Wednesday, August 21, 2019

TWOFER - I K(no)W / Kellita Maloof- The Medicine Show / Dr. Ken Haller

To have a chance of posting images for most of the Fringe shows before Mrs. C and I leave on our next adventure, I decided to do posts that have two of the solo acts. First we have Kallita Maloof from San Francisco, who achieves a measure of peace through burlesque. She visualizes dialing up and down her body's knobs for energy, stress, pain, rhythm and fluidity while performing self-affirming and, shall we say, visually stimulating performances. She finds it helps to control her ulcerative colitis.

Below is physician Ken Haller, a local doc who has a fondness for Broadway and cocktail lounge song with lyrics turned quite topical. He is also a poignant story teller, describing his moments with a dying teen and his parents, as well as the experience of being a gay man in his medical residency in New York at the fearful dawn of the AIDS epidemic. BTW, I couldn't resist editing the last photo in B&W. So film noir

Both of these shows made me think of the pair of comedy and tragedy masks that symbolize theater. 

Oh, and yesterday was Ellie's sixth birthday. Gotta squeeze that in somewhere,              

Monday, August 19, 2019


Sorry no post yesterday. I had 10 or 11 hour shooting days over the weekend. Came home, fell asleep immediately, got up, downloaded cards and then back to work.

I got to almost all the Fringe shows. This one, When Women Were Birds, was extraordinary. A group of gymnasts/aerialists performed a ballet high off the floor, supported by anything from scarves to chains. These pictures only provide a taste of the experience. It was hard to photograph with the high contrast levels and movement in a dark room.

The show and its director, Jessie Davis, won what amounts to the grand prize for the festival, the Fringemeister Award. And by the way, they gave your sometimes humble shooter the Fringe lifetime achievement award as the dogged house photographer, although this was only my fourth year. I blushed.             

Saturday, August 17, 2019


The amazing Matthew Marcum, who came back to visit us this week with his new show, Hymns and Oscillations. It was part intense meditation, part primal scream and part hyper-energetic dance party. I got so many good pictures of him and there is so much more to say about the show but I wanted to get something posted before I go back for today's shoot.          

Friday, August 16, 2019


Last night I saw what might be the most powerful show I've ever witnessed at the Fringe. Crawling With Monsters is a multimedia narrative about the people who live in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, directly across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas. Reynosa is dominated by narcos. The state has nearly collapsed. 

Violent, sometimes random murders are the order of the day. The narcos are armed as well as the military. Gun battles in the street are common, day and night. Kidnappings are endemic, for ransom or sometimes the exploitation of children. Hundreds of people a year go missing. A popular music group disappeared. They were later found dead, their bodies thrown into a well, many of them decapitated. The good local people have no hope. This group, Latino Theatre Initiatives, is trying to let the rest of the world know.

I spoke to the director after the show. He asked me to mask the eyes of the performers to make face recognition more difficult. Even appearing here in St. Louis creates risk at home. I have so many more good pictures, most of them with tragic, beautiful eyes. It saddens me as a photographer that I cannot show them to you but the cast's safety is more important than my portfolio. I hope everyone in the STL area can see this show.         

Thursday, August 15, 2019


The Fringe got rolling last night with a couple of hours of standup comedy. Most of the comics were local, except for the first one, Krish (short for Krishna, not Christopher) Mohan from Pennsylvania. He was here last year and was so popular he was invited back. Some of the locals were seasoned while others were just trying to establish themselves.        

Lots more to come.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Opening night ceremonies Tuesday evening. We didn't really need someone pointing the way but the expression on the child's face shows the general enthusiasm. Impresario Matthew Kerns introduced many of the acts, including Artica regular Audrey Crabtree portraying a fallen Hollywood star trying, rather pathetically, to climb her way back up.  

Tickets for all Fringe shows are available at .       

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Maybe at some time you have dozed off during a sermon. Harder to do so in this venue because there is so much eye candy all around. Given my lack of credentials, I've only stood in a pulpit once. It was in Belfast, where John Wesley preached. No one paid any attention to me.

Something I like about this picture is that it is divided in half. The right is all simple horizontals with a big vertical slash. The left is full of filigree and do-dads. Balance? I'm not sure.  

