Just folks. . .

Saturday we went to the Prescott Folk Music Festival.  It has been going on for 37 years, but this was our first time- actually our first time at ANY folk music festival.  We loved it!

Picture a small, rustic venue with small stages, inside and out (the Sharlot Hall Museum). Then picture musicians and some ordinary folks like us walking through the grounds on their way to hear groups or perform on stage- the acts changing about every half hour.  There were also workshops for musicians, food of course, and small groups jamming here and there.  There was folk music of all kinds- and most of it really, really good!  Oh- and most of the performers we saw were at least in their sixties.  Lots of men with gray pony tails and beards! I hope there are a lot of young folk singers out there somewhere- we didn’t see any in Prescott!

20151003-MMA_3629_melinda_andersonShe looks like Mary Travers, doesn’t she?  And yes, they sang Peter, Paul, and Mary songs- and sounded like them too! This is MacDougal Street West.

20151003-MMA_3708_melinda_anderson 20151003-MMA_3685_melinda_anderson-EditI LOVED this guy! He is part of a bluegrass group from Phoenix.  What a musician!  His group was called Jason Donne and the Open Graves!

20151003-MMA_3751_melinda_anderson 20151003-MMA_3763_melinda_anderson-EditThe two ladies above were a part of a group that sang Southwest cowboy music; we almost didn’t stay to hear them- and they were fabulous! They are called IQ Minus One- and I can’t remember what IQ stands for. . .

One of the highlights of the day was hearing an amazing group from Tucson which included Bobby Kimmel, the founder of the Stone Poneys, and members of the Ronstadt family- Linda’s cousin and wife.  I don’t have any great photos of their performance, because it was inside and all I have are iPhone shots, but I had to mention them, because they were sooo good! I Hear Voices is the group.

20151003-MMA_3802_melinda_andersonAt the end of the day, many musicians gathered on stage and led the crowd through This Land is Your Land.

We discovered that this two-day folk festival is held the first weekend in October every year- put it on your calendar!

An Umbrella, A Spoon, Some Music, and a Tornado

Such a fun adventure we had yesterday in Sedona! We drove over in the middle of the afternoon and had a great time wandering around and checking out the galleries and shops at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at El Rincon, where, to the amusement of our waitress, I couldn’t resist photographing the reflection of the little white lights on the overhead umbrella on my spoon. umbrella_spoonMidway through dinner, the flamenco guitar music began!


During dinner, Lonnie was googling best places for sunset photography in Sedona, so we ended up on an overlook on Airport Road. The wind had kicked up, and it was threatening rain, making for dramatic clouds.

20150831-MMA_2086_melinda_andersonAfter we walked across the road and began setting up, I realized I didn’t have my cable release, so I walked back to the car and lugged my whole camera bag back across the road to where my tripod was set up. Lonnie and Carol were busy photographing the scene while I got set up again. What I didn’t realize was that they were photographing a tornado forming! I continued taking photos of the rocks, oblivious to what they were seeing. Fortunately, I have a few shots at the end of the event- although I didn’t know what I was shooting.  It wasn’t until we got home and they started talking about the tornado, that I realized what I had missed! You can check out Carol’s magnificent twister photos at http://infocusdaily.com


Acker Night

Friday night was Acker Night in Prescott,  when most of the downtown businesses- restaurants, bars, shops, banks etc.- host musical acts to benefit music programs in town.  It went on for blocks, and I have never seen such huge crowds downtown.  We only managed to see a few blocks worth of entertainment during our walk around town with our friends, Debbie and Dale, but it made for a fun evening. Below are a few of the acts we enjoyed.

acker2The group below was probably the most fun performance, and this photo is the only one I have of these guys not looking straight into the camera. I discovered that, in a small space, it is just about impossible to be unobtrusive with a camera- even though I was surrounded by iPhoneographers. I only brought my 50mm lens, which was a mistake. I chose it because of its sharpness and low-light capabilities, but found that the focal length on my crop sensor camera made it difficult in tight quarters (next year, I’ll use my 35mm).

20141212-DSC_7682_melinda_anderson-Edit-EditI couldn’t resist taking a shot of Dale in his hat- it really suits him!


I loved this old truck we saw along the way.

20141212-DSC_7722_melinda_anderson-Edit-EditAnd eventually it was time to say good-bye to the lights of downtown Prescott and head home.


Editing notes for the curious:

The layout of 4 photos in the beginning were all editing experiments in Lightroom using the Fader plug-in I downloaded a month or so ago and promptly forgot about.  If you have a lot of presets like I do, you might enjoy this handy little plug-in. Basically, when you want to use a preset, you choose it from within the Fader and then have the ability to reduce the opacity of the effect, like you would in Photoshop.  I normally tweak presets myself, but this gives me the ability to dial it up or down while looking at the results- very cool. What I don’t like about it is FINDING the plug-in in the menu in Lightroom- it’s not hidden, just inconvenient.  I wish Lightroom gave you the option to assign keystrokes to an item on the menu- or does it?

The photo of the country band was edited using my trial version of Topaz Impression (which unfortunately expired yesterday)- textures added in Photoshop.  The photos of Dale and the truck with the Santa hat also have added textures. The textures were from Kerstin Frank, Shadowhouse Creations, and Kim Klassen.