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The Solidago School of Herbalism

There isn’t a Solidago, Maine but there should be. It would be a fitting way to honor the plant, commonly known as goldenrod, which grows in abundance in the fields and clearings throughout the state during Maine’s exuberant summers. 

Enter Brighid Doherty, founder of the Solidago School of Herbalism in Deer Isle. Brighid has taken Solidago as the name for her school not only because of the plant’s ubiquitousness but because of what the name represents. Solidago is derived from the Latin solidare and solidus, meaning to make whole, healthy and strong; and that’s exactly the mission of the Solidago School of Herbalism – to teach students how to improve their health by nourishing their whole being through the plants which grow all around them.

Here’s the video I created for the school:

The Solidago School of Herbalism by Jon Roemer on Vimeo and on YouTube.

A big thanks to Brighid for commissioning this project. It was fascinating to immerse myself in the herbalism world and I can attest that some of the drinks made from the plants are crazy good. I have also been coming to the area for decades but have never gotten to explore the myriad of islands between Stonington and Isle au Haut. For this project Brighid provided a personalized tour enabling us to hike and film on Russ Island. Back in the day, the 1800’s day, Russ Island was called Harvey Island and a quarry based there supplied the granite for the Brooklyn Bridge.

On the tech side, I filmed this with a Canon C300 Mark II and a Canon 1DX Mark II. The C300 equipped with a Canon CN-E 18-80mm Compact Servo zoom lens saw use on sticks, on a monopod, and handheld. The 1DX Mark II was mated with a Canon 16-35mm f/4 L IS lens and it lived on a Ronin-S gimbal for the duration of the project. This included time at the school as the B camera as well as being the A camera/only camera for Russ Island adventure.

Canon C300 Mark II ready to go in a field of goldenrod. Deer Isle, ME. September, 2018.
Canon 1DX Mark II on a DJI Ronin-S. Deer Isle, ME. September, 2018.

There is a bit of drone work accenting the film towards the end. That footage was shot with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro+.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ in Stonington, ME. September, 2018.

I filmed the interview with Brighid on the grounds of the school with the C300. It was lit by a Litepanels Astra running off a v-mount battery and pushed through a Litepanels/DoPChoice SnapBag Big (24″x31″ softbox). Audio was double miked with a shotgun and a lav mic hidden on the subject.

Interview setup at the Solidago School of Herbalism in Deer Isle, ME. September, 2018.

Post was done in FCPX.