Thursday, January 31, 2013

International Folk Fair

Today is the day I finally offer some of the photographs from the actual International Folk Fair. I have sort of offered all of the related pictures in the last couple of posts, images of the things going on around the fair. It is hard to capture all the buzzing energy of the crowd. Attendees vary from casual drop ins to those who are there because it is their idea of a perfect day. I fall somewhere in the middle of that range.

The first performance I saw was the alpenhorns. They create such a sonorous tone, and these guys did a fine job of showing off their skill.


In passing I caught the Mannerchor, the (primarily) German heritage mens choir. They were down a floor from where I was in the rotunda, and I was going up two mofe floors so I listened for a few minutes and grabbed this shot.


The kung fu school at which I used to train - Zhong Yi - had a mixed age group perform a traditional lion dance to bring good luck. I think there were six lions. I guessed poorly about where would be the best vantage point to get good photos, but I liked how this one turned out. My location really called for a wide angle lens, but alas, I did not have one.


There are a few more that I might get out here yet. I knew that life was too busy to blast away a couple of hundred photos (and then edit) so I was more parsimonious this time out. They say that with age comes wisdom. *grin*

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Promises, Promises

In sort of an offhand, backing into it sort of way, these are photographs from the International Folk Fair last weekend. They are in and around the venue. As I said, there is much atthat event that qualifies as eye candy, and not all of it is people-related.


The above is part of the old Capitol Theater, which remains intact though remarkably well hidden inside the austerity of the Overture Center. Below is one of the sculptures in the building; this one being in the main rotunda lobby. It never fails to put a smile on my face when I see it.


And finally for this small set, a photo looking up into the rotunda itself.


Thanks for dropping by. I'll have some photos of the fair soon, I promise!

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Snowy State Street

I spent the day at the annual International Folk Fair today as is my habit. It is a treat of visual eye candy everywhere you look. The attendees are multi-culti as is the very nature of the event. It reminds me that Madison in not plain vanilla. I have a bunch of pics to share, but they are going to have to wait.

It snowed today, and while I was out and about on State Street, I shot this and liked it enough to share.



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Sunday, January 20, 2013


There is no unified theme to today's post, just a bit of house-cleaning. These are photos that I have had in mind for a post, but never got to them. So I offer them as a potpourri of eyeCandy from eyeDance.


A recent shoot for a pair of aerial dancers yielded this dragged-shutter image. I only had time for a few of these, and most did not work well, but I thought this one was worth sharing.


When my wife was a kid back in the days of film cameras, her dad would use of the last frame or two on a roll by having the kids line up on the front walk and do a "jump picture". At a recent gig, members of Cycropia Aerial Dance did the same. This was not technically the best of the bunch but it makes me laugh every time I see it.


At a recent wedding I could not resist getting a shot of these shoes. I assumed I would get another one later when they were on the dance floor, but by the time it occurred to me again, the shoes were discarded in favor of barefoot dancing. And, she told me, they were on sale.

Nala DS3_8142.jpg

A gratuitous cat picture? When it is the always lovely Nala, sure. And yes, that fabric on the chair is hers, and she loves it.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Just. Plain. Wrong.

OK, this is simply wrong. It is January 19th and this is Madison, WI, 43 North latitude, smack in the northern middle third of the United States. It is supposedly the dead of winter, a time of year when we often would have a week where the temperature never gets above zero degrees (F). Today I am thinking about a motorcycle ride, and I have plants starting to come up in my gardens.


The first one I noticed is on the northeast corner of my house, and generally the last place things come up in the spring. The above is Snow On The Mountain, named for its appearance not because it is an early spring plant. Below are freaking daffodils for crying out loud. Daffodils! In January!


Unreal. And wrong. Nice to see them and all, but they are a good six or eight weeks early. The HIGH temperatures for the rest of the week are 17, 5, 10, 20, 22 (F). That does not bode well for the daffys.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wonderful, Atypical Weddings

I have said here before that I generally do not shoot weddings. Sure they are lucrative, but part of me rebels against supporting the over indulgence that is a contemporary wedding. I have been to too many $20-30,000 weddings of people who really should be having a $5,000 wedding so they do not start their life together under a crushing cloud of debt. Not my call of course, but I do not have to be a part of that process. So I only shoot one or two weddings a year, and they have to be FUN and otherwise interesting, and especially low key.

Over the last couple of years my weddings have included a couple that got married (handfasted, actually) in a creek while their guests sat on shore. Right on. My kind of quirky. The other stand out of the past couple of years was a couple that had been married for 20 years had a formal ceremony to add another man to their marriage. Not legal, of course, but nevertheless, that was their sincere desire and I have to say that it was among the most profound wedding ceremonies I have ever attended. The words they said, each to the other two, were heartfelt and loving in a way most weddings never come close to.

