it. Activities have included community talks and performances in front of the Civic Theatre, but the new Opera on Track series might be the most exciting and ambitious yet. Similar to San Diego Dance Theatre's Trolley Dances, Opera on Track will feature opera singers performing a free, 30-minute version of Rossini's Cinderella at various trolley stations (or a venue close by) across the county. The first one happens at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Santee Trolley Square Amphitheatre (9844 Mission Gorge Road). There will be performances at other stations nearly every Saturday through Oct. 9. See sdopera.org for full lineup.