From the wilderness to the urban jungle, this past week has been a different sort of an adventure: Adrienne Shum and I built and ran the Green Room at the Interstellar Rodeo festival here in Winnipeg. This entailed transforming a concrete bunker tucked away backstage into a functional kitchen and cozy lounge for the festival artists. Lighting, refrigerators, furniture, food…we had to bring all that in, alongside a team of hard working volunteers, to help us magically turn the piles of ingredients into the delicious food described on the menu we created. Needless to say, we’d been working at this for months and it was wonderful to see the ideas percolating in our minds come to life!
This opportunity was different than my usual festival involvements, which tend to be more on the photography/media/social media side of things. As such, photos were secondary, but I did capture some snapshots to trigger personal memories that threatened to be lost amidst the blur of busyness. During the constant bustle of festival work the memory gets saturated, and photos such as these bring moments and details back to mind; also they are useful for reflecting and building upon our setup and workflow in subsequent years.
I receive lots of inquiries into the behind-the-scenes details of things like this, so I decided to share a photoessay here expounding on some of these points of interest.
Aside: I’ve taken a more experimental method of processing for these photos. Since getting my most recent digital camera, I’ve come to the realization that the quality of digital has finally surpassed that which I can eek out of my medium format film camera, with the added benefit of a simplified workflow and convenience. A lead bag of film still sits in the bottom of my fridge, but the rolls have all rolled past their expiry dates at this point.
Some days I still miss the aesthetic of my favourite films though – the colors, contrast, and grain. With these characteristics in mind, I’ve been peripherally working to develop my own method of processing digital files to mimic my favourite films. This series of images was shot entirely on my iPhone, and processed using my best effort to resemble the results I miss from Kodak Portra 160 after being push processed in the dark room. This is the first time I’ve released something like this into the wild. I hope you enjoy!