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San Diego, July 21, 2012 – Cabin Fever is a devastating disease. The Black Death, malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue, all are walks-in-the-park by comparison to the ravages on one’s psyche branded painfully with the hot iron of cabin fever. It makes one crazy, sleepless, restless, twitchy, and otherwise out of sorts. And when combined with any degree of creative inactivity makes ME, at least, half crazed lacking only the foam around the mouth to reveal to the world my sorry state.
The shoulder, I am overjoyed to report, is coming along fine. Indeed it is progressing better than expected according to the Physical Therapist that worked me over Friday morning. I’m still not supposed to do any strength building exercises using weights or other resistance, only range of motion movements. The “discomfort” from those is certainly noticeable but not debilitating and I’ve tried to stick to the regimen suggested by the therapist. This time I was told my normal restrictions vis-à-vis angles of motion were lifted since enough time had passed so that the cut muscles and attached tendons, etc. should be fairly well healed. I could now perform and work with the exercises and progress letting the pain be my guide; that is; I should work on slowly and methodically extending the range of motion until the pain told me to push no further at that set.
But there is nothing very creative about working a pulley hooked to a door or doing sliding exercises at a table. I wanted to see if I could manage a real shoot so when a good friend asked me about some techniques for an event shoot she had contracted, I offered to help. As you all know I am not, and make no claim at being, an event shooter, per se, far preferring the control of staged shooting for advertising, product, and portrait work. After starting out doing weddings to earn the money to buy my initial serious equipment I have generally avoided candid and event shooting for that reason.
But working with a camera is working with a camera. I preach to my students that they should continually use and practice with their equipment and here was a chance for me to do that very thing and that the same time could help a good friend and get me out of the house and thrust into the midst of a real project where clients had an expectation and need for the results.
The event in question is a summer open-air concert series held in a Point Loma park (whose name escapes me). We went down before the event to allow me to get a preliminary view of the venue, and plan for any special ideas that might come to mind. The shots are primarily for the promoters to use as promotion/PR assets to show viewers what a great time the audience in these concerts enjoys and thereby encourage them to attend. The photos below are included for the same reason, to let you see what was happening and encourage you to attend and support them. I’ve left the watermark on them since they were shot not for me, but for her and the client. I was just a “hired gun” here.
My friend has a great eye for capturing individuals in candid situations, catching the right expressions and postures conveying the spirit of the moment in an ad hoc fashion. I have been shooting for hire since the late 1960’s but though she has not been into photography anywhere near that long, for this type of shooting she has a better feel for it than I do and consistently produces better images of that type of subject than I do. So we split the work so that she would do the close ups and individual shots of people there, at which she is excellent, and I would roam about doing overview and wide-angle shots of the venue and the audience which are basically technical, documentary style shots. That would be far easier on my shoulder since the wide angle and fish-eye lenses I took to work with are far lighter than the telephoto lenses ideal for individual shots with minimal depth of field.
I also took along a monopod, something I have had for a long time and almost never use. In this case, I used it with a remote shutter release so I could hold the camera way over the crowd and shoot down on the action. I confess it was more of a strain on my shoulder than I anticipated and I am now paying for it, but it got some good angles and it certainly was a good stand in for some of my PT exercises.
This event is one that is very, very well attended. People brought blankets, chairs, and picnics to enjoy an evening of music.
Here is an overview of the field showing the audience. The stage is at the far right of the shot.
The opening band was composed of several area high school students and I must tell you they were VERY good. Each member was a talented musician with quite a potential music career ahead for them if they keep at it. As a group they need to get a better grasp on what their unique dynamic is best at and concentrate on that rather than trying to work in such a broad set of musical genre but when they hit their power and it gelled they were truly professional grade. Here is a fisheye shot from the back of the stage and you can see the audience starting to form in front of them.
THe main band arrived late having gotten tangled up in rush hour traffic coming down from LA. So the opening band soldiered on and played their hearts out for the audience to buy time. Here is another shot of them jamming away while stalling for the main band to arrive.
Finally, the main attraction, a Beach Boys Tribute Band from LA arrived and was ready to perform. All of its members had, at one time or another actually been with the real Beach Boys. i think they knew after the late arrival the really needed to put on a good show and I have to say they rose to the occasion. They were so good that at times I don’t think most people could have noticed any important difference between their performance and one by the real Beach Boys.
Even the young kids could not resist the charm of this music and here a couple of young afficionados trying to get closer…
No one can easily listen to the Beach Boys’ music and not find their toe tapping or otherwise wanting to dance to it and this crowd was no exception. Before long the front of the field by the stage was filled with young and old dancers who were REALLY into the music. Here is a wider shot of some of the dancers.
Cynthia’s shots of individuals clearly lets you see in her subject’s faces that this music took them back to high school or college and some very pleasant associations and memories. I wish I had some of her shots to show you but they are on her Flickr page for “cynthiasinclairphoto” though since I do not use Flickr myself I have no idea how to tell you to access them.
So, the shoulder continues to mend and get better each day. In fact it is so much better it really is now often the case where my other and as yet untreated shoulder is causing more pain than the one I just had replaced. I guess that is progress…