Musings on Photography

SoFoBoMo progress

Posted in Solo Photo Book Month by Paul Butzi on May 21, 2009

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Ok, I’m enthused enough about the empty theatre project that it’s definitely going to be my SoFoBoMo book for this year. This is a relief, since late last week I was still scratching my head and wondering what the heck I was going to do for SoFoBoMo, and time is rapidly running out.

But the good news is that this project seems to have helped me leap, with great vigor and vim, out of the slough of despond.

Out of Tuesday’s session, I found 23 images worth working up into prints. 23. Maybe that’s not a lot for you, but 23 images in one day is a lot for me. Now, of that 23, I wouldn’t want to put them all in a book. I think they’re fine quality wise, but some of them are too close to others in composition – I’d use either one, or the other, but not both. But I figure that I have two more theaters *scheduled* to photograph, and out of the 23 photos I’ve got already I could comfortably use, say, two thirds. Call it 14 photos, maybe 18 if I get pinched. Heck, if I get really pinched, I just use all 24.

But with two more sessions scheduled, I feel pretty comfortable that I’ll get at least the 35 that I like for the book. Whew.

Must now go check on charging batteries for today’s photography. I’m rarin’ to go.

3 Responses

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  1. matt said, on May 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    This sounds like a really cool project. There’s some magical about the all that cavernous potential in an empty theater. Will you be shooting any older theaters? Some of those 1920s movie palaces are amazing spaces.

  2. Paul Butzi said, on May 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

    The photos you’ve seen so far were done in the Paramount Theatre, in Seattle. It was built as part of the efforts Paramount Pictures made to get a theatre built in every major city. It opened in 1928.

    Next Tuesday, we have a chance to photograph the Moore Theatre, which was built in 1907.

    Yesterday, we photographed the Falls Theatre at ACT Seattle. We’re arranging a time to photograph the other main stage at ACT, the Allen, which will be interesting because it’s not a proscenium stage nor a thrust, but is in the round.

    I’m trying to line up some opportunities to photograph both the Penthouse Theatre and the brand spanking new Floyd and Delores Jones Theatre at the U of Washington. I guess I should try to photograph both the studio and mainstage venues at the Meany Theatre, also at UW.

    And then there are three theatres at Seattle Rep (the Poncho, the Leo K, and the Bagley Wright), and there’s Seattle Center Playhouse.

    We’ll probably try to tag the three theatres (the Lizzie, the New Theatre, and Bowmer) in Ashland, Oregon at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, although that will probably have to wait until wintertime when they go dark. W

    And there are a host of smaller theatres, too. Taproot, over in Seattle. There’s a thriving fringe scene, and although the performance spaces are, ahem, fringy, they’re interesting in their own way that’s different from the big stages.

    We’re not at risk of running out of theatres to photograph. Not for a long time; this is a project that will greatly exceed the time span of SoFoBoMo.

  3. Martin Doonan said, on May 25, 2009 at 9:45 am

    This is looking interesting.

    I also had cause to wonder if one could do for theatre something like Sugimoto did for cinemas with really long exposures?

    As for 23 in a day, seems more like a week’s worth of output to me.


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