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Picture of the week

June 16, 2010
Kids play jungle drums

Kids play jungle drums prior to a performance of The Jungle Book at City Park in The Dalles. Copyright Mark B. Gibson/The Dalles Chronicle

A local doctor does rhythm workshops with kids of all ages, and brought his drums to an outdoor performance of The Jungle Book to get kids warmed up to tropical levels. Shakers were passed about, and this group of drummers formed a circle just in front of the stage.

Growing up I was very shy, but as a photojournalist you have to ignore that and get right to the front. I ended up standing alongside the drum leaders, framing and shooting quickly with a wide-angle lens.

I did so without qualms… I remember wondering when I started this work if I would always find it so difficult. I suffered agonies of apprehension when I had to ask someone their name or stand up in front of a crowd. Looking back, after a couple of years fighting “butterfly stomach” as I threaded my way to the front or walked onto the court at a game I got used to it and now rarely feel uncomfortable.

The same thing happens when you perform or speak in public. The first song or two, the butterflies are a whirlwind. Then they settle, and performing becomes fun.

The magic, whether it’s in performance or photography, generally happens after the butterflies have settled.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2010 04:51

    I can well relate to those feelings of shyness. It still takes every bit of strength and courage I have to speak/sing and/or act onstage–still true even after 20 years of acting, singing and speaking!

    You are a natural–I’ve watched you walking among people like a soft cloud. They like you. You become a sort of poetry in movement as you take those photos and stop to talk with people.

    I didn’t know you ever felt like I did, and sometimes still do.

  2. June 17, 2010 04:51

    By the way–that is one darling little drummer!

  3. Clytie permalink
    June 17, 2010 22:00

    And here I thought you were perfectly comfortable with it from the get-go!!!
    Hmmmph, guess I learned something new about bro today!

    The picture is completely stolen by that little boy banging on the drum … the joy of it all over his face. The rest of the picture is good. I think. Cause now I don’t remember the rest of the picture. Just this little boy!

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