The Experience of Joy


Sometimes it is possible to experience another person’s joy just by seeing them doing something that they love. A sort of happiness by proxy. When Mary dances, I often wonder what is in her head. But, I don’t want to dwell on the thought for fear of losing that sensation of enjoyment of the moment.

We Had a Ball

New Years ball 2015-3850

Last year was the first in a number of years, that I was not able to shoot the New Year’s Eve Grand Ball, held in South Charleston, OH. The ball raises money to preserve the local opera house as well as a number of other local landmarks. You can imagine how excited I became when I found that I could make it to the ball this year.

New Years ball 2015-3890

This is a stunning event. Live music, gorgeous dresses and uniforms, wonderful ball room, and more. For a photographer, the event is also a real challenge. The lighting is dim and the dancing means plenty of motion. Bring your fastest gear because you will need it. I struggle with the low light. Most of the night, I shot with an 85mm prime set around f1.7, ISO 1600 and speeds in the 1/30 – 1/80th of a second. Unfortunately, my camera body can’t create usable images at higher ISOs.

New Years ball 2015-3899

Want to see the rest of the pictures from the ball?
I thought you might, so I created a Flickr album. You can find it here.

Children’s Barn Dance

Carriage Hill-2015-03597

Way back in September, I attended a children’s barn dance and was reminded that I am just a big kid when it comes to these kinds of events. I adore seeing the delight, confusion, and all-round joy that the kids are having.

Carriage Hill-2015-03672

With guidance from the grown ups, the children were put through their paces. The parents were not allowed on the danced floor, but cheered on from the sidelines.

Carriage Hill-2015-03689

When the dancing was finished, the band kept playing for me. It was one of these fantastic moments, when you realize what good friends you have.

Carriage Hill-2015-03706

As the winter approaches (and my winter blues begin to kick in, dragging my spirits down), I can look at these images. The children and the great big smiles help me to remember the warm sunny day and the sounds of the blue grass music. The kind acts, and the laughter become vivid in my imagination. And for just a few minutes, the blues are held at bay.