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EFNC 2014 Candlelight Gala Dinner

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good

Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

 

 (bryan farley)

In Oz

When I arrived for the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California‘s 2014 Candlelight Gala, I noticed that I was “In Oz.” This was not the first time that I had walked into Oz. I have written about epilepsy and Oz earlier this year. In 2013, I discussed how having epilepsy felt very much like living In Oz. I am not the only person to make this connection. The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota completed their 31st Camp Oz this summer for youth with epilepsy. For some people, there is no place like home. For others, home feels like Oz.

 (bryan farley)

The Wizard of Oz is a universal metaphor… and perhaps more universal for people affected by epilepsy. Characters are transported to strange places. The characters forge unusual relationships and face unnecessary challenges. After doing the impossible, we learn that we merely needed to click our ruby red shoes and everything would have been fine. The entire time, people watch us through a crystal ball. If not for our unlikely friendships, many of us would not have survived.

 (bryan farley)

The longer that I advocate, the more friendships nourish me. I am also inspired by those who honor important relationships. During the awards ceremony, one doctor introduced the recipient who is also his mentor. Spouses and children were honored for their support. Colleagues honored each other during their speeches. One recipient thanked her “three different families.” Lions and Tigers and Bears….

 (bryan farley)

For this post, I created a photo gallery with 111 photos. This is my way to honor my friendships and the people who have helped me contribute to our journey… the people who paved the yellow brick road. On January 11, 2011, (1/11/11) I met Tony Coelho a few blocks from the Julia Morgan Ballroom. (Here is my old blog post.) I committed to “telling our stories,” teaching others how to do the same, and to being a good role model. Sometimes, I forget to use my brain (and not because I have epilepsy.) Other times, I lack courage. Sadly, too often I lack heart. I never forgot that I am just one of many.

 (bryan farley)

While I (always) have more to write, I thought I would close with lyrics from the Animals song “San Francisco Nights.” I opened this post with a different Animals song — one that I have been singing since someone confused me for a doctor at the gala. (As an epilepsy patient, I feel more affinity with the time traveling Dr. Who.) At the Gala, there was a British Invasion cover band, and the Animals were part of the invasion. This last song was specific to 1967, but I like to extend it to our time and our larger epilepsy community.

“To the city and people of San Francisco, who may not know it, but they are beautiful and so is their city….”

Craig Morgan – Gallo Center Concert

In downtown Modesto last November, I photographed country musician Craig Morgan. I found a hundred reasons for waiting to publish the pictures, and really, I am not trying to hide my motivations. I think that they will be clear by the end of this song.

 (bryan farley)

Morgan performed at the Gallo Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, November 2, 2013. Originally, I had planned to photograph Morgan and his band a second time before publishing any photographs. These images were taken on the West Coast in early November. I was going to photograph him and his band again on New Year’s Eve in Washington, D.C. for The Concert for Epilepsy. I did not make it to the East Coast last Winter.

 (Bryan Farley)

Because I was going to see them again the following month, I was able to have better access than I might normally have at a concert. I was able to stay longer too. I stayed until the end. I took pictures from the last row of the top deck.

 (bryan farley)

I took pictures from behind the stage. I watched when Morgan went into the audience and brought the audience onto the stage.

 (Bryan Farley)

I was close enough that I could see the makeup and faded blue jeans. If the Central Valley air were still clean, I could have seen Bakersfield by the light of fans’ smiles.

 (Bryan Farley)

Morgan appears to enjoy his job as much as his fans appreciate him. Before he committed to his music career, he served in the US Army for 10 years . He continues helping military families and personnel. Morgan helps children. He helps people in transition. Morgan also discusses the importance of helping our veterans who we are in danger of committing suicide. Since my father committed suicide and since November 22, 2014 is International Survivor Day, I thought today would be a good day to post some old pictures and thank a musician for making my journey a little better.

For more background on this post, read Post Notes.

In Search of Treasure Island

“The beauty that shimmers in the yellow afternoons of October, who could ever clutch it?” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I found the Emerson quote in the new National Geographic book Life in Color. I bought the book a few days before this year’s Treasure Island Musical Festival. I photographed the two previous festivals and I was looking for inspiration. TIMF is a colorful festival and I needed expert photographers to explain color.

 (bryan farley)

I attend this event with one of the vendors, so I do not shoot many of the musicians. When I attended the first time, I was disappointed, but I quickly realized that I was able to see the event better. This year, I took more than 700 pictures each day, which is not many considering how many musicians performed. You can see my edited pictures from 2014 day 1.

 (bryan farley)

I spend most of my day with the artists at the Painted Wonderland body paint booth. These are not your ordinary face painters. Each artist creates an individual design for each person who enters the booth. The designs vary in shape, location and color.

 (bryan farley)

Every year I think that I can edit photos and create a blog post before the second day starts. This year I tried again, but my blog post looked like this. I even edited the blog post on my smartphone the second morning from Treasure Island. While I am learning how to use Smartphones from the festival folks, perhaps I need time to synthesize ideas and images.

 (bryan farley)

In the days that followed TIMF, two influential photographers died. Magnum photographer Rene Burri died at 81 and Elvis Presley’s photographer Alfred Wertheimer died at 86. Burri photographed many artists and other iconic leaders. Wertheimer fled Hitler’s Germany when he was a child and met Elvis twenty years later.

 (bryan farley)

Burri’s early work was in black and white, but he later shot in color. He assembled the book Impossible Reminiscences with 136 photographs and stories about each color (or colour) image. Burri died days after I took this image and it reminds me of a picture of him with his own picture of revolutionary Che Guevara. Burri would probably enjoy how this image interacts with the picture of him with Che.

 (bryan farley)

Alfred Wertheimer was best known for an image called “The Kiss.” While I captured a few images of people kissing, I thought this image with shimmering beauty of a yellow October would be a fitting tribute to Wertheimer. Elvis would probably approve too.

 (bryan farley)

If you want to view more images from 2014 and beyond, you can click on any photo and the gallery will launch. You can also click on this link here to see the picture that was the “feature image from Day 1.” It was extremely yellow. Day 2 photos here.

I have added galleries from the previous two years also. Some people appear in multiple galleries across multiple years.

Treasure Island Music Festival 2013 Day 2

Treasure Island Music Festival 2013 Day 1

Treasure Island Music Festival 2012 Day 2

Treasure Island Music Festival 2012 Day 1