Friday, October 10, 2014

Magnum Workshop Day 6/7 - Showing Our Work

Friday rolled around very quickly. I was now in a position of knowing that I had at least 5 or 6 acceptable images that loosely fit into a theme. It was the hardest I've ever worked for such a small number of decent images. But, with this group the bar was pretty high. There were many, many images that I decided were not even good enough to put in front of a Magnum photographer.
In the morning, we met with DAH and the group, reviewed images one more time, and started supplying them along with title slide information and our selected music for a combined digital slideshow. First thing, DAH asked me what I'd added to my set during the last evening after dinner. I said nothing. My project was mostly a daytime thing. He told me that I really needed to add at least one more good shot, one that could wrap up the series. In other words, he said "get your ass back out there and shoot." So, I did.
I decided to go to the wharf and catch people saying goodbye at the ferry dock. The ferry runs from Ptown to Boston a couple of times per day. I walked up to the front of the line, near the ticket booth, and asked the attendant if I could set up and shoot from there. He agreed. This should be the right place to catch people saying their final goodbyes for the season. The line was a little small, but there were a few groups around. It was also hard to tell if they were all passengers, or if some were well-wishers, who may give a final hug or kiss as their friends moved onto the boat. Anyway, all set up in a good location, I waited and watched.
Pretty near the last minute before boarding, I saw a car pull up and park right at the end of the wharf. The security guy went over to talk to them, I imagined to tell them they couldn't park there. It obviously wasn't the normal parking place. Then he sort of nodded and walked away as three beautiful ladies and a young boy emerged from the car. Well, I had to abandon my spot and see if they may be my subjects.
Last Minute Arrivals
Turns out that they were three sisters, from Sweden. The lady in the leather jacket is a Ptown native, which helped to explain why the guard made an exception. The little boy is her son. Her two sisters were leaving to return to Sweden that day. Wonderful, gorgeous subjects, obviously. And, once I explained what I was doing, they agreed to let me photograph their goodbyes.
Here's one from their final hug at the wharf. Good, but not great.
I just had to have something better. Once the two sisters were onboard, I asked the Ptown sister if she wasn't going to walk over and wave to them. She said "Oh yes, I should do that." This was what I was waiting for.
The Wave
This was going to be the final shot in my slideshow. When you see it large enough, you can see her sister on the deck of the ferry, waving back. I thanked her and headed back to the Fine Arts Work Center.
As I went to drop my gear in my room, I noticed David Kaplan (who I'd never met) standing outside his home speaking on his phone. Asking if I could shoot a picture of him there, he obliged, but said that I must come back because I "had no idea" what I was photographing. I did, and that led to the portraits I shot of him, a true highlight of the workshop experience. It was that ten minutes of access that I'd been searching for the whole week.
(Click Here) to see my portraits of David Kaplan, author and Curator of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival. In fact, this resulted in my being invited to stay another week in Ptown to photograph behind the scenes at the festival. Boy, I wish I could've done that, but it wasn't in the cards.
On this evening, the public presentation was a slideshow of results from all of the different workshop sessions of the week. I found it quite impressive what others were able to come up with in such a short time in Ptown. I'll post the link to the slideshow as soon as it's up on the Magnum education blog.