Saturday, July 31, 2010

Greasy Gears Go-Go Gala

I went to the Atwood Neighborhood Festival today expecting to see a few bands and to bump into a bunch of friends and neighbors. And so I did, but whoa! What's this..?


Some mysterious group whooshed in on bicycles where the band was just ending their set. What was going on?


Great galloping goddesses! It was the Greasy Gears Go-Go gals!


They wowed the crowd in two locations. What a spectacle! Go, go Greasy Gears!

There are more photos of the GG's in this SLIDE SHOW.

Read the rest of the post!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Luv, Above

It seems like I am spending a lot of time up in the air. Rehearsals for the upcoming Cycropia Aerial Dance performance - August 26-27 at the Orton Park Festival - are ramping up. Extra rehearsals are being considered and scheduled. Muscles barely have time to recover before the next one. Small aches become familiar friends.
Luv Above

It is worth it though. In no other way is my life so interesting and fun. My body is challenged in ways that are difficult or impossible to replicate in a gym. My brain is forced to come to terms with different (perceived) risk and perform well in unusual positions and situations. Somehow I think that is good for my brain.

In this photo, Luv is near the ceiling in her silk prepared for a dramatic drop. Catch the show and you will see it unfold.

Read the rest of the post!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dancer Guy Keeps Me Covered

There is a bit on one of Robert Heinlein's novels that has always amused me. In Stranger In A Strange Land the main character, Valentine Michael Smith, has established his household as a polyamorous nest. The adults in the nest comport themselves well enough, though routinely naked, which is potentially off-putting to those who do not share the opinion that there is absolutely nothing wrong with nudity. To prevent such casual indelicate moments, they post a sign on their door that asks, "Are you naked?"

Dancer Guy Reminds Me

Since I share the naturist mindset, I amused myself by employing some magnets from a refrigerator poetry set to post the same query on my front door. A magnetically-attached articulated figure that we refer to as Dancer Guy often poses on the door near the text. As I was walking out to take a photo of a flower in the yard - dressed, of course - I noted that Dancer Guy was doing an especially fine job at reminding me to observe proper neighborly decorum.

Read the rest of the post!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Galatea ~ Dancer in the Studio

I had a delightful photo shoot over the weekend with a Middle Eastern-style dancer from the Milwaukee, WI, area. I have been connected with the Madison belly dance community for a decade or more having taken classes for a bit over a year. One of the local dancers recommended me as a photographer (Thanks Tracy!) and I got the work.

Galatea was a lot of fun to work with. She had her costumes ready and knew how to make her changes quickly meaning less down time for me. When we swapped backgrounds, she made herself at home and wisely didn't help. There were a lot of good images, so the editing process was just more fun rather than work. Here are a couple:



There are more in a SLIDE SHOW where they can be viewed in all their lush yumminess!

UPDATE: Oops, forgot her link so you can hire her for your next event!

Read the rest of the post!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Motorcycle Travelling Around Lake Michigan

Last week I set off on a motorcycle vacation. The plan was to ride to Kalamazoo, MI, to meet up with a riding buddy who had moved away. I was free earlier than Reena so the I was to meet Devon on Friday and the two of us would ride up to meet Reena on Sunday in Escanaba, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Leaving Madison at 7:15 or so on Friday morning put me in Chicago - near Ohare airport - at 9:50 AM. Pretty good timing for getting through Chicago except that this was the start of a holiday weekend. I did not know what to expect traffic-wise. Shockingly, I breezed through Shicago and found myself on the Skyway bridge entering Indiana only 30 minutes later at 10:20! Since I had allowed myself so much time, and Devon was not expecting me until late afternoon, I got off the expressway just past Gary, IN, and took a more scenic, and slow, route up along the Eastern shore of Lake Michigan. My first photo op was in Michigan City (ironically located in Indiana).


I putted up the lake until around 2:00 then turned the bike east and a bit south to head for Kalamazoo. I arrived to find Devon's two children quite sick. Hmmm, thought I, not a great place to be at the start of a vacation. I better not get sick! Over the course of the evening it became abundantly clear that Devon was also sick and getting worse by the minute. He put himself to bed early knowing full well that he would not be departing with me in the morning. On the other hand, I had a fine evening chatting with his wife, a one-to-one conversation that likely would not have occurred any other way.

