It has been another whirlwind week wherein I just hope to keep waking up each morning. Life has been reports, marking, photography, travel planning and trying not to catch the cold by acting like the Gingerbread Man. My run ended this afternoon when I just could run no more. From the word on the street, this particular strain of the cold takes about two days to ease up, so until then I am in bed with a laptop and two restless dogs.
One of the first musicians I had the pleasure of photographing professionally was Trevor Hogg. When I first started shooting about three years ago, Trevor was playing with Peripheral Vision at The Rex in Toronto; I had grabbed my Canon EOS 1DmkIII with a 135mm f.2 lens and just shot for an hour. This time found them after a tour across Canada and having their CD release party at Trane Studio. Shooting in a dark club is not a simple task, because you want to mood and shadows, but you also want some sharpness and a properly exposed lit area. Knowing how each musician moves is another valuable piece of information: bassists may lunge, horn players breathe and guitarists strike poses. Keep to the time and you will be fine.
Before school became too demanding I had wanted to play in the Toronto jazz scene, but carrying a bass home at 2am and then to be on for teaching for 8am is not anyone’s bag. Still, I can check out my friends play and maybe get one or two good photos that might otherwise be lost to the night.
At The Trane Studio, I found myself flanked by two old-timers with an odd selection of cameras. One gentleman was shooting with a Canon 70-200mm f.2.8, while the other had three or four random cameras with flash dangling from his neck like Dennis Hopper’s character in Apocalypse Now. I am not sure if these guys were professionals, but they seemed more like retired aficionado trying to channel William Claxton or Herman Leonard. With flashes going off every few notes I decided it was best to only take a few shots and head home for some rest. The band had a great first set, but I knew by then that this head cold was in need of feeding.
The large mural of John Coltrane in the background did lend and epic feel to Peripheral Vision’s performance; I only wish I could have had them each play in front of that wall with the same lighting. I still have to sort and retouch the band’s photographs, but that cannot happen until I feel healthy.
On other notes, the parent’s organization at my school chose to print one of my photographs as an all-purpose card, which was a neat way to end last week. I am not sure if they sold any at our Festive Marketplace, but it was an honour to be asked to try to create a piece that they could use. While I cannot show the image due to a respect for privacy, I love the image and think it is one of my best emotive photographs.
I received news that my photograph submission of “Walking the Dirt Road” featuring my brother and his girlfriend, Courtney, won the PEI Tourism award for “Islandness”, which made us all very happy as the competition received over 2000 entries. It is not clear where the image will be featured, but it is the first recognition I have had from Prince Edward Island, and it made me proud of my work in a personal way.
New Orleans is just a few days away, and I still have to pick up some film for the cameras. I am so looking forward to some days in a hotel. I love the limbo of travel and there is no place like N’Awlins to make me feel like life is more than alarm clocks and Kraft Dinner. I do hope that the shrimp industry was not affected too badly by the oil spill – V. is dying to try some bbq shrimpies, and I know that she will fall in love with the city.
I suppose that Christmas is only a week or two away. I have heard that Santa received my list and might be bringing in something truly special this year, because I have been so good. I am excited. Actually, I am a little obsessed with the possibility, so that must mean that it was the right thing to ask for. Shopping is almost done, and I am looking forward to some down time. All I can worry about now is getting back into bed and resting until I feel healthy again.