b&w images • blog • project journal


Finale of Finales

Aug 26, 2019

I saved four finale images to use to finish off – at long last – the Rogue Swan Vaudeville series. The image above is unique in that I did two quick exposures, left and right stage, and then found a convenient place near the center to crop them both, joining them together. I did this by splitting the little round seated chair near the center – carefully adjusting so that the chair became whole again. The zoom lens I was using wouldn’t adjust to include the whole stage plus bith wings – and I sure didn’t want to take time to switch cameras at this point, or fiddle with menus to take a panorama and get back our of there again. With everyone moving around, arms flailing, etc. it was pretty iffy that there would be a consistent, static gap between cast members, even with just a second or so between shots – but I got lucky. The lens i was using only zooms out to 85mm while the new lens starts at 74mm, just enough for shots like this. That’s a good thing because Rogue Swan certainly does not like to leave an inch of stage, and often wings, unutilized.

Of course one problem with elongated images is that they can’t be viewed large enough at this scale to be effective. But, being therefore a little higher in resolution, it can be printed a little larger. On the next one, below, I didn’t crop the darkened audience out – sometimes I have to try it both ways before I make up my mind. One note on all of these, as well as a lot of other work, I always, when it’s a close call as to which of two or three similar exposures, get Nan’s feedback – she’s has a better feel for why I can’t use a particular image because one of the women in the picture might just have to, as she likes to phrase it, have to hurt me.

A oot of the skits end in some sort of ta-da, frozen moment. The image below is the scene at the end of “Bathing Beauty” – a skit that probably fails to resonate with those who can’t remember back far enough. But even in the fifties it wouldn’t have seemed that out of touch.

The final image sports one of those darn pickup truck sized mics, one I passed on trying to remove – I would have had to somehow replace about a third of Marion’s mouth to accomplish that. Could it be done, sure – and at the low resolution for an on-line JPG it probably would have worked fine, but not for an enlarged print. I considered mining other exposures for the partial mouth and doing it that way, but decided to hold off in case the surly deed wasn’t particularly needed there – and went off to enjoy a cup of tea with Nan. Not doing it accomplishes to things, giving an great example (four more were removed from this same image) and saving myself feeling like I was beating myself over the head with a club the whole time. I also kept a little more of the upper stage on this one – as part of a series it helps tell the story.

Along with this posting I’m updating the PDF album for Rogue Swan on the Havre de Grace Street page. Of course, no album is complete until the end of the year. I liked the old album system a lot, but it just got to be far too much work – and I’m just beginning to experiment with making a little digital book out of this series. Oh, and this comes just in time – I’ll attend my first rehearsal for the Halloween show – The Strange Case of rogue Swan – this evening. Tickets available HERE.

P.s. I will be printing by the week-end…