This year, so far, has been a little thin on the ground when it comes to work output. My output can not be described as prolific anyway. I have to be in the right mood, the light has to be right and the subject right. Everything has to be right. Right! That can be frustrating waiting for those factors to come together. Often I just find myself wandering in the hopes of something interesting appearing in the front of the lens. On one of those wanderings I just happen to be wandering around the Morris Dance event in Chepstow on Saturday the 3rd of July. I had this event in mind for a couple of weeks. Now photographing people is not my favourite past time, that’s something to do with my highly aspergic persona. It’s the face thing. Facial expressions and Human interaction. I avoid it like the plague. One of the reasons I love photography is that it affords me the salubrious solace that is solitude. So I had to approach the dancers from a different perspective.
Now before I move on to some actual photos, perhaps a little history may be of interest. Morris is often viewed as one of those quintessential British occupations. Dressed in white, bells, sticks (or kerchiefs), music of sorts and with the the occasional ululation. Often it is viewed as quaint, queer and with pagan over tones. In fact, the origins are Spanish and the dance originated from when the Spanish kicked the Moors from out of the Iberian peninsula. The original was called the Moresco and still survives in some parts of Spain. The dance was exported to France, Italy and, of course, to Britain where, in the late 15th century, it was known as the Moorish. Moorish became Morris. It’s a war dance where swords were used in stead of today’s sticks and kerchiefs. Over time it has developed into a small number of distinct styles and perhaps the blackened faces of some dancers represents the dark skin of those very cultured Moors.
So, here’s the pix, and if you’re interested I used my EOS 40D with the Sigma 50mm f1.4 in aperture priority at f1.8 or f2.8.