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Keeping up with the Pirates - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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Keeping up with the Pirates [Apr. 8th, 2011|07:52 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Empire Hideous: Devious Child]







Someone once told me "They can't say no if you don't ask." And it makes sense to me. A few months ago Veronica Bailey from Storied Threads threw a Hail Mary. She had a limited budget but really wanted me to photograph her catalog of pirate costumes. And it's not that getting me to photograph a catalog is outrageously expensive, especially if it's pirate costumes, it's that Veronica is in Boston and I'm in Philadelphia and paying for twelve hours of travel on top of a day's shooting is daunting. But she asked and what she didn't know was that the stars were aligning.

Novelist Caitlin R. Kiernan (aka greygirlbeast) has a new book coming out called Two Worlds and in Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan, (Volume One) and she'd emailed to ask if I could do her author portrait up in Rhode Island and on top of that, Leaving Dakota was scheduled to be in Boston on April 1. With all these things sliding together, the gravity became substantial enough to get me on the Megabus (I first considered Amtrak, but the bus ride is actually shorter).

So, ably assisted by gandalfgreyhame & dressdragn we met up with Storied Threads, one assistant, two dogs, and nine pirates for a day at Winter Island in Salem MA.



Lighting wise the day was rather relentless. Although we started early the sun was already high in a completely cloudless sky and the island offered almost no shade. It was either going to be direct sun or direct sun with little speedlights kicking out as much wattage as possible from four feet away and that's how we did it.


Here's me looking like I did for most of the day when I wasn't laying in beach sand. Photo by gandalfgreyhame.




In some ways it was a lot like shooting film again. The sun was so bright that I couldn't see the LCD screen on my camera -- it made me really wish that I'd invested the $80 in a Hoodman loupe, but the loup is so big I probably wouldn't have packed it. Someone needs to make a hood loupe that folds flat. Or I guess I could bring a giant black scarf and sit under it like photographers used to do in Ye Olden Days.




Clickenzee to Embiggen!



I wish I had a photo of myself carrying all the gear I brought. I used a Lowepro AW Photo Trekker backpack that had, I think, about 50 pounds of gear in it. (I have this photo of myself with the same backpack a few months ago, but it doesn't have the tripod, light stands, or umbrella's strapped to it and I don't have the other bag I was carrying too.) I'll admit now that I watch all those "this is how I pack my gear" videos on Youtube and I'm impressed at how much you can cram into an AW Trekker but one thing I wonder is "where do these people keep their clothes?" You're packing enough photo gear for two weeks but you're not bringing any socks? I found that a pair of pants and three shirts pretty much fills up a good portion of your camera packing space. I think i need flimsier clothes.




Clickenzee to Embiggen!



One thing I didn't pack on the trip up was water, which I realized as soon as I sat down on the bus. I would have been fine if I hadn't thought of it, but suddenly all I wanted was water, all I could think of were the hours in between me and the nearest water cooler. I packed water on the way back and didn't touch it. Go figure.




Clickenzee to Embiggen!






Clickenzee to Embiggen!






Clickenzee to Embiggen!






Clickenzee to Embiggen!



After the shoot Veronica took all the pirates and all the photographers out to dinner. The whole day was fabulous & fun. More about the other shoots later. Yarr!




Clickenzee to Embiggen!




This is the sort of thing that we're going to be doing at Kake's workshop in San Diego on the 17th. So if you have a dress you need yourself photographed in and you're near San Diego, that's the time to do it. Also the whole thing has inspired me to do a photography workshop for Renn Faire dress makers in Philly on the 23rd. More on that later. (Email or comment if you want to participate.)






