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A Year in Photos: September

Hello again, Ephblog. It’s been over a year since my first and only post, and I’ve decided to return in style.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting a series of 9 photos, one from each month of the 2005/2006 academic year. I’m calling the series “A Year in Photos” for lack of a more snappy name (feel free to send suggestions). These photos represent some of my most memorable moments of last year and pave the way for fresh photographic goodness in the months to come.

September: Dance Studio at Night (click for larger image)

In case you don’t recognize it, this photo is of the dance rehearsal studio of the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance. 2005-2006 was the inaugural year of the ’62 Center, a multi-million dollar facility that has been in the works since the dawn of time. And as is the case with all of the colleges’ uber-expensive facilities, this building could not have been possible without some Generous donations (notice the capital “G”). In this case, the main donors were Herb Allen and Bob Lipp. To thank them for their tax-deductible philanthropy, the Office of Alumni Relations prepared some pretty serious thank you gifts.

Such as this photo. Early in July of 2005, I got a call from Rob White, director of communications for the Alumni Office, asking to commission a photograph of the dance studio.

This presented several problems: I had just started photography that Fall (my freshman year) and still had no idea what I was doing; I had never done an architectural shoot before; I had never had to “create” an image before, and thus plan every aspect of the shoot (time of day, angle, interior/exterior, models, etc). I don’t even think I had a tripod at this point. I was entirely unqualified for this type of work. Still, I accepted and managed to survive the ordeal. The photo was eventually printed 20″X30″, framed, matted, and presented to Bob Lipp by our prez at a fancy dinner. I got to meet Bob Lipp a few weeks after at a seperate ’62 Center schmooz (also fancy), and have to say that he is by far the coolest billionaire I’ve hung out with (hung out = shook hands).

And if you’re wondering how I got that angle…

As a side note, riding on a cherry picker at night is terrifying. And this is coming from someone isn’t afraid of heights. To me, fear of heights is anxiety caused by imagining the improbable situation of falling from a secure position far above the ground. The quite probable situation of falling from a moving cherry picker while trying to wrangle 20lbs of photo equipment isn’t fear of heights, it’s fear of death. Quite another thing all together.

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#1 Comment By David Kane On September 13, 2006 @ 3:38 pm

Great stuff! Thanks to Ben for posting these and I look forward to many more.

By the way, the first photo looks great to me in Firefox but is missing in IE. Do other IE users see it OK?

#2 Comment By hwc On September 13, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

Nope. Can’t see the first photo in IE. I’d like to after reading about what Ben went through to take it!

#3 Comment By Ben Rudick On September 13, 2006 @ 4:08 pm


#4 Comment By Jeff Z. On September 13, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

Awesome stuff. Also liked your work at the tailgate. So how much exactly do I have to donate to be eligible for a personalized photo? (I vote for a “percentage of income” basis).

#5 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On September 13, 2006 @ 6:52 pm

Great picture! Glad you swallowed hard and (1) took the assignment and (2) went up in the cherry picker.

For those who haven’t seen the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, the view from inside that studio looking out is equally impressive. It’s as if you’re floating in air, communing with the mountains to the north.