[Text and Photos by Sean Rayford]
Heads turned at the Tapp’s building When Paxton Pegues of the Pee Dee Ranch in Cheraw, SC showed up with a pastured, heritage breed Red Wattle-Cheshire suckling pig – roasted with Cucuzza squash. The only other time I saw people react so favorably that evening was when they opened the bar. Down on Main St in Columbia, SC on Friday night the local photo and food communities collided with the sixth annual University of South Carolina photo festival. With the help of Slideluck, Brooklyn Brewery and Viewbook, the art department at the university was able to reach outside of their traditional network and facilitated a gathering around food, beverage and photography.
In between eating and the photo presentations, USC photo instructor Gordon Humphries gathered a few handfuls of people to make a special image of the venue. “He wanted to do an illumination of the entire Tapps building for a photo and part of the way to achieve that is to get a large group of people with lots of flashes and other lights and do what you might call light painting. With the camera – he does a very long exposure – so the shutter stays open for a long time and everyone fires their flashes as much as they possibly can or if they have flashlights they just shine their lights on the building. It creates a neat effect with meager resources and you can light up an entire building,” explains Thomas Hammond (seen below looking at the results).
“There was a lot of people out there. I got a kick out of the people in the building looking out their windows wondering what the heck was going on with all the strobes going off into their rooms,” remarked John Allen about the light painting. “It’s fun to see friends outside of work and catching up. A room full of photographers is like a melting pot, they all have different styles and things they like to do.” Paired with the USC photo festival the evening introduced conversation between hobbyists, students, educators and working professionals in an specific area of the art community that rarely sees cohesion.