I was trying to break a wide-angle addiction when I took this shot of Luther Lewis III rehearsing for UK Opera Theatre's "It's a Grand Night for Singing." But here, the14mm lens caught the majesty of Luther's voice and the moment.
When producer Jeffrey Day (left) and director Jason Epperson (right) suggested we meet at the pool of a horse farm where they would be shooting their forthcoming feature, "Unrequited," it seemed like a cool opportunity for a portrait with a little "Hollywood in the Bluegrass" feel.
This was the second year I spent covering my beat with a camera in my hands a lot of the time. As I said, last year, covering stories as a writer and a photographer is an interesting approach, because you are instinctively trying to match these images to the story you are writing in your head. Or, in the case of slide shows I put together, you are trying to come up with images that tell the story.
Here are some of my favorite shots from 2009 and the stories behind them. Over the holiday weeks, I also encourage you to look out for year end packages from our amazing staff photographers. I know at least one great Lexington arts image is in that group too.
I have to confess, one of the reasons to get out the Lexington Children's Theatre's "Celebrity Celebration" show was the prospect of seeing State Sen. Kathy Stein and Lexington Legends founder Alan Stein as Becky Thatcher and Tom Sawyer.
Shooting shows has really enhanced my appreciation for set and lighting design, and I thought these next two shots of Jennifer Parr singing "Hello Young Lovers" in Paragon Music Theatre's "The King and I" (above) and Adam Luckey in SummerFest's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (below) really showed exquisite work.
Shooting Lexington Philharmonic guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen in a March rehearsal, at one point I chose a spot next to the violins to capture some of Chen's big expressions as she was exhorting the orchestra. I think my positioning really annoyed one of the violinists, so I tried to make quick work of the shot, which Chen helped with by concentrating on the violins for a moment. When Weekender page designer Randy Medema chose this shot to run with the story, I was really happy he validated my choice of locations -- apologies to the violins.
I don't think any actor ended up in front of my lens this year as much as this UK kid, Jeremy Gillett -- this would also indicate he's a really good actor who keeps getting cast. This moment was from a rehearsal of UK Theatre's "The African Company presents Richard III" in which Jeremy played the passionate Papa Shakespeare.
A few weeks before Studio Players' production of "Always Patsy Cline" opened, I went out to see Patsy, aka Heather Parrish, perform with her band, June July at Lower 48, which is now closed. It gave us a chance to see some of that Patsy spirit in Parrish, and another dimension to her music. Manning the bass is Ethan Hayen.
One of the cool things about being on the set of "Unrequited" in July was seeing some local talent I've covered for years, like sound engineer Wes Kawaja here, working with Hollywood talent like "Twilight's" Michael Welch, who Wes is wiring up.
Shooting drama, you like to get a picture that tells the story, and I thought this one did it for SummerFest's "Once on This Island." The Gods -- Erzulie (Alicia Helm McCorvey), Papa Ge (Jason Thompson) and Asaka (Tamera Izlar) -- conspire to play havoc with the life of Ti Moune (Tai-Kristin Smedley).
A cool thing about this job is when someone calls you up and says something like, "Want to come hear one of the first readings of Silas House's new play." Here, House listens as Missy Johnston reads some of his words in "Long Time Travelling."
And then, a few weeks later, you see the show on stage. In the world premier production of House's play at Actors Guild, Josiah Correll and Hayley Williams were Adam and Lora, childhood sweethearts who've grown apart in marriage.
Sad story behind this image. After an interview with Actors Guild artistic director Richard St. Peter and managing director Kimberly Shaw to talk about the theater's plans for the future, we went down to the Distillery District to see their new Manchester Street office, which was formerly Theo Edmonds' gallery. A month later, the theater lost its funding from LexArts and both St. Peter and Shaw left to pursue other opportunities.
I went out to shoot The City, a new band formerd to play fundraising gigs for not-for-profit groups, the day after Derby. Usually, the day after Derby, you want to just sit and stare out into space. But the music and moments like this one with drummer Arthur Rouse made the shoot a lot of fun.
Another cool thing about this gig is getting to go hear the new voice professor, soprano Cynthia Lawrence, rehearse with the UK Symphony.
In the UK Opera Theatre's world premier production of composer Joe Baber and librettist James W. Rodgers "River of Time," Billy the Barber (Reginald Smith Jr.) reminded Abraham Lincoln (Nick Provenzale) of his promise to end slavery.
I love getting great looks, great expressions, and Brittny Congleton delivered here, singing "A Little Priest" from "Sweeney Todd" with Alex Parker in a rehearsal for the UK Musical and Operetta Organization "A Night with Stephen Sondheim."
So, I'm heading out to interview iconic Kentucky photographer James Archambeault at his Scott County home, and my editor Scott Shive asks me to get a new shot of him. The one we had on file was more than a decade old. Photographing James Archambeault -- as one person said, that's sort of like cooking for Bobby Flay. But Archambeault was a prince about it, and meeting him was one of the highlights of the year for me.