Friday, October 8, 2010

The calm before the Barnstorm

In anticipation of the arrival of 100 young shooters hand-picked for Barn Storm XXIII, more than 45 members of Black Team left the comfort of their daily lives throughout the country and headed to the gentle rolling hills of Jeffersonville, NY, to volunteer countless labor-intensive hours on the grounds of the Eddie Adams Farm, ensuring the 2010 workshop will be a unforgettable experience for the students.

While preparation for the workshop is a year-round effort by many, the real hands-on ‘dirty’ work is done by the close-knit support staff, known as the Black Team, in the days, hours, and minutes before a big yellow school bus filled with the eager photography students slowly rolls up to the gravel driveway on Friday, officially starting of the 23rd annual Eddie Adams Workshop.

Most members of Black Team donned rubber boots and plastic slickers in the early days of prep work, in order to work through several chilly days of steady rain that turned the lush lawn of the farm into a soggy, muddy swamp.

“With the weather in the Catskills it’s always a challenge and this year was no exception,” said Mark Kettenhofen, the Black Team Leader for the past 12 years and a Professional Market Technical Representative for Nikon. “We had constant rain for almost the whole week prior to the workshop which delayed much of the work that needed to be done, however, Black Team stepped up like they always do.”

On Wednesday, the hard-working crew awoke to the slow rise of the warm sun, drying out the farm grounds and the waterlogged team. The break in the weather incited a flurry of activity throughout the property in a collaborative effort to finish dozens of chores and seemingly barely enough time to complete all the tasks ahead.

Today the farm is really taking shape and the platform for this transformative workshop has emerged. Freshly cut grass clippings were raked into infinite piles and hauled away, hay bales, potted flowers and pumpkins adorn the gravel driveway, the barn walls are lined with large-scale, framed photos from preceding workshops, and team leaders huddle in their work spaces, finalizing plans for the students’ photo shoots.

And as the Black Team continues to wrap up last minute details around the farm, they reflect upon their motivation for all of their hard work… 'We’re here for a hundred reasons, and they arrive this afternoon.'

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