Week’s best, Feb. 20-26
So this feature is going to be a little exercise in self discipline. Sometimes I get a little hung up on having to have a reason to shoot, like a Herald-Leader assignment, a client or something at MaxPres, and I can forget to just go work with the camera – play, grow, discover. So Rich, your challenge is every week you’ve got to post something here that you think is your best work of the week, meaning Sunday through Saturday. I don’t want the thread of this post to have images that look the same week after week or come from the same impetus. But I do want them to be images that I will be proud to say, like the kid at the end of X-Files episodes, “I made this.”
As weeks go for starting this post, it was not the greatest. Last week was just weird and very day-job intensive, so I didn’t get much chance to really play with the camera.
But I did work with it, and here’s what came into play with the image above: I was doing one-man-band coverage of a really cool event in West Liberty. A National Symphony Orchestra musician was coming in to do a little musical exchange with students who play traditional mountain music. As the event transitioned from the presentation by the National Symphony’s Glenn Donnellan to performances by the student musicians, I continued shooting the students in performance. But there are moments as a journalist, whether you are writing or shooting, you sometimes say, “I’m not getting what I came for,” and I wasn’t, just hanging in the audience. I noticed that after Donnellan had sat in with some of the students for one number, he’d disappeared backstage. So I snuck around and found him peering out the stage door at student players and talking shop with them as they came off the stage. That’s the flavor I wanted, and what I felt like I got in the above photo of Donnellan chatting up a young mandolin player and singer after her performance. Click here for a slideshow from the event.
Now, if I had whipped out my camera off stage and started shooting this person who lives in my house getting ready to gig with her BFF at Common Grounds open mike night, I probably would have been wearing her acoustic guitar. This was personal, and I was obviously not on the job. But when they took the stage, the camera came out. Common Grounds at night can be kind of harrowing to shoot in – about as much light as a mousehole. But I dig grainy black and white, largely from old rock ‘n’ roll photos. So while my final set of pics from this shoot included some realistic and desaturated color, I took a couple shots like the one below and goosed the contrast and grain in post.