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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-04-08 12:14 pm (UTC)
yaay! thanks -- it's good to hear from you. I've always enjoyed reading your blog -- and now keeping up w/ your adventures in europe.
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[User Picture]From: kitteninstrings
2011-04-08 12:39 pm (UTC)
The day was QUITE a lot of fun! ^_^

Just found this post through a friend of mine. Hope you don't mind my commenting. That's me in the Queen Mary dress. ^_^

Also, a bus station that doesn't supply their passengers with water and chips? The Concord up here does that as you board. ^o^ Not sure I could do a trip with out water!
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-04-08 12:51 pm (UTC)
Hello hello! so glad you posted. It was wonderful to meet & spend the day with you. No water on the Megabus, even in the bathroom. I found myself wondering how quickly i would die if I drank hand sanitizer. But hey, Philly to Boston for $25 with electricity and free wifi? I'll pack my own water.
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[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2011-04-08 12:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, these are wonderful! Makes me miss Ren Faire silliness, a bit. Any chance the redhead is single? ;)
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[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2011-04-08 03:50 pm (UTC)
And I want to add - these don't read like catalog shots, and I like them all the more for it. I first saw them and thought, "oh, is Kyle documenting pirate faires now? Ren Faires with pirate themes? Who is doing an amazing pirate play?"

When you're dropping serious cash on costumes, you need to be taken to Another Place when thinking about it. You need to be focused on the adventures and fun you will have in them, rather than the "donk, it looks like this on this super-skinny model."
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[User Picture]From: yackersmaren
2011-04-08 01:11 pm (UTC)

Renn Faire dress makers??

Lady Gwendolyn from Pitman made my wedding gown!
These shots are great after all the glaring sunlight issues you should be extremely proud with how they came out!
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[User Picture]From: nerak_g
2011-04-08 03:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Renn Faire dress makers??

^ That's the town where I grew up :-)
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[User Picture]From: dd_b
2011-04-08 01:46 pm (UTC)
"Fly me a 20x20 silk!"

Yeah, not so much, when you're carrying all the eguipment yourself. Even the little one-ton grip truck is full of useful treasures.
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[User Picture]From: ceosanna
2011-04-08 01:50 pm (UTC)
I'd love to participate on the 23rd, either as a photographer or a model.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-04-08 04:53 pm (UTC)
swank. what works for the faire works for the alliance too.
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[User Picture]From: rainechan
2011-04-08 01:53 pm (UTC)
Yaar! I'm loving the pirates, Kyle.

One day I'm hoping that you'll be in Michigan, or I'll be... well, wherever you are. I'd love some photography time, be it you teaching, or simply shooting stuff. You always make it seem like so much fun (from what I read), and your pictures are stunning!
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[User Picture]From: tsarina
2011-04-08 02:18 pm (UTC)
You have the coolest adventures.

I really love the photo of that red haired fellow.
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[User Picture]From: olivetree
2011-04-08 02:58 pm (UTC)
That's my friend Conor! Clearly, he thinks about murder all day.
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From: ex_maehymn
2011-04-08 02:44 pm (UTC)
Oh these are wonderful! Love the gorgeous one with the mask. What IS that lens?!
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[User Picture]From: olivetree
2011-04-08 02:59 pm (UTC)
Once again, bemoaning my fate in not being informed.

Alas!

But damn, you made my crazy friends look DAMN sexy. Yar!
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-04-08 04:45 pm (UTC)
I would have loved to have met Logi. Next time perhaps.
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[User Picture]From: nerak_g
2011-04-08 03:02 pm (UTC)
Pirates, near SALEM? AWESOME!!!! :-D Looks like everyone had a great time.
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[User Picture]From: ysobelle
2011-04-08 03:40 pm (UTC)
On the 23rd?? Gah! I'd asked you what dates worked for you, but I didn't hear back!
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-04-08 04:42 pm (UTC)
you're the one who suggested the 23rd! And I did get back right here in public!. Is that day shut out for you?
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From: mujetdebois
2011-04-08 03:50 pm (UTC)
As always fun stuff. And to be honest I aspire to be as adept as you behind the lens.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-04-13 05:18 pm (UTC)
lucky for you, all it takes really is practice. this stuff is (relatively) easy.
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[User Picture]From: petitbout
2011-04-08 04:07 pm (UTC)
Could you GET any luckier!?!
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-04-08 05:55 pm (UTC)
if you and jade vixen knocked on my door?
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[User Picture]From: devotdsatellite
2011-04-08 05:08 pm (UTC)
oh these are just so lovely! i love the one with the knife is his mouth.
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