Christmas in the Village

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas.

Christmas in the Village has been a tradition in Zionsville since, well, forever. Usually a weekend, this year it has been extended to a month of holiday events. The month kicked off Saturday with the annual Christmas parade. Bagpipers, dancers, even a reindeer – and of course Mr. and Mrs. Claus – marched through the Village and down Main Street as families lined the roads. A bubble machine rained soapy snow onto the brick street, making the last day in November feel remarkably festive.

Organized by the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce, the parade brought hundreds of people to downtown for what will hopefully be a lively holiday season. Say what you will about small-town life, community events like this make Zionsville a great place.

The Big Cheeze

In the past few months, a busy school and work schedule has kept me from updating the blog – an unfortunate recurring theme. However, as I make the transition into doing full-time media work, I hope to get better.

With that in mind, it’s been ages since I debuted a video. Here is a piece I shot earlier this spring on The Big Cheeze, a food truck in Bloomington. The owners were nice enough to let me spend a couple nights with them shooting for a class project, and here’s what I came up with.

It was an interesting shoot. My background is in DSLRs, but because of the class this was shot on a Sony NX-5. Working with a traditional video camera definitely has its advantages. The troubles came with the fact that I was working at night and the camera has a tiny chip. That said, I made it work and the experience made me want to work with a large-sensor camera like a Canon C-series or a Sony F5.

Krampus Night

Saturday morning found me where all Saturday mornings should: at the Bloomington farmers’ market. As I was strolling the market shooting, multiple people told me to check out something happening that night called Bloomington Krampus. I didn’t know what they were talking about, but I had nothing better to do that evening, so I decided to check it out.

For those of you aren’t familiar with Krampus, it is an Alpine Christmas tradition. Each year Saint Nicholas comes to give candy to the good children. The bad children get terrorized by beasts called the Krampus. Early in December, men dress as the Krampus and roam the streets. Turns out a group in Bloomington decided this town needed to be part of the tradition.

I met the crew, and an admirably large crowd of spectators, on the B-Line. After they paraded down the trail, they entered their “lair” to get ready for the rest of the night. One of the event’s photographers got me in, and I spent the rest of the night traveling town with the beasts. It was quite the night.

Moral of the story: when people tell you to check something out, do it. You just might end up hanging out with monsters.

Calling 911

Freddie Sturgeon works December 4, 2012, at Central Emergency Dispatch Center at the Bloomington Police Department in Bloomington, Ind.

Over at American Student Radio, one of the producers is working on a piece on 911 – what happens when you call it, who is behind it, etc. Today I paid a visit to the Bloomington Police Department to make some photos inside the┬áCentral Emergency Dispatch Center, which handles calls for all of Monroe County not under jurisdiction of the Indiana University Police Department.

This was only my second time taking the new 5D Mark III out on assignment. The low-light capabilities of the camera, combined with a 50/1.4, were very helpful. Lighting still proved a challenge because the operators’ faces were lit by computer monitors, but I produced a few images I am happy with.

Big thanks to the crew at the center for welcoming me with open arms. Keep your eye out for the final 911 piece, which will be released later this month.