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A Tiny Step Towards "Normal"

When there was an announcement of a small street fair at the downtown park I put film in my camera. The weather cooperated, the cheerful crowd, was thin enough to maintain "social distancing" The music was passionate.

This regal woman, rose in her hair, jaunty sunhat, double necklace cascading down her blouse, was waiting for the folk dancing to resume.

"May I take your photograph?" "Sure, why?" "Because you look terrific."

I left her with my card and my standard "Send me an email -- if I get something I like I'll send you a print." I hope to hear from her.

Even though I only took one roll of 35mm and this is the only "something I like" from it, it felt so good, so normal, to be in a cheerful crowd with a camera.


For about a decade I did quite a bit of photography for amateur and semi-professional theaters -- 25 or so plays. I'm trying to pull together enough prints for a show that I'll promote to a local theater/gallery. It's been fun to sort through the 150 or so rolls of 35mm with that in mind. When I was doing them the rush was on -- photograph a dress rehearsal on Thursday, (and you wouldn't believe what a chaos dress rehearsal at an amateur company is like) have prints ready for the lobby on opening night (Saturday). This at a time when I also had a day job didn't lead to careful editing. I want to wind up with 30 or so prints and have identified over 100 that merit at least a work print. This should keep me in the darkroom for a while.

Here's one from "You Can't Take it With You." at the Crossroad Theater in Bellevue.


Going through old negatives often reminds me of this: "The thing itself photographed becomes less interesting when you go back to it years later. But I think the photograph becomes more important later when the reality has passed." -- George Tice. That only applies to things you can go back to. I can't go back to the "reality" of this goofy performance so the photograph is all that remains.


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