Friday night I was at the 2014 Athens Follies, “Remember the Feeling… Enjoy the Fun” and Saturday night I was at the 2014 Cabaret in Tekonsha, “Black Tie Affair, Under the Stars”. Both productions were student based with assistance from teachers, parents and the community.
What was the most interesting between the 2 productions though was that the 2014 Athens Follies had mostly singing and choreographed dancing while the 2014 Tekonsha Cabaret was singing and skits or plays with acting.
Both events were held in their school’s gymnasium with public invited to watch. Both events had a stage crew, ushers and programs but at Tekonsha the students really did run the show with lighting, music, curtains and communication. While the 2014 Athens Follies is open to all students K-12 the 2014 Tekonsha Cabaret was 7-12 grades.
I was amazed with the talent at both shows especially with some of the solo artists. There was range from playing the guitar to saxophone and even a violin!
Now as a photographer, I will have to admit that the Follies and the Cabaret can be my most challenging events to photograph. It is completely pitch dark in the gymnasiums with spotlights and stage lights but not controlled by me. Freezing motion in this type of setting is extremely hard. However, I always manage to get some good pictures even though I probably drove those sitting next to up the wall with the number of clicks they heard and all of my movement!
This summer I was asked to take on a new project. The project was to Photograph bikers and their motorcycles at Bike Night on Tuesday night, July 16th at JD’s Country Connection. As many of you know I specialize in Sports & Portrait Photography but I have always been open to challenging my skills. Over the past few months I have had a Newborn Session, a Wedding, and a Horse Session all of which has brought their own challenges! With that said, despite the heat and the harsh sunlight, I was able to capture some amazing portraits during this Bike Night Session which has led to me rediscovering black and white photography.
Years ago I took some 35 mm photography classes at Kellogg Community College including a black and white film class. Not only did I learn how to photograph in black and white but I also learned how to develop my own 35 mm film, process that film and create my own prints in a darkroom. Now days with digital photography we have a darkroom right at our finger tips and so much easier to use!
While working on these portraits I discovered the wonderful attributes they held for black and white photography. The process of converting color digital photographs to black and white brings on a new appreciation for the lighting and contrast a color photograph holds. You can literally see the emphasis on ones character and story change during the process of black and white photography.
Photographing bikers and their motorcycles is an exciting experience. Not only am I expanding my photographic skills but I am meeting some really neat people. You will find me at JD’s Country Connection around 7 pm on Tuesday nights for the remainder of the summer. JD’s Country Connection is located on the corner of M-60 and Old 27 in Tekonsha, Michigan.
You can find Photography by Char on Facebook along with more photographs from Bike Nights at JD’s. https://www.facebook.com/PhotographyByChar