Saturday, August 29, 2015

Many things 'Preston' in Cary, N.C.

My series of images taken last month in North Carolina was delayed about a week so I could shoot and process photos for the Garfield Shakespeare Company's summer production of Othello, which I presented in my previous post.

I'm back today to wrap up my North Carolina series with photos taken over a several-day period in the community of Cary, a suburb of Raleigh and neighbor to the better-known cities of Durham and Chapel Hill. Cary and the other communities comprise the Research Triangle of central North Carolina, so called because a triangle is formed when you draw lines on a map to connect those cities.

The Triangle got its name from the concentration of technology research companies and enterprises located therein, a phenomenon driven by the proximity of three major universities -- Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State.

My photos, however, have nothing to do with the Triangle and all about the residential landscape. The area of Cary where I focused are residential communities. Many of them, and the golf course (Prestonwood Country Club) therein, carry the "Preston" name in some shape or form.

Leading off the post is the welcoming roundabout to Preston Village, located west of Davis Drive. The first series of images below are also from Preston Village, which grabbed my attention because of the gazebo, landscaping, pond, and community playground and swimming pool. Following those below are pictures from the Preston Ponds section of the Preston Neighborhood, including Preston Ponds Park, which features a pond and fountain. I traveled through this park often during my stay in July, walking a wonderful welsh-corgi owned by Lee Ann's son and daughter-in-law.

The post ends with a shot of Jordan Lake, which is west of Cary. I passed it on the return trip from Chapel Hill on July 4.

To view a full gallery of images from my shoot in Preston Ponds (including Preston Country Club), follow the link in this sentence. To see a full gallery of images from my shoot in Preston Village, follow the link in this sentence.





Friday, August 28, 2015

Emotions and deceit are rampant
in GSC's production of Othello

Othello, Shakespeare's tale of love, resentment, betrayal and repentence, will be performed today at 8 p.m. -- and then three more weekend nights by the Garfield Shakespeare Company, the community theater troupe based on the Southside of Indianapolis. Shows are are the MacAllister Amphitheater in Garfield Park.

The show concludes GSC's 2015 season -- which was devoted entirely to works by the bard, notable in that the company's 2014 program consisted of two non-Shakespearan shows -- Jean Anouilh's Antigone in spring and Lerner and Loewe's Camelot in summer, the latter representing GSC's first-ever musical.

The Othello cast includes newcomer Tyler Gordon (on the right in the photo leading off the past) as Moorish army general Othello and three GSC veterans -- Jay Brubaker (on the left in the leadoff photo), who plays Iago, Othello's trusted but manipulative and vengeful ensign; Andy Sturm, who plays Roderigo, a rich Venitian who pays Iago to help him win the heart of Desdemona, Othello's wife; and William Baker, who portrays Brabantio, a senator and father of Desdemona, played by Kate Ghormley.

The show, directed by GSC veteran and board member Chris Burton, will be presented again Saturday (Aug. 29) then finish its run with performances the following weekend, Sept. 4 and 5. All show times are 8 p.m., and admission is free, a longtime practice of the troupe, now in its eighth full season.

Pictures displayed below are in approximate chronological order, although a few may be out of place. I did try to cluster my key handkerchief photos together in the display; the cloth proves to be a key piece of evidence in Iago's plot to dupe Othello into believing that Desdemona has been unfaithful.

Dress rehearsal began a little after 7 p.m. the night I took these pictures. You'll note that the early photos have decent natural light. When darkness sets in, and the spartan, colored stage lighting becomes dominant, the challenge to nail exposure and correct undue highlighting intensified. I shot two frames in which a distinguished red stage light threw an interesting highlight on cast members. One of those featured Sturm; the other, presented below, Gordon.

I shot the performance with two cameras. About 85 percent of the pictures were taken with a Canon 6D equipped with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L lens. The remainder were shot with a Canon 7D equipped with a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. I used a shutter priority setting (1/250 most of the night) and started with ISOs of about 160, adjusting those higher as the night progressed to compensate for darkening conditions. I finished at ISO 6400 on the 6D; once ISOs hit 3200 I ceased using the 7D (the 6D's light sensitivity is superior).

To view a full gallery of my shoot from the Aug. 20 dress rehearsal, visit my site at