Tempest…meet Teapot

Camera Destroyer copy

A long time ago, in a undisclosed location not-so-far-away…

Can you hear the Star Wars music?

I had a camera. (said in dramatic, deep, movie-trailer voice)

 

I think I might have mentioned I do photo work.  Ok…I may have said I’ve done a LOT of photo work…and that said photo-work was the key to the name of my blog.

I may have even alluded to my current photographic hobby being an on-again/off-again borderline addiction.

In this case, recovery is unwanted and over-rated. 

Depending on the time of year, season, or my personal level of boredom, photography is either a passion or a curse (sometimes a bit of both).  There are days I can’t wait to pull the thing out and aim it at EVERYTHING – and there are days I don’t want to be bothered to haul around the poundage associated with the body, the lenses, spare gear, tripods, yadda yadda yadda…

The camera really DOES add 10 pounds…of accessories

And then there are days where the muse smacks me upside the head with a fantastic idea – and I’m compelled to create something awesome.

Awesome moment story/tie in with ‘How’d you name the blog, Peg’ in 3…2…1

 

Remember wavy

The ‘Memory Shimmer’

Because I have the courage to date a musician who’s got ‘starving artist’ down to a ‘T’ and I’m one of the ‘official’ photographers of his band, when he decides he wants new publicity shots for the boys of The Beltempest – camera, gear, and I get enlisted into service.

 

Spring before last – the SQO and I took a critical look at the promotional photos on the band’s Facebook page.  They were all old.  Dated.  Comprised of guys who had walked out of the band due to family commitments, relocation, or just plain pissiness.

We needed fresh images.

Keep in mind that when I say ‘fresh,’ I mean photos and image ideas that hadn’t been done to death in promoting small, unknown, progressive/apocalyptic art-rock bands.

No guys lined up against a brick wall.  No guys in stage lighting pounding on the instrument of their choosing.  No guys in leather and sunglasses and black hats looking all tough and beefy and rebellious.

We floated ideas back and forth for imagery that was odd and eye-catching – a lot that got tossed for budgetary, time, silliness or travel reasons.

The idea that stuck?  A day at the beach.

Now, keep in mind that we’re talking about April in Wisconsin.  The beach is NOT the place to be in this particular timeframe, because when the weather man says ‘Cooler by the Lake,’ he REALLY means it.  Now, it wasn’t January cold (where it actually hurts to breathe) but it was chilly enough to break out the sweaters and semi-winter jackets.

If you haven’t already guessed, in Wisconsin, we have ‘levels’ of winter wear, ranging from “It’s finally starting to get cold,” through “it’s not that bad if you keep moving” and finishing with “I think my feet just froze to the sidewalk.”

Oddly enough, we weren’t the only ones on the beach, proving that we’re not the only crazy people in the state, but are amongst a select minority.

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Now…here’s my little positive thought for the day:  at least the cooler temperatures meant our fellow slightly-crazy beach goers were warmly clad, and we weren’t assaulted by the random mankini or naturalist taking the ‘all-over tan’ to the extreme.

 

The photo shoot went well, as the water was energetic enough to get some good wave movement, and we could still move in the temperature without freezing to the sand. The boys were keyed up, too, with the excitement of a day at the beach, as we tend to take our little pleasures wherever we can get them!

The sky, however, didn’t cooperate, being bright, clean, and sunny, without so much as a whisper of cloud in it. Really! Nothing visually exciting above the horizon at all!

Good thing I’m a ‘shop addict…

So where does the teapot come in?

Mr. Teapot was pure serendipity – the momentary ‘smack upside the head by the muse’ I referred to earlier which was brought on by a chance encounter with a piece of pottery.

The SQO lives with his Aunt and helps her take care of her home. Once the snows start to melt, stuff starts to get donated as she gets caught in the throes of that yearly purge affectionately called Spring Cleaning.

I, too, experience a quasi-religious ecstasy at the thought of clearing clutter…

One of the things she had set aside to donate to Goodwill was my little white ceramic teapot.

He sat there, on the table, all white and shining and perky amongst the other stuff destined for a quick trip to the resale shop  There may have been an errant sunbeam illuminating his belly to wink at me as the wild idea leapt from…wherever it is that wild ideas leap from…to slap me between the eyeballs.

The Tempest:

The word is contained within the name of the band.  A tempest can also be an agitated body of water, a violent uprising, a strong wind storm, etc.  Well…we were going to the Lakeshore on a semi-windy day – so the odds were good that the water would be agitating nicely.

 ………………………………………………………… And the Teapot:

Right there in all it’s tea-steeping white-glazed glory not 5 feet from me…close enough to the teacup in the popular phrase to be a recognizable play on it.

So I saved the teapot from resale uncertainty and took him for a day at the beach.

