I was fortunate to be the Sideshow Fringe Festival 2015 photographer, and as always there were many incredible sessions of theater, aerialists, puppets, and music. There are many, many, many tactics one can utilize when photographing performances. Long exposures, high-ISO captures, processed images to highlight the performer — all are good options. Another option on engaging the subject: shoot once, process none. Shoot film, process, and take what develops.
In addition to the actual live performances, I was also invited to check out some rehearsals, including the work of the FALL company. It was pretty incredible to listen in and hear some of their process as they rehearsed through the work, and to try and unobtrusively capture some of the discussionsÂ in photos. Below are three of those images next to one of the performers during the rehearsal set.
FALL Rehearsing, Side Show Fringe Festival 2015
Giving up some control with the medium lets me work in the available lighting and motion without stressing over the upcoming post-processing. A chance to photograph the mood and ambience in the unpolished environment. A bit of a looser, yet more focused, feeling from the performers seems to come out in rehearsals. When the dancers are continuing the commitment of their work to muscle memory it’s almost like a photo critique. People are looking for input, looking for encouragement, but also anything that helps rise the level of the work is welcome.
Many thanks to FALL for allowing me to shoot the rehearsals!
Downtowns centered on Main Streets are still around, and they often provide a view into the past. And sometimes there is a perspective into transition between the past and present as well. In Hendersonville, North Carolina, there is a vibrant downtown with music instrument stores, bars, knick-knacks shops, ice cream counters and delis. Including this old pharmacy with the dog treats, cigarette receptacle, and kiddie horse lined up outside the front door.
I see this photograph as a document of tension. I tried to limit the surrounding context to a minimum, although I did sneak in the historical plaque on the left wall. Between that decoration and the tiled entryway, what is original? We see a proclamation of this “new” ownership, management, whathaveyou — “The old ‘Justus Pharmacy’ ” — so somethings haveÂ changed. Maybe the Coke barrel by the door, probably the dog biscuit offering — those are certainly new. The neon sign could go both ways — maybe original? Our reflected awning is likely original, if not restored. But the horse — what of the horse? Definitely weather-worn, and from an earlier day when the motor casings were still metal instead of shock-proof plastic. I’ve no idea if it works or not — unfortunately I’m always bereft of loose change.
Is the restaurant merely trading on nostalgia and reputation? Do they have genuine respect for the history of such a space, or are they leveraging the horse to hook tourists into spending some quick cash? I should say that I don’t know at all — but I would imagine that the new owners are probably on the “respect and restore” side of the coin than the “appropriate and abuse” the past viewpoint.
This photograph was made on a rainy afternoon in June 2015, with 35mm Superia X‑TRA 400 in my Leica M3.
Between a visit to western North Carolina and a trip to Boston (photos of those forthcoming) I had a few days in Nashville. We took some family to see the Parthenon, and I had my Mamiya with HP5+ and my M3 with Superia 400 with me. Below are some of the works taken that day.