Last week I was sitting in the car waiting for a client to show up. All week it had been sunny and the early morning light was perfect for a shooting. Today however, as I sat in my car, the clouds opened up, the fog rolled in like a lumbering old man and a steady drizzle threatened to end the entire thing.
Even though it wasn’t the exact lighting I was hoping for, the light was beautiful and wrapped serenely around the landscape. With time to kill, I pulled out the I phone took a shot, tweaked it with Tilt Shift and sent it off to FaceBook with the caption, “not sure the photo shoot is going to happen.”
Within minutes a response was posted from my good friend Dug Gordin. That is not his name of course, I had to change it to protect his innocence. So, Doug (oops,) Dug posted a quick little response that said… and I quote “A real photog would find a way…” so true.
Seconds later, the client pulled up completely excited about the shoot. ”These clouds are perfect” he said, “they totally fit the theme”. With that we were off.
15 minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot of the highest trail head around. By now the clouds sat even lower but the drizzle had eased up. The shoot was to take place on a rock outcropping that rested 100 yards down a drainage. I loaded up the light stands, got the extra batteries and heaved my 50 pound pack onto my back. I was ready to descend.
It only took a couple of minutes to get to our secret location and it was well worth the scramble. The model edged out onto the giant boulders that hung 500ft off the ground. This was going to be tricky. Everything around was slick with the fresh rain. Every boulder was glossy and the light bounced off the granite like kaleidoscope of colors.
Working with the fading sun, we noticed two things had changed. First of all, the rain was back. Second was the LIGHTNING. The low hanging clouds randomly exploded. On and off they went with increased frequency. But, in the words of my buddy Dug, “A real photog would find a way…”. So we kept shooting.
Within minutes the conditions deteriorated. Water was pouring off the rocks, the sun had almost completely set and suddenly the lighting was lower and firing off every couple of seconds. Without any warning, (that’s the way lightning works you know) my entire head started to tingle and a burst of light thundered just feet above. But with Dug’s words of wisdom “A real photog would find a way…”, we pressed on.
Soon it was too dark to shoot and time to begin the now treacherous hike back up the the ravine. I wish I had some harrowing tale of near death, but that is not the case. Soon, we were at the car and headed back to town.
In the end, Doug (oops) I mean Dug had great advise “A real photog would find a way…”