"Three Man Hoop Dance: Bodie, California" (c) Shawn Peterson, Scott Martin & Stu Jenks 2011
I didn't know until a day later, I got bit quite so badly by mosquitos the other night. And except for a California State Park Ranger who was apparently very frightened that twenty plus nocturnal photographers would damaged her already ruined gold mining ghost town, I had just the best time with many sweet, smart and good people last Tuesday night.
I did my own little hoop dance early in the evening (see the post below) and got in trouble with the Park Ranger during the sunset Magic Hour, shooting Bodie from a hill outside of where I was supposed to be. (I need to let it go with this Park Ranger, but Christ, Lance paid a fortune for the permit. They really could have been a bit more mellow considering the cash we put in their pocket. OK. Enough about the Ranger.)
Shooting with new freinds and old:
Watching Lance shoot a circular wooden structure ("An homage to you, Stu," he said. I'm honored.)
Tom shooting a lit window with his four by five camera, smiling all the way.
Tim enjoying shooting through old windows at old lightbulbs and at other old things.
Russell's laughter echoing down the dirt streets.
And other folk just having the time of their life.
It was impossible for me not to be taking into the joy of the night.
And the Park Ranger's control issues did add a humourous tension to the shoot ("She's coming?" he loudly whispered to me, as I stood atop a decaying wall, spinning Christmas Lights. I turned them off and waited for her to pass.)
Shawn came up with the idea of the above image, of doing a big stack of digital images to get those star trails (Thanks Dr. Brown for your Stack-A-Matic) and having me just doing a little hoop dancing among the ruins. Scott was on board too, helping Shawn compose the shoot and light-painting the site. Nice job, boys.
Me? I had my Rollei behind all the action, shooting a tighter shot than the above image. But I wasn't so interested in the Rollei. My main job was to walk the high wall, throw down some good hoops and not break my neck. I did my job. (Perhaps the Park Ranger had reason for concern.) We wished we could have exposed this image for another hour or two, but 1 a.m. arrived and our time was up at Bodie, California, the Disneyland of decaying California mining ghost towns.
Shawn did all the post-production work on this image: the toning, the stacking, the cleaning, the cropping. OK, I did crop it a hair more, and darking that back wall a bit, but it's Shawn's thing, with a lot of Scott and a bit of Stu. A three S image. A Shawn/Scott/Stu image. A nocturnal collaboration among three artists. A delightful time for the three of us, except for these ten bug bites that still itch like the devil on my legs and arms.
A small price to pay for sharing good times with good friends. And a good image to show for it all, too.