For the last nine years, University Photographer Dan Addison and his camera have been everywhere around Grounds, documenting life at UVA. “I’m so amazed and intrigued with the University,” says Addison, who came to Charlottesville after working as a sports photojournalist for Reuters. “I enjoy seeking out things I think are interesting and of historic value that can be saved for others to enjoy.”
Below, Addison picks some of his favorite photos and provides background for each picture.
When photographing football games, my objectives are to capture the players in action as well as views of student life. This image was captured almost by accident. A play on the other end of the field was too far for any quality images, so I moved my lens toward the student section. As I was taking the photo of the students, the opposing team intercepted one of our passes and this was the reaction.
Varsity Hall Move
In Spring 2005, Varsity Hall was moved to make room for the expansion of Rouss and Robertson Halls for the McIntire School of Commerce. The process was an amazing sight to see. The building was raised and outfitted with truck axles and tires. A truck engine was then attached to one side and Jerry Matyiko, the owner of Expert House Movers, literally drove Varsity Hall down the hill to its new location while puffing on a cigar.
The Rolling Stones at Scott Stadium
Before the Rolling Stones concert in 2005, the band’s management gave strict instructions that after the fireworks above the stage ended, the photographers should quickly move to the edge of the stage for the first song. We were told to stay in one place and before the end of the song Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood would each make their way in front of us for a quick photo. I first snapped off several photos at Ronnie Wood, then lowered my camera to get a quick glimpse of the entire stage as Mick moved directly in front of me and pointed at my lens. I quickly aimed my camera at him as he glanced at me just in time for this shot.
The Rolling Stones at Scott Stadium
Bonus shot: I got caught trying to sneak onto the field at Scott Stadium to get this photo of the stage for the Rolling Stones, but their tour manager ultimately gave me 10 minutes to get a few quick photos for the archives.
The New Oculus
Last April the oculus, the round window in the ceiling of the Rotunda Dome Room, was replaced with an updated, custom, triple-paned version. To perform this challenging installation, these two men had to get 32 panes of glass, weighing 128 pounds each, 48 feet up from the floor of the Dome Room to the top of the scaffolding. This image shows the men placing one of the panes in place. This was no simple feat and an amazing process to witness and document.
Friendly Dog Noble
Anyone who has spent time on Central Grounds during the past several years knew Pat Lampkin’s and Wayne Cozart’s wonderful dog Noble. Pat and Wayne live in Pavilion V and Noble spent most of his days in their Pavilion Garden. He was friendly to all visitors but was also a cunning escape artist, often breaking out and making a beeline to the Lawn, where he would spend his time frolicking. I once accidentally assisted in his escape, so I chased him down and carried him back to his garden. Noble died last summer and this canine ambassador to Pavilion Garden V is surely missed.
Tina Fey Returns
Tina Fey was the inaugural speaker in a new speaker series that highlights the value of the arts to society. I had permission to photograph the September 2013 event, but only if I sat in the last row of seats. I borrowed a 400mm zoom lens from the athletics department—these are the lenses used at sporting events and are more than two feet long and weigh 12 pounds. I was able to get some pretty nice images and create this composite photo that illustrates how animated she was as she spoke about the arts with humor and flair.
Particularly in sports photography, most images represent a frozen moment in time. I thought this photo was interesting considering how many things are happening simultaneously. The Florida State player is interfering with the receiver, the official is throwing the flag, the cheerleader is gasping and the photographer is capturing the play.
Inside the Rotunda Clock
In Fall 2007, I was offered the opportunity to document the changing of the time on the Rotunda clock at the end of daylight savings time. What I initially thought would be someone on a ladder moving the hands ended up being a journey into the deep recesses of the Rotunda and eventually inside the clock itself. There was a small steel flap in the face of the clock that a member of Facilities Management slid to one side. That allowed him to see out to the Lawn and access the hands of the clock. This photo is the view through that small opening and onto the Lawn.
Inside the Rotunda Clock
Bonus shot: Before a motion detector was installed, some students had a tradition of leaving their marks deep inside the Rotunda. There was even a framed photo of a group of students with their signatures, which I found quite amazing.
It was a pleasure to meet artist Lincoln Perry and document his work as he painted the murals in the lobby of Old Cabell Hall. It was quite a sight to see him wearing his shirt that read “faith in chaos,” barefoot and listening to classical music. At times he used a long stick with a rag on the end to reach the far parts of the mural to smudge the paint. On occasion, I also found him using live models as he added individuals to the scenes.
President Sullivan’s Inauguration
The inauguration seemed similar to graduation on a small scale with regalia, a procession and a stage in front of Old Cabell Hall. This image was the culmination of the inauguration as President Teresa Sullivan took the oath on April 15, 2011, becoming the eighth president of UVA and the first woman to hold that distinction.
Kitten at Graduation
With the thousands of graduating students on the Lawn, there are always a multitude of sights to behold. This one grabbed my attention as I scanned the masses through my camera lens. This image ended up on a UVA website and the mother of the student holding the kitten contacted me asking for a copy of the photo, which we provided.