Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Polar Plunge

    Before the plungers began jumping into Muskegon Lake I could the small ice crystals forming on the surface.  I think a person would have to be crazy to jump into water that cold.  The costumes, the crowd and mass insanity of the moment are the only things I can imagine turning normal people into plungers.
    My only goal going into this assignment was to get the names of a lot of people before the plunge.  After each person jumps into the water they get out and they run for the warm swimming pool next door.  The plunger's ditch their frigid costumes as fast as they can.  Without a name I cannot use a photograph in the newspaper without the names of the people in the photograph.  Once the plungers are wet all the energy of the event is gone, they just want to get warm, they will not stop to talk with me.  so I need to get the names of the plungers before the event starts.  I spent over an hour collecting the names of plungers.  My theory was that the people who dressed in the most outlandish costumes would also try to make the biggest splashes.
    My favorite photographs are the first and the last.  I think I must really like photographs of guys screaming right now.  I do like actions movies, maybe there is a connection.  The first photograph was not something I expected to create.  I thought I would photograph lots of people splashing and after their cold bath, but I did not expect any photographs I liked to happen indoors as the mass hysteria was building. 

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