Thursday, March 12, 2009

This picture makes me happy

This picture makes me happy

Not that operatic death scenes are particularly cheerful. At least I'm pretty sure this was a death scene. After the woman sang her part, she collapsed in a heap to the floor, and then a burly doctor-looking dude came on stage and belted out "Morte!" then everyone else looked sad and sang some type of something in a minor key before the curtain came down.

You can probably tell by now that I don't know much about opera. The reason I'm happy is that I was able to pull off a very difficult photo assignment at Roosevelt University last night -- a student production of three scenes from famous operas that I only previously knew by name of composer and title. This one was written by a German French fella. ("Offenbach. Jacques Offenbach.")

Stage lighting that ranged from too low to too bright, weird color balances and lack of reliable auto focus at times (it doesn't work too well in near darkness) flew into the engines of Flight Automatic. I had to call "My Aircraft," grab the controls and guide the photo shoot to a safe landing in the Chicago River. This photo could have been a noisy, blurry mess (and a lot of shots were), but continuous evaluation and button pushing throughout the evening resulted in about 100 to 120 good photos (out of 300 shots taken).

Man, it could have been me singing that death song.

Missed It By That Much Dep't.: I received an e-mail from National Geographic Adventure magazine today. They're looking for hiking/biking/camping photographs taken in Newport State Park in Door County, Wisconsin. Wouldn't you know there is just one state park in the county in which I've never pulled out a camera? I referred the photo buyer to several other DC photographers whose work I admire. Ah, well.

Photograph © 2009 James Jordan.


kelli said...

i don't know that it was necessarily a death scene. i've reacted this way when i haven't had my mocha in the morning.

James said...

Maybe the burly doctor dude really sang "Mocha" and not "Morte." I wasn't really listening too closely.

kelli said...

maybe it was a burly barista.

but that would just be stretching. when have you ever seen a burly barista sans pimples?

James said...

Actually, I've never seen a burly barista, pimples or not. They all seem to be skinny David Spade-like dudes. "Tall double split skinny with a whitecap. Buh bye."

Laurie said...

My parents knew Opera and my kids know Opera but I've no clue. I have been learning though a little, mostly through my kids...but shhhh don't tell them that they know more than me.

It sounds like tough conditions. I have done some work for some orchestras under less than ideal lighting conditions. It is very frustrating. I find I shoot a lot more frames in hopes of getting lucky with just a few. I think this one is very decent. YOu captured a good moment.

V. Schroeder said...

Too bad about the near miss! But since they contacted you once, who says they won't come back.