I lead a bit of a double life. While most of you know me via my photography, I’m also a musician; the two together keep me happy and relatively balanced, if a little frenetic at times.
In my music life, I’m lucky enough to have met and become friends with some of the most interesting people Denver has to offer. One of my regular singing gigs is at a cabaret downtown, featuring old-school burlesque dancers, vaudevillians, jugglers, magicians, musicians, and other wonderfully bizarre characters. Watching a show is a lot of fun, but to me, the most fascinating part is watching the transformation of the performers between the front door and the stage. My favorite vantage point is the pass-through between the tiny dressing room and the stage entrance; it’s where you can see both sides of the personality, sometimes alternately and sometimes all at once.
From the stage, the world of burlesque and Vaudeville looks slick and glamorous. Backstage, under the garish florescent light, you can see the rough edges, the glue holding the rips in the costumes, the chaos, and the often biting sense of humor that comes with the territory. For me, this is the true magic of the cabaret.
So these are my friends and coworkers and partners in crime. This is the first installment in what I expect will be a long-term, maybe life-long project. You’ll see candid moments, lots of vamping, and plenty of images that will make you scratch your head and wonder. They’re more or less snapshots between friends.
For the technically-minded among us, these were all shot with available light (ugly overhead florescent tubes) with Tri-X 320 and 400, both at 640, processed in Tmax developer.
As a reality check (and to demonstrate the power of careful use of light, contrast, and lighting fall-off, here’s a little camera phone snap to show you the surroundings these images were taken in.
(As an aside, I’ll be doing a workshop June 30 – July 1, in which I’ll show the where’s and how’s of some of my favorite images; this will be one of the locations we’ll be covering, and I’ll be singing during the show as well.)
Many more images to come.
Wishing you wonderful light and soft shadows…. break a leg.