Fort Bragg is a slightly surreal Mendocino town on California’s northern coast which, while hip in many ways retains a lost coast aura – – a place which time has passed by.
Here is a new gallery (107 pics) of Zoppe Circus’s last performance of the season on a bluff near the Pacific. http://www.philipchudy.com/galleries/Zoppe_CircusFB
This fresh set extends prior recent photography in late October of the same circus in Napa Valley. That photo series included behind the scenes for the Circus’ pre show day and a performance the following day. Although it seemed hard to imagine what I had missed by not being present when the tent was being erected (or taken down for that matter) I felt that something was lacking.
In order to correct that I was invited to live with the cast and crew and experience the last performance of the season.
I was familiar with all elements of the show this time and took the opportunity to photograph many of the performances from different angles, with less pressure to capture every single action.
I was present for the immediate dissolution of most of the circus infrastructure right after the show, followed finally by the lowering of the tent the next morning.
Fort Bragg is in a different climate zone, autumn was coming on and there was a strange haar off the ocean. There were no horses or dogs but the small, small town audience was as enchanted as any audience would be.
This time I was familiar with almost all the people in the show and felt part of the family. Not only that, but I was able to build a picture of their llves from our conversations. Some, I believe are sixth generations circus people. It was a rare exexperience for me. I hope this is apparent in some of the photos.