Monday, March 14, 2011

Drink The Night Away

Longtime fans may be aware that parades are not really my "thing"  I may have to change that opinion though.  Its a little hard not to enjoy the atmosphere with so many people there to drink the night away, even if I am focused (get it?  focused? ....  sorry...) elsewhere. This past week, the Emerald Isle Irish Step Dancers brought me first to their studio, then to the Scranton parade, for a day of celebration and a surprisingly good time.

So first things first- how does a club-footed, overweight,  non-dancing (seriously non-dancing- there was no music even at my wedding) German photographer get involved with a Irish step dancing school?  Photography has taken me to some strange places, I have pretty much learned to enjoy the ride.  I connected to Emerald Isle through a cheer family, and found a few friends of FotoFink there already.  For all the evils that the internet is supposed to bring, I have to say it is a tremendous way to network and market.  Remember this?  Social media is like that on steroids.  Anyway, after a brief meet-and-greet at the studio, it was go time on parade day in Scranton.  The float girls were strapped in, the dancers stayed loose with some sort of slappy, cardinal puff type of circle elimination game, and the fun began.  My prior parade experience was a few years back for Bishop Hoban's last stand.  I recall not really having any trouble keeping up- I was able to easily walk circles around the float, and shoot it for the whole parade route.  This one felt more like a race to me.  Keeping up was no easy feat.  A day of running never hurt anyone though, and the photos were worth the effort.  How about the background in that shot?  Sometimes even I get lucky.

The parade, of course, is filled with other stuff too, and the floats are maybe 1/2 of the attraction-

Didn't Tom Petty wear that hat in a video?

Cast your vote-  Leprechaun #1?  or #2?  I am going with #2- blending his own mustache into the outfit pushes it over for me.

Nice hat- let me get a shot of that....  mmm  not a great face-  I'll try again...  Alright- time to move on.  Some things just aren't going to happen.

Hey!  HEY!  Take my picture!  OK- you are famous now.  And drunk.

Scranton is the greatest city in the world, and this is the BEST day of my life!  Lord I hope not.  I do like your hat though.

Getting back to our connected world- I love how it takes no time for Charlie Sheen to be part of the T-Shirt pop culture.

Step dancers, FotoFink... STEP DANCERS!  Oh yeah... sorry.......

There uni-suit guys look odd enough no matter where you put them, but for some reason, waiting in the port-o-pottie line struck me as funny.  Is there a zipper in that suit?

Next stop was the Scranton Cultural Center, which will now be known as SCC to save me typing.  Cramped quarters, but some very cool lighting led to some of my favorite photos from the day.  Tastes vary, of course, but I like photos where you can still see what the light of the room looks like, still sense the atmosphere.  Green stage lights and yellow house lights are a little tricky to mix with camera flash, but I was happy with most of the results.  Here's an example of what I mean-  This photo is clear, and the colors are basically true to life.  The flash is too much there though- and it has over powered the house lighting that gave the show atmosphere.  Compare that to this shot, where the ambient light took a bigger role.  For me, I love the second.

The cultural center also brought some new friends to the FotoFink world- Kilrush.  The show alternated between dancers, pipers, and the band, so I was able to capture a few shots of the band while I enjoyed their music.  This proved to be another pleasant surprise-  The live show was full of energy, fiddles and fun, and I am now a Celtic Fusion/Kilrush fan.  Again- thanks to our amazingly connected world, a quick google search, some facebook friend requests, and a day later I am chatting with the band.  They seem to love the photos, and the link at the top of the post is a clip of theirs from another show.  That clip seems to have been pre-Marissa, who has since joined as the fiddle player, and has been my source of info for the band.  They are playing in Wellsboro on Friday night, and if Mrs FotoFink were not already sick of me playing their music, I would consider the roadtrip.

Long week, long post.  Here are the goods-

Emerald Isle Step Dancers




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