Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Each year, our local public works department holds an open house at its facilities on the edge of town. Residents can tour the facilities, see all the big machines purchased with their tax dollars, learn a little about the scope of responsibilities of the department and participate in some hands-on (or feet-on) activities, like climbing a tree with a harness and pulley system.
I went to get some photos of big machines, but they were all parked inside the facility, which was designed for storage, not photography.
I did hang around the tree climbing exhibition for a bit and photographed one lad getting outfitted, instructed and hoisted. These pictures were all shot wide angle, which meant that "photographer behind camera is closer than he appears."
I picked up the "act like you belong here taking photos" mode of shooting from working with some news photographers a dozen years ago. It comes in handy when you want to get into peoples' faces with a camera. I don't do it often, but have never been challenged about it. I sometimes get asked which newspaper I'm working for, and I just answer, "I'm a freelancer," which usually satisfies the asker's curiosity.
The lighting under the tree was a horrific mix of shade and sun with a bright parking lot and sky beyond just begging to be blown out, so I opted to shoot the photos as dark as I dared, then later processed the photos into separate exposures which were combined in high density range software, which imparted an illustration-like quality to the images.
Photographs © 2009 James Jordan.