A Photographer's Coda


Muse Redux

I first saw the Muse in 2012 and again in 2017. Then a week ago, I caught a glimpse but didn’t realize it at first. You never know when she’ll appear. But every artist will tell you how important it is.

Cary Ballet Conservatory – 30 July 2022

“Chasing The Bird”

Refreshing my Portfolio site, I let go and reached back in the memory bank for moments when you just know. My hunch is, it happens to dancers and musicians too. It’s practice and planning and work and sometimes it all becomes something more. Alchemy.

I’ve put maybe 700 or 800 K shutter actuation’s on 11 DSLR’s since 2007. My Lighting Class students make jokes about all the light gear I haul into class. The Sales Manager at Mole Richardson in Hollywood emails engineering drawings of obsolete accessories. There are replacement reflectors heading my way for the ones I used to modify theater ellipsoids. Also in transit is a 10″ Top Hat from eBay and some Gobos for the Mole Focal Spot. And there’s a triple riser wheeled Junior in the upstairs hall next to my old tripod with a new quick release assembly that came via Royal Mail (wore out the casting). “The Bird”, Charley Parker understood it: “You’ve got to learn your instrument.”

And I took some more of Bird’s advice: “Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.”

My work has changed in the 3 years since I made this but it was five years after my Epiphany. This is a fresh edit from the Digital Negative from the part of the session that was all improv, real jazz. Portraits are always a collaboration and when there is mutual trust, man, you can wail.

WIP 097 Vessillo

Studio Session with Ms Olivia Vessillo

Professional Training Program at Cary Ballet Conservatory – 26 Dec 2017

Epiphany 12/12/12

I’ve spoken to dancers who have had that moment, that instant when they knew.

This was my moment as a photographic artist. And I saw how little I understood. So I started my journey anew.

Dancer Addison Kate Spey

Cary Ballet Company Space & Tech Rehearsal “Visions of Sugar Plums”

Cary Arts Center, 12 December 2012