Edit1.Still001 Did you know that July 26th was National Dance Day?   I received an email from Carol Leary, who organizes the Maynard Famers’ Market, who asked if I would photograph a flash mob that was being organized for National Dance Day.   Of course I would!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1yTzIZ50m0


I love it when people come together to bring a little taste of the arts into everyday life. Congrats to Judy Quint for organizing the dancing (including being one of the talented people teaching the choreography in the weeks leading up to the Day), and thanks to Carol for inviting me to record it for everyone.

Technical Stuff: A Lightweight Gig

A “one-man band” can have a hard time doing both photography and videography of an event.  Normally the client has to choose one or the other.  And this “event” was going to be 5 minutes tops.  But I worked out a plan so that I could get video footage while allowing me to photograph – and it kinda worked.  One of the extenuating circumstances was that I didn’t have a vehicle that morning, so everything had to be carried there from my home.   Fortunately my Fuji gear plus a few extras made for an easy hike.  The primary photo camera was the Fuji X-T1.  I started with the 18-55 and then switched to the 55-200 about halfway through the song.  For the overhead shot I had a GoPro Hero 3 on a light stand next to the PA/music.   I set up the Fuji X100S to record video from a MeFoto tripod that I set up off to the side a bit.  (You’ll notice that it only reframes once — I was busy running around taking pictures…)   There aren’t too many places you leave your equipment out in public, relatively unsecured, but my town is one of those places.  Had everything set up 15 minutes before they got the iPod to play the right song and I was walking home with my cameras and some cinnamon rolls from Cookie Lady Treats for Sunday’s breakfast 30 minutes later.  Fun stuff.

P.S. – You may not be able to view the video.   (Sigh!) I know that it appears to be blocked on iPads.  I’m pretty sure this is because the video is flagged for using copyrighted material (the song they dance to), which is a technically legitimate but somewhat awkward claim.  The Dizzy Feet Foundation, which organizes National Dance Day, selects (suggests?) the music and encourages people to post their videos online – but sadly this is essentially encouraging mass copyright violations.   I suppose I could post a copy of the dance without the music, although that seems to defeat the point (and sheer joy) of the entire day.  Thanks music industry!  Well, at least in the spirit that Dizzy Feet has, we tried…

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For the Fourth of July I was invited to photograph an event held at a beautiful 19th century farm  in Maine.  The owner has held this event for 20 years now and he wanted to capture this community event that he stages each year — mostly for the kids (and the kid inside all of us).

Mother Nature threw us a curve ball with the first hurricane of the season passing off the coast on the 4th and bringing driving rain to the area, but the forecast for the 5th looked fantastic — and it was!

The photos from the event are for the attendees, but if you are are interested in having a similar event photographed please contact me and I can provide access to them.

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Technically this was an interesting project.  Half of the event takes place in complete darkness (well, a setting gibbous moon), so finding focus, etc. is a bit challenging.   My original plan called for sending the quad-copter up above the fireworks for a unique point of view, but while the weather was quite nice for everyone on the ground it was way too windy above the treetops for such an operation, so that part of the plan sadly remained grounded.   I did have the opportunity to attach the GoPro cameras to some go-carts and other vehicles which was great fun.   I only wish I had more time (or another set of hands) to do more.

Here’s a shot of my equipment depot tucked away in the corner of a barn:

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I hope to be invited back again some day.  While I’m quite happy with the results, armed with a bit more knowledge about how the event unfolds would open up a number of photographic and video opportunities without intruding on people’s enjoyment of the day.