Monday, July 28, 2014

Naturals in the Park in Stone Mountain at Tupac Amaru Shakur Center of Art Center.

Have you ever heard Dr. Martin Luther King used the words Stone Mountain in his famous I Have A Dream Speech? E37 Photography traveled to this city to photograph Naturals in the Park Festival. The naturals refer to people who wear their hair without use of chemicals. Most of the attendees were afro-american females. They congregated to promote natural hair and healthy lifestyles. The setting was located at the Tupac Shakur Center. Mr. Shakur, a famous entertainer, appeared in several movies and many videos. He died early from a gun attack in a car. The park and museum building is a tribute to him. In the park, you can see a large statue of him with a pool in the front of him.Trees and pathways surround the park.

Fortunately, it did not rain but the temperature heated to the 90 degree temperatures. The heat became a frequent topic of the event but it did not deter the festival activities. The stage set up was not covered so the performer performed in the sun. As one of the photographer for the event, he made constant camera adjustments which were necessary to photograph well exposed images. The tents provided shade along with the tree shade where adjustments were necessary. The elements were completely different when photographed in the open sun. The people were patient with the photographer to make adjustment. The photographer wanted to get the correct exposure in camera versus waiting to make color adjustments in post computer work. Over 300 images were selected and sent to the event organizer and participants at the event which consist of venders, performers, festival works and attendees. Overall, the event was fun and colorful. No food sampled but the aroma was inviting. One of the favorite vendors station around the stations sold lemonade blended with fresh green basil. You can see many the clear plastic green cups. During the event, this photographer purchased one and had desire for more. The festival staff were cordial. They gave the photographer a t-shirt, media pass and bottle of cold water.

The photograph could not help but take some close up images of the hairstyles. The curly hairstyles had many different styles. Vendors sold hair product for hair and face. Many t-shirt were available. Music played throughout the event. Entertainers performed on stage singing and dancing. Most of the speakers had a good sense of humor but at times spoke on the serious side about health. Children played at a station in the rear of the park. Dance exercise classes were provide and lectures on health and hair topic were presented in different areas of the park. It was time well spent in the open air. The program started from 11am to 7pm.  After the last entertainment act, the photographer packed his bag and left to begin work on the images.