This past Friday evening (or very early Saturday morning) I went to a castle. Yes, I said a castle. It was more of an exterior appearance of a castle with grass and open air within the walls.

It was out in the middle of nowhere with a lot of gravel roads leading to it that threatened the air pressure of of Madalyne’s small SUV. Primarily this “castle” is used for paint-balling and camping. For this weekend however it took on another role as music festival venue.

Madalyne and I chose to do our multimedia piece on a group of go-go dancers called the Comeow Kittens. They are giving workshops and performing at this weekend long festival, sporting light up hoops, furry boots, and confidence.

We arrived a few minutes before midnight, a little miffed the festival denied us press passes and made us pay $20 each to get in. But we set up our cameras with a positive spirit. Madalyne had only just borrowed a camera from someone else on our beat and we could not figure out how to use the video setting. I’m a Canon girl and have very limited knowledge of Nikons, so I showed Madalyne how to use the video setting on my Canon.

I knew enough about Nikons to operate it on still photography settings, so I used the borrowed camera for stills.

I know Rita Reed would tell me that this situation was perfect for using flash. It was incredibly dark. The colorful rave lights only made everyone a silhouette, which gets boring if that’s all you have frame after frame. But since Madalyne was using my camera I just used the on-camera flash on the Nikon. My batteries for my portable flash were all run down anyways (stupid rechargables). The photos are not the best I’ve ever done with flash, but I think they still tell the story well.

I took a couple natural light only shots (or not so natural since they were rave lights.) But then I decided to pop flash in there. I slowed down the shutter speed so that the light up hoops would make dancing waves of color from their movement. The pop of flash stopped whoever was dancing so that their image was clear. I think I did pretty well given the circumstances. Thank heavens I took Advanced Techniques with Rita Reed before doing this assignment.

Madalyne was also appreciative of my flashes for the video so that every now and then the viewer can see the face of who’s dancing.

We had been yawning all the way up to Kingdom City, but when I was taking photos I was very awake, present. Something about focusing on a shot makes the sleepiness abandon me. However, as soon as I knew we were done shooting the fatigue returned. By that time it was 1:00 AM, and we still had to go back to Columbia.

So we gathered ourselves up against the chilly night air and walked away from the dub-step/reggae combo, only stopped a couple times by dazed festival goers.

Journalism is no 9-5. Sometimes I enjoy that, and sometimes I just want to curl up in the fetal position and beg to be home for dinner. I like dinner.


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