Some days I feel like I’m still coming out of a fog from last summer. I didn’t realize how hard that time was, the pressure I put myself under to keep the trees alive, then the family illnesses and loss of my father. My photographic output was the lowest in ten years; I was sure I didn’t have enough material to do a credible top 10 post.
I haven’t finished sorting and I might not have 10 worthy images, but as I was exploring my Lightroom catalog, I realized I hadn’t uploaded any shots from my big freelance gig of the year, for the Salt Lake Tribune when the Utah Symphony came to Wayne County as part of their Mighty 5 tour. Another dope slap, another measure of recognition of how much I dropped over the summer. Anyway, I had a good time shooting competitively–the place was swarming with media. But Trent had said to just shoot it like I would shoot Highway 89 and once I started doing that, I started seeing the story I wanted to tell about my community experiencing this mighty cultural event.
Blue hour, now that’s something I know what to do with. And cute kids in overalls. The part I could not photograph was the confusion at intermission. I reckon a good fraction of the audience had never been to a symphony performance before. The maestro was very serious and didn’t interact much with the audience in the first part of the program. It was pitch black by then, and no one could read their programs. Not to mention it had started to rain. When the musicians stopped playing and exited the stage, people were asking me, “is it over?” How would you know if you hadn’t been before? I was glad to see the conductor relaxing a bit in the second part, using the microphone and building a bridge across the divide. But then I had to leave, the photos were due before the performers even started the encores. Blue hour was long over anyway.
The paper must have thought they were ok, they paid me. And they used one on the front page of the digital edition until some tragedy or other bumped it off, and they put another on the front page of an interior section of the printed edition. I didn’t see what any of the competition published afterwards, but I can guarantee, because I was shooting alone at the time: no one else saw the kid in the overalls standing at attention for the national anthem at the top of the playground tower. That’s my kind of thing.