Carlotta Champagne – Touch Down ©2016~
It was Carlotta Champagne who reminded me a few weeks ago that I was injured when I did the photoshoot that resulted in this beautiful photo with her.
“You threw your back out in the cave. Remember?”
Oh yeah. I forgot about that. It wasn’t long after making this photo of her lovely curved torso, that the pain got so bad that I could barely walk. By later that afternoon, I remember it taking a few minutes for me to make it six feet from one side of the room to the other, taking very slow, careful steps.
The cave Carlotta was speaking of was on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. We had been shooting there near dawn, having a wonderful time. When after crawling around on the cave floor to make a low angle photo, I started to get up. Apparently incorrectly. And my back replied with, “Remember that time when you were 27 and you lifted a safe out of the backseat of a car?… I’m baaaaaack!”
It happens every few years. That painful reminder of a youthful moment of imagined invincibility.
We did manage to finish up the cave shoot. I knew I had an hour or so before the pain would reach its zenith. As we walked back to the car, Carlotta hesitatingly asked me if we were done for the day or if we could continue shooting. I really didn’t want to be done. Carlotta is a joy to work with. Positive, fun, and always a lot of laughter.
So we headed back to my suite at the resort and came up with a plan to keep going. I would probably have to very carefully shoot from a chair, but I had no intention of giving up.
There was lovely light coming in from the oceanfront windows. I had Carlotta get up on a long wooden counter in front of some dividers that separated the living room from the main bedroom. And I got into a chair.
It’s a funny thing when I’m focused on making photographs. Everything else not in my viewfinder manages to get pushed to the back of my head. And Carlotta was a lovely distraction. We made a few hundred more images with that setup, with me carefully moving the chair closer and further back depending on how stretched out her pose was.
I made this one during a series of photos were I was fairly close with my 50mm lens. It’s probably my favorite lens in that it’s a fast ƒ1.2 aperture. For you Gentle Readers who may not understand why an ƒ1.2 lens is so wonderful, it’s because when you get fairly close to your subject, you can really decide which few inches, or even less than that, are in focus. It’s a great way for a photographer to say, I want you to look, here.
In this image, I love how the line of her left foot, to her lovely curves, to her left hand are in the plane of focus. But her right hand, along with the wooden divider behind her are out of focus. It gives this particular composition some dimension. It makes the photo more interesting. To me, anyway.
And we made many more images including her captivating face as well. There was a softness and almost a kindness to her look in those images, perhaps unconsciously because she knew I was playing hurt. But I might be imagining that as well. She’s a kind and thoughtful person even when you’re not injured.
In fact, she said the loveliest thing about me the other day on her Patreon page during an AMA (Ask Me Anything) segment she posted. I wasn’t expecting that when I was watching it, and I’ll admit I was quite moved.
Thank you Carlotta. More of her to come!