Photo: No, it's not garbage, it's a studio on the move! Tsirkus gear, appropriately waterproofed awaits its return to Philadelphia on the Chinatown bus.
The mobility of the vintage portrait studio has been on my mind quite a bit these last few weeks. Trying to move the equipment through the New York City Subway system on the last jaunt to Gowanus back in August drove home the idea that I have to think light, modular, and easy-to-handle. Oh! and add one more adjective: waterproof! You can't tell what weather may do suddenly.
I have abandoned using a single heavy trunk as in shoots past and now have a trusty (and water resistant) Craftsman tool bin to hold the camera, film holders and film. ($19.95 at Kmart). The tripods and stands perch atop that and are wrapped up and bungied as a unit. They then are bungied to the small, foldable hand truck I use. Additionally, there is room to bungie-on one or more small bags that hold the miscellaneous equipment and supplies, including lunch. Everything comes apart pretty easily to take on the bus or get down a flight of killer steps.
The Jazz Age Lawn Party shoot on Governors Island was supposed to have been today, but the weather had been touch and go. (It's now 3pm in Philly and the Sun is out!) I knew that any notification of a last-minute cancellation was likely going to happen after I was already in transit. When I got off the bus and was all raring to head for South Ferry, I checked in and yes, the event had been nixed. Even though I did a 180 and headed right back to Philly, it was a good opportunity to shake down the new arrangement for moving the gear and it worked pretty well. Everything stayed dry and I got a chance to catch up on some badly needed sleep since the bus invariably sends me to dreamland. Hopefully, the rescheduled Oct. 4 date will be dryer.
RA Friedman, Principal Photographer