I started this year with a wedding. While nowhere near as out of the ordinary as the aforementioned ceremonies, it was fun and their guests were clearly there because they WANTED to be there. And the wedding portrait portion got to include this:

Portrait (DS3_7534)

Now how can a guy turn down a chance to shoot a beauty like that? Too bad it was January and the light was fading fast. It would have been fun to hang around for half an hour or so so that the herd would have become familiar with me, and vice versa. I did get a couple of good ones of the bride with her llama and the groom looking on with a big smile. It is photographs like this that make editing a treat.

OK, back to work!

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Almost an Embarrassment of Riches


I think my life is rich and fascinating. It has been filled with an abundance of experience and unique people.

In addition to owning and being head photographer/artist at eyeDance Photography, I have a corporate day job that keeps me intellectually stimulated and challenged, and I am a board member, choreographer, and dancer with Cycropia Aerial Dance. Add to that a 25-year marriage to a wonderful partner, a telegenic cat, a lifelong love affair with motorcycles, and a wide-ranging social network, and it adds up to a pretty fine existence.

The photo shoots I get to do are generally a privilege and they really feed the creative, artistic side of my soul. Often women, often rather intimate, these photo sessions are almost all fun and playful for both me and the client. Older posts have illustrated some of these images, and you can see samples HERE at my business website.

This photo is from a recent shoot with two young, up-and-coming aerial dancers who have been trained, in part, by Cycropia's program, as well as other ancillary teachers. They are dedicated and willing to put in the time needed to hone their craft, and it is really starting to show. The lyra (steel hoop) was hung in a Madison studio, and the homely ceiling and light fixtures are edited out using Photoshop (not a common habit for me). The unusual crop accentuates the long bodies and their shape in space. I really like it.

I have a wedding to shoot, also not a common practice, but it is for a woman who has been an acquaintance and pal for around a decade, and I have done high school senior portraits for her two children. As the wedding itself is likely to be low key and low drama, I accepted the gig. Generally I steer such requests to my nephew and his wife who primarily shoot weddings and are really quite good at it.

Continuing the trend of fun, new things, I am starting a new corporate job on Monday after a brief hiatus when my last employer closed their office here in Madison leaving me without a job. I am uniquely positioned in life to not have to take the first job that came along, so I was able to look for and apply for only those that I thought would be a good fit. This one seemed like such, and I hope (for both our sakes) that I am correct. I will enjoy having the intellectual challenge to keep me sharp!

On the dance front, I am rehearsing three pieces for our upcoming spring show (March 29-30, here in Madison, WI) as well as co-directing the show. In short, life is a cornucopia of interestingness. Or at the very least, that is how I choose to experience it.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Fortune Passes Everywhere

Fortune passes everywhere. When my former employer closed the Madison office in September of 2012, I thought I would roll pretty quickly into a new job somewhere. I am nothing if not an optimist. It did not work out that way. I did not want another job doing quality assurance, though I am capable of it. I hoped to return to a business analyst role like my favorite role from years past. However, my work experience does not make sense on paper, and consulting firms do not quite know what to make of me. I have a ton of valuable experience, yet because it was part of a 19 year stint with the same company, and we did not use the latest greatest tools and methodologies, I was tough to assess against a checklist (Use ClearQuest? No. Discard resume). Get me an interview and I am fine, but first the employer has to understand why they want to take the time to interview me. So it is with great delight that I have landed a new job, in a role that is similar to, if slightly lesser than, my desires. I think it will be a good fit, and if I am as good as I think I am, then I will earn a promotion in due time.

It has been three years since I had to wear any of my dress clothes for a job. In those three years I have been rigorously training in aerial dance, including some physically demanding pieces. Consequently my shoulders and arms are noticeably more muscular than in 2009, and I have less roundness in the butt (to my wife's dismay). I recently pulled out my finest dress shirt for an interview and not only did it not fit, it was not even close to fitting! I do still have shirts that fit, but I wanted to update my look a bit and have some new duds for the new job.

I am frugal and hate paying full price if there is a deal to be had. Reena and I headed out to Savers, a decent second-hand shop, to search for some shirts and perhaps a new pair of khaki pants. I know from experience that it is possible to find brand new shirts there for a fraction of the original retail. This trip was no different. I scored four new(ish) shirts and a pair of pants for $35.00. While Reena went elsewhere I popped into Kohls department store and found a fun dress shirt shot through with metallic silver thread. It delighted the performer in me so I splurged and bought it (for 50% off) as well as three new pairs of socks (alas, full price).

So another extended vacation comes to a happy end. The new work crew appears to be warm and welcoming, and the work itself promises to be interesting and challenging, with lots of room to learn, grow, and eventually, hopefully, to shine. But fear not, the photo projects will continue!

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