Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’
Once again, patience has a way of rewarding those willing to stick it out. Luck certainly plays a role as well but if you don’t stick things out long enough to see what will happen, luck never has a chance. I am not talking about some incredible photo that is life changing or will have much impact outside of the needs of my client, but when I am hired to shoot a project, my client is all that really matters anyway.
After we wrapped up an interior industrial shot for S&D coffee in Concord, North Carolina I was asked to capture an exterior image of their brand new corporate headquarters. No problem. It was 5:30 and I could wait out the light. As I sat in my car in the parking lot it was approaching 6:00 and the late afternoon sun was starting to look pretty nice on the building. I began grabbing my tripod and gear from the back of my explorer when all of a sudden I hear the dreaded sound of the irrigation system starting up that sounds just like a 2 liter bottle of soda being opened…… only longer. Of course to most this sound would not cause any alarm but for a photographer, it is enough to cause sheer panic. If you have ever witnessed a photo shoot with strobes, light stands, power packs, and thousands of dollars worth of gear on the set when a sudden storm rolls in or a sprinkler system turns on….. you know what I mean. The quickness with which a photographer and crew can move is astounding and would imagine fairly comical to watch. Luckily on this day, it was just me, my camera, tripod, and a couple filters
While there was no real threat to my gear those sprinklers were definitely a threat to my shot as it drenched the sidewalk, part of the stone wall, and was right in the middle of the shot. Now the big question. Are they 20, 30, or 40 minute cycles and after this zone turns off which is next to start? Turns out they were 1 hour cycles and at 7:00 just like clock work, they turned off and then the sprinkler heads popped up right in the middle of the newly established sod and were more in my shot than before. With another hour of waiting, it seemed like an ideal time to hit Chick-fil-A for dinner.
So it is just shy of 8:00 now and since I started this process the sun has slowly moved toward the horizon and behind some trees causing some areas of the walkway and building to be cast in shadow. Here is where the luck comes into play. The sun was pretty bright between 7:00 and 8:00 which worked out perfectly because it dried the sidewalk and the stone wall in front of the building, but now as it was setting, it started to fall behind a thin layer of clouds at the horizon. The light became soft, even, and beautiful like a huge softbox with a warming gel on it. The other benefit from what was initially the main obstacle, was that the sprinklers wet the flowers and grass making the colors rich and saturated. As I stood with my tripod and camera ready, 8:00 came and the sprinklers turned off but to my surprise there was another zone right along the road side…….. which was exactly where I needed to be to capture the entire building. That however could be managed and I did not have a lot of time to get the shot before I lost the light. So in a matter of 5 minutes, I raced into position, set up my camera, situated my neutral density filters on the lens to help balance the light between the sky and building and shot a couple of frames at a time before I had to exit the sprinklers path. I admit, I became too focused on the shot and took a direct hit from the sprinkler a couple times but was able to shield the camera and lens with my body in time. As quickly as it all came together it was gone. The sun dropped down too far and in an instant the subtle glow on the building was gone. So in a matter of a 3 hour period there was just a brief 5 minute window where all the elements came together to enable me the opportunity to capture an ideal image for the client. Most importantly though, had I given up on the shot when circumstances did not seem to be going my way or have the patience have to see what could develop, that image would not exist or grace the home page on their new website. The reality is, it may not have turned out as well as it did, those clouds may not have been there at all, or the sprinklers could have outlasted the light, but if you don’t stick it out long enough to find out, you most certainly won’t give luck a chance to go your way.
A couple weeks ago I had a project that required me to get my kayak out on the water at sunrise. As I paddled along side the model and his dog on our way to the location I watched a fine mist hovering over the lake and marveled at the quiet. As I listened to the rhythmic sound of the paddles piercing the water it occurred to me that it had been quite a while and I wondered why it took a project to get me to pull the spider web filled kayak out from under my porch and put it in its’ rightful place.
After a very brief moment of feeling guilty for not doing this more often, it occurred to me that I was on a job and getting paid to kayak and create imagery that conveyed the experience of calm and tranquility when gliding across the water and the solitude one can feel when paddling at that time of day. So when the demands of work, family, and life in general seem to occupy every minute of every day, the fact that my job will put me in a kayak on a crisp fall morning, and a paddle and camera in my hand, makes me realize that I chose the right field……….. at least I felt that way that day and may need to refer back to this post every so often to remind myself of that fact……….
It has been far too long since I had a blog entry. For the sake of just getting something new posted I will be short on words, which apparently is something that I have a hard time doing according to my wife and the friends honest enough to tell me. Interestingly enough, I can be a fairly quiet guy, but when it comes to putting words on paper, brief and to the point is not my style. You would think that being a photographer, I would let the image do the speaking for me…………. for your sake, I will let it in this instance and will try to do so more in the future.
This is a category that will encourage me to produce fresh content on a consistent basis, share recent work and projects, or dig into the archives and find images that may have been overlooked or just forgotten.
It is truly amazing how many images we create as photographers, never to see the light of day. Only a tiny fraction make the cut to be published, used in the marketplace, or even grace my monitor for more than a second. If the most recent re-release of the infamous 1972 “Exile on Main Street” album, by the Rolling Stones, isn’t a testament to the gems that may be buried in the archives, I don’t know what is. Not that I could ever compare myself or work to that of the Stones, but if songs like “Plundered My Soul”, which has quickly become in my top ten list of all songs, could somehow be passed over and missed by the band and producers, surely, there are a couple images in my archive ready to get a second look.
There will be no rhyme or reason to this category. It will simply serve as a place where I can upload an image on a consistent basis that does not need to fit into a category, illustrate a story, or be approved by an art director or editor. It can stand on its own for what it is. Here begins a personal test of my commitment to posting work on a consistent basis.