The studio is a special place to make the photographs that your mind already sees.

Mad, Beat, Hip and Gone.

Here's what Zach Scott Theatre says about, Mad, Beat, Hip and Gone: Steven Dietz, the most-produced playwright in America who also calls Austin home, is creating this World Premiere specifically for ZACH's first season in the Topfer. In the late 40's and early 50's, Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady famously went "on the road." But what about Danny Fergus and Rich Rayburn -- the young guys in the car right behind Jack and Neal, the guys whose history never ended up in books?

It's one thing to go out into the world and to be open to whatever happens in front of your camera. It's whole other discipline to step into the studio and create the world that's already in your imagination. Neither method of shooting is more valuable or correct but they are both such different disciplines.

When I shoot dress rehearsals for Zachary Scott Theatre I'm concentrating on recognizing the special moments within the performance. I reach in and freeze the moments that trigger something immediate and emphatic in my brain. I'm engaged in a process of high speed sorting.  Not that I always make the right decisions but I make them fast enough and often enough to build up a catalog on a work that is useful to the people who will do the hard work of leveraging my images into marketing messages that sell tickets and get people into the seats.

My real joy comes from shooting in the studio. I get to create the look, the feel and the emotion of the shot in collaboration with the actor or sitter in the photograph. That's a whole different playing field in which we get to interpret the mood, feeling, inference or intention of the moment. It requires skills in lighting, posing, composing and directing. But most of all it requires a willing and equal collaboration with the person in front of the camera.

Over the course of the last last four blog I've included images that are meant to evoke four totally different moods, periods of time and points of view. The 1940's, 1960's and the 1970's. The shot above is meant to be evocative about the Beat Generation of the 1950's.  I may have been successful and I may not have been successful in my quick interpretations but in all four cases I've had a wonderfully fun time sharing the studio space with incredibly talented people and trying to absorb and reflect their talent.  It's so different than street photography, documentation and found photography in that  you already have a word poem in your head and now you are trying to piece together what that poem looks like as a photograph. It's a process of creation that's different than the process of discovery.  But at the same time it's a process of self discovery. Moving through the ego into non-ego to pull off something that must be a sharing experience to be successful.

I am keenly aware that I'm just an average photographer in a second tier market but I also realize that it's a hell of a lot of fun and that I never stop sharing the energy of creation with my subjects and I never stop learning. That's one of the most fun things about photography. No matter what camera and lens you use....

Camera: Sony a77, ISO 160, Lens: 24-85mm Minolta. 

Comments always appreciated.....