Date: July 23 – 25, 2010
Venue: Campgrounds in Cornish, Maine
As I walked into the main stage area of the Ossipee Valley Music Festival for the first time in the late afternoon on Friday, my first reaction was “this is small”. By comparison to Merlefest or Falconridge it was, but that’s what gave Ossipee its charm. How small was it? Our tent was 5 feet from our car and our car was a 30 second walk to either stage. No bussing necessary. I was immediately impressed with the the lack of enforcement of unnecessary rules commonly associated with concerts. No one seemed to mind open containers of alcohol anywhere on the grounds, you could wander into the performers tent accidentally (I did), or sit 5 feet from the main stage with your camera and snap away until you were tired of sitting on the grass. If it wasn’t bothering anyone, it was fair game.
Our first music experience was a new band called Della Mae which started a trend of extremely talented female performers at this festival. They didn’t have much of a catalog to reach into (which they admitted to before the encores in both of their sets) but pulled out some interesting covers including “Della Mae”, the song you’d assume they took their name from. They took the stage at 7PM just as it was becoming dark, but not quite dark enough for the bright stage lights so the lighting was not favorable for zoom lens photography. I don’t get paid, so it didn’t bother me. I remained in TV mode for most of evening which helps to prevent blur but raises the ISO to around 800 which gives the photos the unwanted grainy quality. The solution to this is to get a much quicker zoom lens, or simply crop photos with a non-zoom lens, but I enjoy taking professional-style photos, even if the result isn’t always professional. Luckily this group of ladies were very photogenic, especially the bass, fiddle and Mandolin players.