Music and Photography: Different Perspectives on Boar's Head

Editor’s note: Constance Sanders is a parishioner at Christ Church Cathedral and a Boar’s Head cast member. She frequently contributes photographs of parish activities for cathedral publications. Some of her best still life photographs of Boar's Head props is part of the Boar’s Head Art Exhibit .

November 24, 2014
Mummer Wait Constance Sanders
 about 1987
With only two exceptions, I have been involved in every Boar’s Head presentation since 1982. As a member of the choir, I always have sung in the balcony. For several years I served as a mummer wait, greeting people and jumping around the pews, and currently I am one of the quartet of singing waits that comes down the aisle singing “Sons of Eve,” followed by the ‘Wassail Song.” Both costumed roles have been great fun.

 Mummer Wait Constance Sanders, 2005

Singing Wait
Constance Sanders, 2014

From left, Singing Waits Michael Dauterman, Dawn Bruestle,
Constance Sanders, Eric Duell, 2010
C.K. Wang, photo

From left, Singing Waits Ezekiel McCall, Constance Sanders,
Eric Duell, Dawn Bruestle, 2014
Christopher Koon, photo

I have been involved with photography almost as long as I have been with music. I’ve frequently brought my camera to capture the colorful pageant, the “set,” and the behind-the scenes activities. So I have really appreciated this opportunity to photograph some of the props in a more controlled environment.

I first became attracted to still life photography when a fellow musician/photographer started posting his still life images on a camera club bulletin board; he was influenced by the painting style of the old masters. I approached the images in the Boar’s Head props using this style, and naturally, I included some musical subjects.

Still Life with Bells, ©Constance Sanders 2014
Of my six prints in the art exhibit, two, including the one with the bells (pictured above), were captured in what is called a table-top tent—a cube of about 16 inches, with translucent sides and interchangeable backdrops. Lights are positioned outside, on one or both of the sides, to create the desired lighting effect.

Still Life with Mandolin, ©Constance Sanders 2014

The image with the mandolin (pictured above) and three others were made using a technique called light painting. I chose this method because I was not getting the desired background effect for these subjects. I used a small flashlight to “paint” over the subject for a long exposure time in near or total darkness. For these four images, exposure ranged between four and fifteen seconds.

This image with the mandolin is my favorite of the set. I knew immediately that it should be on canvas and in a frame that suited it, and I was happy with the results.

Constance Sanders
Singing Wait

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