Before I seriously delved into the photography pool, I wrote many a film article and review on films playing in theaters and out on home video. It makes for a nice creative balance, although I tend to have more confidence in my photography abilities these days then I do my writing (aka the whole “I hope I don’t sound too dumb” syndrome). While I head out tonight to photograph an event at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, which will be recapped and shared here in the next few days, I invite you to check out a few of my recent reviews:
The Grand Budapest Hotel: The HDRoom
Edge of Tomorrow: Creative Salem
Her: The HDRoom
X-Men: Days of Future Past: Creative Salem
You can also check out my weekend box office report here and here every Sunday and Monday night.
The Wolverine Jazz Band. Melrose, MA June 1, 2014
In between gigs and projects, I like to go out and just wander around with the camera without any idea on what I may come across that is worth photographing. It’s a great way to discover new people and places to take pics and it also gives me plenty of opportunities to experiment with certain photography styles and techniques. It’s always better to do the latter on your off time, screw up and learn from your mistakes then to do so at a client shoot.
One recent Sunday afternoon, June 1st to be precise, I wandered out of the house to get a little light exercise in and bask in what was an absolutely gorgeous day. Not far from the house was a small event going on celebrating the 125th Anniversary of a local business. The business was holding raffles for Red Sox tickets and other assorted goodies, free refreshments were also given out and in the middle of the celebration was The Wolverine Jazz Band of Boston providing some great traditional jazz music for the sizable crowd that had gathered. It appeared that I didn’t have to travel too far to get some photo-taking exercise in for the day.
Due to my schedule that day, I was only able to stay for about 45 minutes, but it was worth it. I got plenty of good shots, did a bit of networking with the band and the people running the event and even managed to get a little color from the sun. I no longer looked like a vampire on a day pass. So the next time you set out for a walk around town with nothing scheduled, bring your camera along. You never know what a stroll may yield outside of some exercise.
If you want to learn more about The Wolverine Jazz Band, click on the band name to check out their website. You can also check out their music, purchase their CDs and even book them for an event.
No, I did not take this picture. I wish!
That title is Promised Land.
I wasn’t sure what the name of the project would be. I figured that I would need a title when I begin to apply for photography grants in the hopes of funding the trip. A few titles that passed through my mind over the past week or so included Where the Day Takes You (not bad) and The Road Goes On Forever More (no need for a Tolkien Estate lawsuit). The obviously perfect title would be On the Road, but that appears to already be in use by another book.
Promised Land came to me this morning as I sat in my office working away on non-photo project stuff. Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City was stuck in my head while I was en route to work this morning so when I got to the office, I put my iPod on and gave The Boss’ classic a spin. The iPod shuffled around and on came another Springsteen classic, The Promised Land, from his landmark 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town. Springsteen has stated that the song is about how we honor the community and the place we came from. While my project isn’t about the community and place that I came from (that being Cape Cod), I am hoping that my project will capture and reflect the communities and places that America consists of, both yesterday and today.
Choosing a project title inspired by a Springsteen song also has a more personal meaning to me and that involves my father. After dedicating my first photography book to a great man who is sadly no longer with us, Ron Steffensmeier, I decided to dedicate my next project to my father. I also decided that as the project is going to be dedicated to my dad, it is going to be big and it was going to be an important one (my father is currently waging battle against cancer and this may be my last chance to honor him while he is still alive). A cross-country documentation would certainly fit the bill. Using a title inspired by a song from one of his all-time favorite musicians made perfect sense as well. I just needed to hear a song about Atlantic City first.
Will the title stay? Who knows. But it certainly sounds -and feels- right. Time will tell.
In the meantime, here’s a little music greatness to end your night with.