A stainless steel tree and (bad) weather in Kansas

I’m still in Kansas. I have been waiting for the weather to clear since Sunday. The weather has been wonderful for ducks though not so good for shooting trees, real or made of steel. 2537-0101 Sunday we gave shooting the tree a shot (pun intended) several actually starting in Doyle’s shop with an improvised canvas background. These didn’t work so well.
The detail in the tree is amazing. 2537-0101_1 This close up shows the branches, limbs and individual leaves that Doyle has cut from stainless steel, shaped, sandblasted with Cheryl’s help by the way then welded into place. Amazing.
I’d brought a Chimera Octa Plus and a 2400 watt second Comet powerpack that I used for the canvas background photo and the detail, a mini roller light stand, Gitzo tripod, Really Right Stuff ball head, lenses, MacBook Pro along with my warm weather wardrobe stuffed into the empty spaces in my two checked bags. One tipped the scale at the airport at exactly seventy pounds the max for a medallion level frequent flier. The logistics of a shoot like this are always fun. 2537-0122
Here is a photograph of the tree that I made outside the shop just before the wind came up and the light went away on Sunday. We had to scramble to attach the dolly to the tree and get them under cover. Stainless steel trees clang loudly in wind much over fifteen mile an hour. More photos of the tree will (weather permitting) showing up in future posts.
The game for large product photography like the tree is really second guessing the location to have everything to at least get something useable in spite of squirrel-ly weather.
We’ve been glued to the computer watching weather maps and so far it looks like this morning–it’s Thursday now, almost a week after I got here–we’ll get to shoot. Originally, I was scheduled out of Kansas last night. I pushed to stay for today so I fly back to Atlanta tomorrow morning at 5:40. I’ll get back just in time to get to the studio for a shoot with a client that starts at noon. And before you ask, yes they know the schedule and the extra day here is with their blessing. May all clients be as understanding!
Dawn is a short while away. The computer promises broken clouds with full sun by noon. The shot list is daunting. A full length from various heights using a snorkel lift that will reach sixty feet up. Straight down photographs from the lift. Straight up through the tree with (fingers really crossed here) blue sky and maybe a fluffy cloud or two in the background. I’ll make portraits of Doyle and his wife Cheryl with the tree to show scale.
Yesterday I helped them get a website up showing the tree, showed Cheryl a bit about blogging. I really look forward to reading her posts about life in Kansas with an amazing aritist and how the tree came to be.

The monitor on a camera is to review work not to compose a shot unless the camera is on a tripod
Tips & techniques

Be solid! Hold your camera the right way

Sharp photos start with a stable camera. When the camera moves, the picture it takes has some movement blur. High shutter speeds minimize the effect of camera movement, but they do not eliminate it. Here’s how to hold your camera steady.

Read More »
Congressman John Lewis at the dedication of Al Farooq Mosque in Atlanta, GA August 17, 2008

John Lewis, 1940-2020

Congressman John Lewis who died on Friday, July 17, 2020, at age 80 is what human beings aspire to be. He focused his life on ending racism and pursued it with purpose and humility. Dedication of Al-Farooq Mosque I had been hired to photograph the dedication ceremonies of Atlanta’s Al-Farooq Mosque on 14th Street on

Read More »
Making safe headshots during Covid-19
Client Stories

Making executive portraits during COVID-19

Like others in this time of the Coronavirus pandemic, I am concerned with taking care of those around me. When it comes to providing a safe environment for creating photographs of people, cleanliness, masks and as much physical distancing as possible are my main concerns. My client Susan and I spoke on Zoom to get

Read More »
Painting of astronaut on the moon with American flag on the cover of Time magazine

Happy Anniversary Neil, Buzz & Mike!

Fifty years ago, today, July 20, 1969, the whole world paused to watch a really fuzzy video in black and white of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the surface of the moon. That week the July 25, 1969 issue of Time magazine arrived in my mom’s mailbox in Boise, Idaho. The cover said “Man on the

Read More »
The Diamond Ring with solar flares from eclipse 2017 by Kevin Ames

Eclipse photography

Yup. I know. Everyone has heard of it. A lot of people viewed it. Some of us gathered to photograph it. I joined other photographer friends on a just built deck of a not-yet-finished house in Marble, North Carolina to shoot the moon as it passed in front of the sun. This one was made

Read More »
Makeup artist required
Client Stories

Makeup Artist? No question it’s a great idea!

“Do you want a make up artist for your portrait session?” When I used to ask a potential client this question, some women would answer “No, thanks. I can do my own.” The savvy ones said, “Absolutely!” Most men would give me a look that said having them wear make up was an idea from

Read More »
Scroll to Top