AGAPE remembered

A short Audio Visual, mainly for club photographers  and especially as a leg-pull for insiders of that elite photographers’ group “AGAPE”.  If you stick around long enough in the amateur photo-scene you will notice these separate little clubs developing. Membership is by invitation only, I don’t know the criteria. The anointed ones prefer to keep their “club” a secret, but have the urge to manifest their superiority.

Being a bit annoyed by their behaviour, I thought of a short skit, still in the slide – days. AGAPE used the twice-yearly photo-weeks in Kamiskroon (Northern Cape) to meet up with the famous Canadian photographer Freeman Patterson.

I was not participating in those meetings, but a young friend went for one week and I gave him a shooting list for all the photos I needed. Robert owed me a little favour, he had moved to Cape Town from Namibia and I took him to various photo clubs for two years.  We also fed him up a bit and I helped him along starting his own AV making.  He first got inspired by a multi-projector open- air show in the desert near Windhoek, helping the organiser / photographer.

The AGAPE skit is the only AV  using to 95 % my scanned slides, because most shots are “historical”. I replaced only a few slide-images  with new digital files, in order to retain the “grotty” look of the original, e.g. cut-up photos, illustrations from books and magazines etc. – nowadays one would set the scanner to de-screen.  And certainly one would not physically cut and paste as I had done at the start.

Experts know that Nikon never made a “F8” model, but the wording had to rhyme. So, I painted that over the original F-whatever it was, rather amateurishly, on purpose of course.

Writing lyrics was a first for me. The famous song ( Ag Pleez Deddy ) by Jeremy Taylor is known to every one in South Africa across generations. I arranged with a music student, who sung to her guitar playing, recording it in the studio of the Stellenbosch University, Drama Department.  She just checked my lines, chose the different keys and after two takes it was perfect, especially the very emphasised end.

Have a look at parts of the original text sheet.   ag-pleez-part-text-734x582




As usual for my AV making, the sound is either complete or planned in detail before I do the visuals.

Telling a personal story in song, one cannot freely interchange visuals. It’s ideal to plan sound and visuals in parallel.

Naturally I chose the plants growing in the areas mentioned or at least in the type of habitat. Finding and photographing them took a season or two.  When I screened the series at an AV Convention in Velddrif  (West – Coast ) there was “not a dry seat in the house”, as the saying goes.   VELDDRIF I remember at a later Photo-congress, where I started another AV, or so I had hoped. It did not work out with the pictures I made. Re-planning the show with video clips ( about wine-tasting ) will be quite involved in the making. More on that, once I have made some progress.  —-  Thomas   Feb. 2017









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