On Saturday morning I opted to ride, solo, up along the Lake Huron shoreline. I was pretty disappointed because one seldom sees the lake. Michigan has allowed construction of homes between the highway and the lake. I didn't get any really good photos until I was up by the Mackinac Bridge.


In addition to a seriously long suspension bridge, there is an old fort and a lighthouse there.


I camped in the general area. That was not my original plan ... I had to drive many miles further than anticipated because there are few campgrounds in that part of Michigan. Who knew? Sunday morning I crossed the bridge and followed scenic Hwy 2 west to Escanaba along the northern shore of Lake Michigan. Rendezvousing with Reena was achieved without a hitch.


We pitched the tent, then went into town to see the 4th of July fireworks. At sunset, it poured! We were prepared with rainsuits, but it still was no fun. It meant all our gear was wet when we got back to the tent. Worse, during the night a small technical error I made when setting up the tent caused the tent to leak, and my sleeping pad and bag were soaked. Drying the bag was easy in a commercial dryer, but the pad was going to stay wet until we got a lot of sun. There was no chance of sun for the next couple of days. Uncharacteristically for us, we decided to bail out and head home. We arranged for Devon, who was now feeling better and hoping to meet up with us in the U.P., to instead head south around the lake and meet us back in Madison. We had less riding, and no camping, but we were dry! Time to plan another trip...

Read the rest of the post!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tie-Dyed Duo

Another shoot from my working vacation was a couple looking for fun, outdoors images in their colorful finest. We walked around the grounds a bit finding numerous places that lent themselves. We had an enjoyable time of it. This is one of my favorites:


This one also feels fine to me with the fast-running creek below their feet (notice they are holding toes...)


Many thanks to Sandra and Jonny for an enjoyable time.

Read the rest of the post!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Water Nymph

I recently had an opportunity to go on a working vacation. As part of the festival I attended, I offered my services as a photographer to festival goers. The intent was to allow them to be captured in their element, attired as they wished and using any props they wanted. The week didn't quite go as I anticipated, but it did go well. Most of what I shot was pretty casual, if unusual: A commitment ceremony in a creek, with the 'altar' being an air mattress anchored with a rock; a commitment ceremony of a couple adding a third partner to their relationship; a father-son with matching kilts; and a couple looking for relaxed images of their colorful selves using the lush greenery as background.

And I got to do these shots of a woman in the creek.

Photo Shoot in the Creek

I was hoping to capture the feel of the 'Sirens' scene in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?". We did a series of photos at this location which had become an inviting spot for her. I had brought along the silk to be used as a prop and for this it was exactly right.

Photo Shoot in the Creek

It was an absolute delight to shoot these. She quickly relaxed and felt right at home in front of the camera. There were a number of really good ones, and the entire batch was fun to review and share. Her partner was delighted with the results as well. When work is like this, I remember why I changed careers.

Read the rest of the post!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Postus Interuptus

Wow, I have been derelict in my blogging duty. For about two of the past three weeks I have been traveling. One of those weeks was a working vacation, and I will have a few pics to share from that time. This most recent week I was on a motorcycle trip that did not go as planned. There will definitely be pics of that.

The first week was the Pagan Spirit Gathering - or PSG - a week-long festival for followers of various nature-based religions or spiritual paths such as Witches, Druids, Shaman, etc. Since this is an ecumenical gathering, there are a lot of seekers and eclectic Pagans, and fewer dogged and determined traditionalists (though there are some). There are vendors at this gathering selling goods and service that the merchant thinks a Pagan festival goer will want: Tie dye clothing, books on the topics, jewelery of a witchy sort, incense and herbs, and me. I was offering what I do: Photography. My intent was to allow the folk at the gathering to capture their spiritual self on the beautiful grounds of the festival site, wearing or displaying the tools of their path. Interestingly, that is not really what I did for the week. Bide with me, an I will explain more in a subsequent post.

The motorcycle trip, in brief, went wrong almost from the start. The friend I rode to meet fell ill and so I went on solo to rendezvous with my wife a couple of days later. The rendezvous went without a hitch. Then it rained. Hard. And our usual rain-proof tent setup was less than optimal. Now with the friend better and ready to ride, we were ready to bail. Again, a subsequent post, with pics, will fill in the details.

Until then, adieu. I have to unpack and tidy the house after two trips.

Read the rest of the post!