Steve Sheppard Photography Blog

Archive for November 2009

The Story Behind The Photograph

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I haven’t done a “The Story Behind The Photograph” in a while so when I found this photo a few days ago, I figured it was a good candidate.

I was looking through a box for old college photos to put on facebook. In the box, I found this photo bent, creased and badly discolored. It was printed on the cheap photographic paper that we used to use in the newspaper business to make a temporary print or to do a test print back in the day. Photos on this paper turn brown pretty quickly. I scanned it, repaired some of the creases and changed it back to black and white in Photoshop. That’s the photo you see above.

One morning back in the early 90s, the newspaper assigned me to shoot a fallen police officer ceremony. It was happening at 9 a.m. and deadline for this afternoon paper was at 10 a.m. I had to shoot quickly and get back to develop, print and give it to the editor.

The chief of police stepped to the podium and I saw him framed by the shadows of two officers, with their heads lowered, in the glass doors of city hall. I pulled my Nikon FM2 up to my eye and knew that I had my photo. I then stepped back and got the obligatory crowd shot and a few other photos, and I was headed back to the office.

I threw the film in the soup, fixer, and wash, hung the film up and dried it with a hair dryer. Since I knew the photo I needed, I put it in the enlarger, exposed for about 10 seconds so I would have time to dodge his face since it was in the shadow of his hat. Then I threw it in the dektol, and there it was just like I envisioned it. I was pretty happy with myself.

After washing and drying the print, I proudly handed it to a copy editor (his name was Louie) who looked at it and said, “nice photo”.  I went back to my desk and sat there waiting for first run of the newspaper to see my finished product and that line that I loved, “photo by Steve Sheppard”.

Another copy editor came though the office throwing the first run on everyone’s desk. He tossed me a copy, I turned it over and, YIKES, the photo below is what I saw. I can’t remember now if he just needed a vertical photo or if he cropped it to save space, but I remember taking a copy home to mull over the tragedy he inflicted on my photo. This is the first time anyone, outside of the newspaper, has seen the original.

Now that it’s off my chest, I feel better.



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November 15, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Mid Summer Night’s Dream – Dress Rehearsal

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Tonight, I shot the first dress rehearsal for Mid Summer Night’s Dream that will be performed by the Carlisle Player’s on December 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Director Candace Owen-Williams described the play like this in a note to me, “A fun, festive and Bollywood-esque version of Shakespeare’s most zany comedy! Indian dance mixed with singing and monkey-business! True love certainly does not run smoothly for our four couples!” She’s right. I couldn’t help but laugh as I was trying to concentrate on shooting.

As I have been doing for the past couple of months, I took my Olympus E-P1 and 17mm lens with me. I haven’t loaded any other cards, but here are a few with the E-P1. The first couple of photos were from them getting ready.


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November 14, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Posted in Olympus E-P1, Theater

Short Trip To Litchfield Beach

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Mattie and I made a quick trip to Litchfield Beach. We arrived Thursday morning at 9 a.m. and left today (Saturday).

The trip was a birthday present for Mattie. Our favorite restaurant, Emi’s, is in Pawley’s Island. I should say our favorite restaurant WAS in Pawley’s Island. We drove 4 1/2 hours Thursday morning to get there in time to eat at Eggs Up Grill for breakfast and was planning to go to Emi’s on Thursday and Friday nights for sushi.

Thursday evening we turned into Emi’s parking lot and noticed the lights were off. “On no,” I said, thinking it was closed because it’s the off season in Pawley’s. I got out of the car, walked up to the door, looked in and there was nothing inside the building. After having a conversation with the owner of the surf shop next door, I ducked my head and had to go back to the car and tell Mattie her favorite place had closed. Apparently, they are looking at some other options and may open in another location.

We ended up meeting some nice folks at The Fish House and talked with them on Thursday and Friday night during dinner.

Anyway, these are a few photos with the Olympus E-P1 and 17mm F2.8 lens. I didn’t shoot much this time. We just enjoyed a couple of days of relaxation and reading. On the third and fourth photo I used the pinhole filter in the E-P1.


Written by stevesheppardphotography

November 7, 2009 at 6:45 pm