If any of the boys thought I had a screw loose as I carefully positioned the teapot on the piled stones and started clicking away, they hid it well…professional courtesy, and all that…

And, while I wasn’t happy with the original background – a brief session with ‘Shop later put a wonderful wave-action shot in its place to tie the two concepts into the perfect photographic representation which became the header of the Tempest & the Teapot.

And the band shot?  One of my favorites:

Tempest Coming copy

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Cleaning off the Memory Card

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Spinning LED Bo-Staff

The Squidnificant Other (SQO for short) …

I’ll fill you in on that story later – it’s long, involved, and defiles 😮 an undisclosed, sandy location.

… got some shirts for Christmas.  Not jtardis shirtust any shirts, mind you.  These were soft cotton blend T-shirts.  What was on those shirts made them special – priceless, even.  Printed on these amazing cotton chest-coverers were a screen print of a Dalak on one and the T.A.R.D.I.S. on the other (Doctor Who fans in the reading audience may begin drooling now…).  The REAL value of these shirts was the story behind them.

These weren’t some mass-produced, off-the-rack, let’s spend 5 minutes and find a gift apparel…these were made to order.  Dave’s friend found a local screen-print artist, floated the artwork ideas, and paid the artist to craft the screens then used to print the art onto the chest of the shirts.

THIS is what happens when one thinks outside the capitalism box and aims to support the local economy.  It was a wonderful present, and I’m happier indeed for knowing this gentleman is a friend of my SQO.

Soooo… we simply GOTTA show these wonderful creations off to the world…GO GRAB THE CAMERA!

And after a couple of quick clicks, the camera gets plugged into the computer, so he can share the T-Shirts with the world according to Facebook.

Holy crap.  I’ve got old stuff on here!

Anyone else have this happen?  You take a short series of shots because the muse points your vision at something you HAVE to take a picture of, you Oooooooh and Ahhhhh at the little view-screen on the back of the camera, and then tuck the camera away, completely forgetting the neat images you’ve caught?

Yea…me too.                                     All.  The.   Time.

I’ve got shots of the moon & cloud formations, taken in the fall, which didn’t turn out so well.  DELETE!

I’ve got shots of the candlelight shadows on the wall.  Looked good on the view-screen, not so much excitement on the computer screen.  DELETE!

I’ve got some random pictures of the cats being cats.  Cute, but I’ve got terabytes of the same.  DELETE!

I’ve got shots of me in my new over-the-shoulder camera rig.  GAWD!  There are 230(ish) reasons I stay BEHIND the camera.

DELETE!DELETE!DELETE!DELETE!DELETE!

a IMG_3447 cropI’ve got shots from the Feastival, which was the day after Thanksgiving…Ooooh.

This wasn’t a short, random shoot, and I remember several moments of pure delight as shots were captured – so I SHOULD have been excited to play with the SOOC images and tweak to perfection.  But the commute to and from was longish, late in the evening, and I had a wicked cold that weekend – so I’m gonna let that be my excuse for not immediately pulling the images from the camera.

That’s my story…and I’m sticking to it!

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Ever have so much fun you go up in a little ‘poof’ of light?

The Feastival is a yearly event hosted by a local band and spinning tribe at the Concord House in Concord, Wisconsin – a tiny little unincorporated town mid-way between Madison and Milwaukee.  The House itself had its humble beginnings as a pole building for turkey farming before being turned into this very rustic dance/reception hall…and the family who run the House have been in the hospitality business for generations – so they KNOW how to host a rocking-good party.

The kids are well-immersed in the spinning/fire tribe that have made this an annual event – and this year convinced me to tag along.  As the weather had gotten cold, and the heater in their car isn’t working too well, the invite was part entreaty (pleeeeeeeeease don’t make us go alone and freeze our butts off all the way to Concord) part bribery (there’s food, music, alcohol, and a chance to point your camera at new things!) and part meet-the-parents (I’d not been introduced to the DIL(2B)’s side of the family yet).

How could I say no?

It was a great time.  I got to meet-the-parents (chilling for parents as well as the younger couples!!!) – availed myself of the array of yumminess spread by all members of the tribe (the Feastival is also a potluck) – and enjoyed the simple community energy generated by this group.

Make no mistake, this is a very grounded group.  They celebrate coming together to come together – not to measure their portfolios or show off their new acquisitions or any of the other stuff that people enmeshed in the throws of capitalism meet for (translation:  no dick-status-measuring here!).  The festival is …folk… centered on people, family, and community.  There’s no better way to describe it.

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Otis Redding Tribute Band

Aside from the blues/R&B band – the floor show put on by the gatherers was spectacular.  This group create art with their bodies and props:  twirling hoops, poi and staff generate patterns in light vs. dark as they flow across the floor.

a IMG_3458 cropBecause this was an indoor event, and it was cold outside – they didn’t light their props on fire, but used much-less flammable LED lights embedded within their gear.

That I got to catch this amazing light-show was an honor.  One I hope to repeat as an annual thing.  Enjoy my shots!

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