I recently realized that I haven’t yet posted any photos from my new job at Randolph College. Like the students I photograph every day, I have learned a lot in this semester back at school. I’ve felt drawn to this school since I moved here in 2010. The spired, stately, brick buildings overlook one of the main roads through Lynchburg and they always seem to glow in the sunlight; out the back there are incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many of my first friends in Lynchburg were students or alums of Randolph. Which may not sound surprising until you consider that the school’s entire enrollment is under 700. Although I miss many things about the college life I see around me, I am very happy to be climbing my way out of the student debt hole rather than digging further in. I’ve kept busy on this 100-acre campus and enjoyed some different kinds of assignments for the school’s magazines and web sites. The title of this post is the school’s motto, which translates to “A Life More Abundant.” It is simple but really speaks to the heart of what, I think, secondary education can provide at its best (plus it makes you sound smart to use Latin words). This is a very random sample of photos from Randolph from the last year.
As I was leaving my shoot this morning at the Centreal Virginia Ballet studios, I looked back and noticed an angle I had missed earlier. A couple minutes later, a girl walked up, oblivious or indifferent to me shooting, and watched the lesson through the window.
I was given access to document the last few weeks of the Virginia School of the Arts, which graduated its final class of dancers this year before closing for good. Every day I worked on this I met amazing dancers, passionate instructors and proud parents, all sad to see the school go.
Having grown in popularity since the show ‘Glee’ debuted, The Amerechos (amer-echoes) show choir let us behind the scenes to see what it’s like to be part of the scene in real life. Reporter Jessie Pounds and I spent some time with the group in the final weeks before their first competition. I learned there are several big differences between the show and the reality, many of which Jessie points out in her article from Sunday. You can watch the video I put together on that page as well.
I’ve been having trouble shooting in the studio backstage at the Ritz Theater. The lights only provide for an exposure around 1/60, much to slow to freeze dancers in mid-pose. Yesterday, my third time shooting in the space, I found a single position from which my strobe would bounce off two mirrored walls and cast interesting rays of light around the room (second photo). I’m finally excited to shoot in there more often.
The Ballet of the Dolls previewed the Nutcracker (not so) Suite at the Ritz Theater last night and I did my best to keep up with the fast-paced show. I was confined to one side of the dark theater because there was an audience, so I shot entirely with my 70-200. Bracing myself against a door frame helped steady the lens but I still ended up trashing about 30% of my shoot due to excessive motion blur.
After shooting Pas de Quatre in October, the Ritz Theater hired me to keep their website updated with photos (and video?) at least once a week to reflect the current shows. The past few weeks have been slow, in preparation for the opening of the Nutcracker (not so) Suite. Here are a few snaps from a rehearsal last week and I’ll put up some more after the dress rehearsal tonight.
I have to find a better way to shoot in the dim studio, I need to freeze action but can’t blind the dancers with my flash… Anyone want to loan me a 5D mk II?
Pas de Quatre, the Ballet of the Dolls’ fall show, opened today at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis. I went to shoot the dress rehearsal as a “trial” photographer and hopefully impressed the powers that be enough to hire me back. Really a fun shoot, and of course the dancers/costumes are what really show through here.
These four images are from the second ballet in the show, the “Firebird.”
I am SO grateful to everyone I met who made my visit in Portland incredible. I feel like I got to see a lot of the city’s highlights as well as experience a slice of everyday life. Jen, Al, Danielle, Brittney, Chelsea, Nate, Julie, Emee, Ben and Betsy… I miss you guys already. This is a diverse collection of images across seven days. Caption-type info below.
-Ballerinas with the Oregon Ballet Theater prepare to go one stage during a free dance show along Belmont Street. -Walkway under the Morrison Bridge, over the riverside jogging path. -Jen brings out the cake for Emerson’s birthday. -Playing with bubbles at Laurelhust park. -Touring 3-on-3 arena soccer tournament downtown. -Brittany Smith uses her yoga-muscles to balance on a block of ice as she rides it down a hill at Laurelhurst park. -A plethora of fresh produce on Jen’s table in the morning light. -Danielle and I wait for the #15 bus toward downtown to get dinner and visit Deschutes brewery. -Traffic lights blur over the Burnside Bridge in front of the White Stag sign in Old Town.