Changes coming. THE FRINGE OPENS TONIGHT.               

Monday, August 12, 2019


Toward the back of the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. The columns are very different in design and I wish I knew more about the architectural concept of the place. The fact that there are so many mosaic images and their style suggests Byzantine. Maybe I should just look it up.            

Sunday, August 11, 2019


The business end of the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, not to be confused with St. Louis Cathedral, which is in New Orleans. The style is not Baroque; the overwhelming detail of its decoration comes from mosaics, not painted putti and saints. It is a far cry from the spare and elegant cathedral in Evry, France, which was introduced to us by our friend and colleague, Olivier Perrin. Both churches were built in the 20th Century and reflect very different esthetics.            

Saturday, August 10, 2019


Not the most common occurrence but that's what eleven years in Jesuit schools can do to you.

The International Photography Hall of Fame, which happens to be located in our fair city, holds workshops from time to time. Today I did a program on architectural photography that included two hours of shooting in St. Louis' Cathedral Basilica. There's nothing like it. The interior is covered by mosaics, more than any other building in the western hemisphere. This is a bit of the transept. I come out of a day like this stunned by how much I don't know.           

Friday, August 9, 2019


There are more pictures of the light show on Henry Shaw's house (lots more) that I could edit. For the moment I'll move along. We can come back to the house projections if I need more material before the Fringe festival starts Tuesday night.

One of the features at Garden Party Lights was this series of lighted squares, each slightly rotated from the last to disorient your sense of space. They changed color but this was the sharpest shot I got. 

BTW, I just noticed that this is STL DPB 4,444th post. Is that of any significance?      

Thursday, August 8, 2019


More magical projections on the front of the home of Henry Shaw, founder of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The top image has a near-photographic view east on Market Street from about 9th Street, although the Arch has been substantially repositioned for effect. Note also the violinists in the second floor windows of the second photo.            

Wednesday, August 7, 2019


The Missouri Botanical Garden has three or four of these evening light shows each year. They all feature changing, swirling projections on the wall of the home of Henry Shaw, the garden's founder. It's quite spectacular and I have no idea how it's done. I may post more of these with a group of pictures in a post.      

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


The same reflecting pool and lily pond seen recently. I noticed how the color of the leaves seems to change depending on the direction of view. This is looking west very near to sunset.            

Monday, August 5, 2019


A shot that almost didn't happen, and would not have but for the alert vision of Mrs. C. We had walked around the corner of the reflecting pool in yesterday's photo and sat on a bench. Dragonflies buzzed all over the water and she noticed one standing still on the low concrete wall. I had the same wide angle lens on my camera, hardly ideal for a close up, and leaned in as far as I could. What you see here is a tiny, tiny fraction of the original image. Cleaned up with de-noise software for sure, but it says something about the image quality of my camera, a Fujifilm X-T3, and lens, a FF 10-24 mm f4.          

Sunday, August 4, 2019


One of our local treasures is the Missouri Botanical Garden, known locally as Shaw's Garden after its 19th Century founder, Henry Shaw. This is the central reflecting pool, much longer than it looks here through a wide angle lens. Yes, that's Chihuly glass. The garden had one of its nighttime light shows among the plants and buildings, more of which to come.            

Saturday, August 3, 2019


Have to finish the Act Your Pants Off Stuff and move on to other things. My calculation in yesterday's post was incorrect: the main Fringe festival starts in 10 days. I am particularly interested to see the show by the three women in the middle picture called "When Women Were Birds." Acrobatic/aerialist stuff. You can see the Fringe performance schedule and buy tickets at .      

Friday, August 2, 2019


So much material still to go through from the Act Your Pants Off show, so little time. Once again, no record of names but I've seen two of the four performers before. Joe-something. Hanrahan? A fixture of the local theater scene. Don't know her but I like her sign. Don't know the next woman, either, but she had a hilarious shtick, playing a middle aged Jewish widow who carries her late husband's ashes around in a coffee percolator. And, um, hunky guy seen in other AYPO shows.

And the main Fringe season starts in two and a half weeks.           

Thursday, August 1, 2019


Trying to think outside of the box today. From an old photo taken at STL's Annie Malone parade.