"One FLU Over the Photographer's Nest"

Been too long between blogs. Have been fortunate to be busy. Not so fortunate last week, when down with the flu of some sort. The older I get, the harder it hits. The older I get, the more wimpy I become. Due to the crud, two jobs were postponed. Thankfully, not cancelled. If I don’t work, I don’t pay the bills.

Bill Wyman, the former bass player for The Rolling Stones, once said. “If you can walk, you can make it to the gig.” That’s the approach I try and take. That’s the approach my dad took. In the 14 years I had with dad, the only time he missed a day at the hardware store was if we were on vacation. And after he was diagnosed with cancer.

With the work ethic in mind, l pulled it together to do three jobs for my friends at Monmouth College. I was at my lowest on Tuesday, and it was the most busy. Five separate sessions, spread over five hours. A day of variety, I made portraits of Dr. Mark Willhardt, recently named dean and VP for academic affairs. Interior photographs of the Alumni House. A new employee, a physics student who works with plants. And two basketball players.

Dr. Willhardt was first up on Tuesday. A really nice guy, easy to work with, We used a common room in Wallace Hall to make the portraits. Some were made as he spoke to Jeff Rankin, the man who coordinates a lot of the photos I make for the college. I tried to catch him smiling. I tried to use some foreground context. I tried to frame him between chairs. Anything to add interest to the photos. I also posed him for some frames.

Interior photos are more of a technical exercise. Lines, color, where to put lights. It went fairly easy. Details matter. Keeping flash glare off artwork can be a challenge. Turning on desk and table lamps adds a nice “warm” touch to the scene.

The new employee photo was, as us photographer’s sometimes use the term, “quick and dirty.” The young lady, outside the building she works in, with one off camera flash for fill. It was chilly out. She was accommodating.

The physics student provided us a small growing room to work with. It was tiny, and possibilities were a bit limited. The pink cast of a grow light provided me with a built in, colored gel.

Finished in Glennie Gymnasium with Will and Carly. They were patient while I made all the shots and angles the sports information director requested. By the end of it, I was sweating and chilled. And aching like being hit by a truck.

Thursday evening was men’s lacrosse. Monmouth put it to Clarke College, 10-2. Dominated the game. I’d rested on Wednesday, shot this game Thursday, still not feeling human. It was windy and chilly. First night game of the season for me. Used the 300mm lens and 1.4 converter. That meant an iso of of 5,000, which allowed me to shoot 1/500th at f4. Artificial light can work. The stadium has pretty even lighting.

Finally, Friday. I was tapped to photograph the rollout for the “Light This Candle” event. A campaign to increase the college endowment. Set up speed lights in each of the four corners of the room to bring out the color and detail. As well as override the big banks of windows on three sides of the room.

I’m busy again this week. Work for Monmouth College, the Galesburg Community Foundation, and the Knox-Galesburg Symphony. And I feel a lot better this week. That is o.k. by me.