Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Magic Mirrors

My son Wynn, came home from school one day and asked if I would help him make his costume for the school play. I told him ”Sure,” and asked him “What are you suppose to be?” “A magic mirror” he replied, then added “I have to be able to dance in it too!” I told him ”Okay, let me think about this for a while.”

My first thought was to glue aluminum foil to some foam core board and cut out a hole for his face. Then I remembered the foam building insulation I had seen at Home Depot that already had silver foil attached on one side. I remembered it because I thought it would make good reflectors for photography.

I had a 4’x8’sheet of the 3/4 in. pink foam insulation. I had bought it to make mountains for Wynn’s train layout. I’d use the thicker foam for the frame. It was cheap, lightweight and cutting, gluing and painting was easy. We also had a foam cutter (much like a soldering iron with a shaped wire) that I could use to cut scrollwork into the frame.

Wynn was very excited about his mirror and told his teacher, Pat, about it. Later, I get a call, “Hi, this is Pat, Wynn told us all about his mirror.” She then told me that Wynn was one of three Magic Mirrors and wanted to know if I would mind making two more! Of course, I agreed.

The play was called Character Matters, a musical featuring F.T.A.C. (The Fairy Tale Advisory Council) where fairy tale characters would tell their story and get advice on how the situation should have been handled. Of course the Magic Mirrors where from Snow White. Their dilemma was, should they tell the Evil Queen that she was no longer the fairest of them all, or should they lie, to avoid upsetting the Queen and possibly getting smashed? We all know how that story ended.

The Play is one of many offered by Bad Wolf Press who specializes in musical plays for kindergarten to ninth grade, as a way to bring music, theater and art into the classroom. Many thanks to Ron Fink of Bad wolf Press for permission to use the material in my blog and on YouTube.

For the photographer’s: I used two small strobes, a Nikon sb24 and a Vivitar 285. One strobe was mounted high on each of two center tent poles that where on either side of the stage. Both strobes were set to manual at full power and bounced backwards into the sloping top of the white tent. The result was soft even light over the entire stage and enough power to allow me to shoot at ISO 200 at f/2.8. Quantum battery packs where attached to each strobe for quick recycling. Pocket Wizard radio receivers fired the strobes. Wynn is the mirror on the right.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sky Glider, Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Here’s one from the archive. Taken at sunset at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. My wife’s best friend from college, Pooz, had moved to California after graduation. They stayed in touch via telephone, emails and exchanged gifts on birthdays and for the holidays. It’s one of those rare friendships that survive both time and distance. My best friend Peter and his family also moved to California so when it was time to plan our summer vacation, it was not hard to pick a destination. We’d spend the first week visiting Pete and his family near Los Angeles, then head north along the coast to visit Pooz. We spent one day with Pooz and her partner, Brent, riding the rides and strolling the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Pooz, had told our son Wynn, we were going to a lecture on global warming, and though he was okay with that, he was pleasantly surprised when he realized we were going to the boardwalk instead. So was I. It was a vacation after all.