With that though my wife and I focused so much of this year on the our other project, the visiting and documenting of California State Historical Landmarks - of which there are officially 1055. We have created what I believe to be one of the most accurate maps on the topic publicly available for anyone to copy and use - and we update it constantly making it more and more accurate as we photograph and discover. By working on this project as we move along it has helped rekindle my creative bone - my lust to make art again.
A couple months back we took a trip around the bay area. Neither of us had ever been up Mt. Diablo even though we have lived in Central California most of our lives and driven around it a million times, so we took the drive and hike and saw that amazing viewscape that allows you to see for literally hundreds of miles. This is a viewscape that is claimed to be second only to Mt. Kilimanjaro. On our way back we decided to document a few more of the landmarks in the area and found one in the Redwoods Regional Park just outside Oakland. With the moisture and time of day we were in that great valley the place shone like another world, like something from a dream or a movie. It was a place lost in time and space and by all accounts shouldn't exist in the middle of the busy dirty world around it. I have visited most of the redwood parks in California already, but this one small pocket had eluded me and now that I have seen it, I cannot get it out of my mind.
This location has been gnawing in my mind since that day back in October - I shoot a number of models for various projects and all I can think about it getting a model or two out there in the natural dusk light in light colored dresses, white or grey or something that contrasts hard against the dark earthy greens, and shooting. I am not totally sure what I am after but I bounced the idea off my wife yesterday and she volunteered to be one of my models which is crazy and rare - she never models for me, hates her picture taken, so I will gladly take her whenever she allows me to. I also want someone else as well but while I have a few models that I work with often and have literally shot thousands of pictures of over the years, I want someone new or at least fresh to me - so I reached out to another old friend who is not a model at all, but a close long time family friend and is usually down for fun things like this and bounced the idea off of her and she is willing as long as timing/adult life allows her.
This has now gotten even more exciting - a location that I can't get out of my head, two models that are fresh and that I have little previous work from, and both are also great idea people that will play with costumes and accessories and poses to make this creative endeavor come to life.
Now here is hard part - making my vision a reality. That is the hardest part of photography especially for me. There are two type of photographers in the world, those to take photos and those who make photos. I am one who documents, I take photos. I find things, lighting, angles, nature, objects that interest me and shoot them. I have extremely limited experience in actually creating a vision from scratch. One of the big sticking points for me is that I want to see what I want to see in my vision, but I also don't want it to look fake or fantasy or over the top. When I started with the idea of white dresses in the forest, my collaborators thought fantasy and flower crowns and all that, but my root is in reality.
I want to mix it up a bit - I want it to see fantastical but also real, grounded. I find beauty in reality and that is what draws me in. When I see fine art photogs that make photos that are so out of this world I lose interest myself. That is what I don't want in this shoot. I am toying with the idea of long flowy, flowering like fantasy, but with modern hats and boots - or hairstyles. Not sure...this is one of my first "creations" like this and now I feel like a deer in the headlights. Haha.
Thanks for letting me rant a bit - if you have any suggestions on ways to make fantastical elements while remaining extremely modern and real, please pass them along.
CA Historical Landmark Map: https://goo.gl/ktMmeq