The January Postcard

It’s late, so I’ll make this one short. After spending quite a bit of time trying to decide which image to go with for the January postcard, this is the one I chose. In the entry below you can compare it with the images that were the runners up. It went in the mail today, so everyone on the list should get it in the next few days.

And again, if anyone is interested in having an inexpensive copy of this or any of the photos from the 2004 calendar, head to the store portion of my website and have at it!

I love water. But I’m not so crazy about it when it turns to ice and snow. Which is of course what it does in January. That’s probably why I was looking though images from a shoot I did a few Januaries ago in a lovely warm indoor pool.

Finding the right pool was a bit of a challenge. In order to get the proper lighting, not only did it have to be indoors, so I could control it, but there could not be any skylights in the ceiling that might cause a reflection in the water. My good friend Charlie came through by talking to his sister who had just such a pool in their home.

We set up the lighting along one side of the pool which is how I normally light my subjects, from one side. Because the pool was such a large area, I had to use every light I had. But it was working… until…

I was working with two models and one assistant which is more people than I usually work with. I guess I prefer fewer distractions with fewer people. So we were all doing our best since none of us had worked together as a group before. Which is I guess why when I should have handed my camera to my assistant when I was making an adjustment instead of laying it down by the edge of the pool, I didn’t.

I heard the gasp from everyone as I kicked my favorite camera into the water as I was backing off the diving board, and I watched it sink to the bottom as a million tiny bubbles streamed out of it. To make a long story short the camera was fine… after a trip to the repair shop, but for the moment, I had lost a camera and the ability to fire my strobes. So we improvised. I set my second camera for a one second exposure which was just enough time to click the shutter and yell “Go!” to my assistant to fire the strobes manually before the shutter closed again.

There’s something amazing about how light bends when it hits something that looks that transparent at first glance. I put a 30 foot square piece of black felt at the bottom of the pool and laid down on my stomach on the diving board to make this photograph, experimenting with the light and the movement, hoping to catch something amazing in the ever changing ripples.

We managed to make some great photographs despite a few bouts with unfortunate luck. Sometimes dodging obstacles results in unexpected success.

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