Photographs by Mitchell Alcala

Tuning Things Up

Today a gentleman walked into my office. To tell you the truth there aren’t many people that walk through my office doors. I’m hidden down in the basement of Bennett, and it’s just not a high traffic area.

So when this guy walked in, and asked me why his temporary card wouldn’t swipe him into the building I became very intrigued on what he was doing.

It turns out that he is one of the longest employed individuals at Oklahoma State, and his job is to keep the pianos around campus in tune and in shape. Never thought that their was someone employed to fix the pianos, so the journalist in me made me sit down and speak with him for a bit.

He told me all about the pianos around campus, and how the piano in Kerr Drummond is as old as the university. The piano in Bennett he was tuning up today was around 80 years old, and it shows it’s age but it sounded great when he played a little tune.

It got me thinking about how many people sit on the pianos, prop up against them and bang on the keys without even considering the age and beauty they have.

It would make a great story, but I didn’t have anything that allowed me to write down notes, and I have no were to publish it so I just sat back and listened for a little while.

As I left I asked if I could take a few shots, and he had no problem with that. I shot this with the new 85 1.2 that the Ag Comm department picked up. Let me tell you it’s a lens covered in magic pixie dust.

It’s a very specialized lens, but at 1.2 it just produces some amazing photos. I shot this image at 1.2, Iso 400 and shutter around 1/250th. I black and whited it in photoshop.

 

Next time your around one of the old pianos, stop for a second and just luck at it. Who knows who has played on it, and there is a nice gentleman out their that truly loves them.

 

Mitch

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