of St. Augustine in Florida...Situated on the East Coast of Florida and founded in 1565, it's the nation's oldest city. We knew we wanted to visit it with the miniatures before we leave the area. Kurt was so inspired by St. Augustine that he's thinking about creating a separate gallery of images revolving around it!
On our first day, we decided to walk everywhere. After spending the early morning at the Castillo De San Marcos, we crossed over the Bridge of Lions to get to the Lighthouse.
The Lighthouse of St. Augustine is very photogenic with its black and white stripes and its red top. We didn't expect to find it inland, away from the water.
We scoped a good vantage point and Kurt tried different angles for about half an hour. As it turns out the best angle was outside the lighthouse premises, between two private properties, underneath tree branches.
Light was a struggle. The sun was illuminating the lighthouse, leaving the foreground in the shadows. We waited a while for the right light.
For this scene, Kurt kept the storyline simple: the lighthouse keeper was out for a bike ride and he ran into an old friend.
The Castillo De San Marcos was built in 1672. We went early in the morning for the best light and to avoid the crowds. We walked half-way around the fort and Kurt found a spot he thought he could work with.
We had a lot of fun at the Old Drugstore. The drugstore was abandoned in the 60's with all its inventory inside, dusty but intact! The best of it is on display and the girl at the front was kind enough to slide the glass door open and let our miniature inspect the different potions.
Towards the end of the day, we roamed through narrow streets and looked at old houses. Kurt stopped in front of Murat House - ca. 1790. The late afternoon light was reflecting back on the walls. Kurt pulled out the old man with his cane and after a few tries thought that he needed company so he added the old woman and dedicated the scene to me :)
We have been staying at a truck repair yard for the past few days. Our Travco motorhome broke down last Tuesday and since then has had a custom-made fuel tank and a new "used" exhaust manifold installed.
Our stay at the truck yard is soon coming to an end, so tonight Kurt took advantage of the light and the empty premises to set up the scene and photograph a couple of truck drivers.
We spent a few days on the Sanibel causeway and took many bike trips to the island to explore. Kurt got his best work towards the end of our stay, which tends to happen this way. We had sunny days most of the week, except for the last couple days which were foggy.
Kurt took care in preparing the props and the scenarios ahead of the photo shoots. While in the field, there were many challenges: keeping both the camera and the lens dry, not loosing a miniature to the surf (alas we did lose our sea captain in Tarpon Bay), finding the right shells to include in the scene (interesting in shape and color), finding the right texture and color for the sand, evaluating the tide and anticipating the advance or retreat of the sea, keeping an eye on the light.
For me, it's a very rewarding moment when Kurt exclaims: " I think we got it!" I love to hear this because it means: "I accomplished what I had in mind, it'a wrap".
Kurt and I went to Marco Island to capture the beauty of its beaches with our miniatures.
We set out for South Beach on a Monday, mid-afternoon, it was warm and sunny. We were fortunate not to have to contend with a crowd. The sand looked almost white and right on the edge of the surf there was a multitude of shells and mollusks .
Kurt had to deal with the glare on his camera screen and the heat but we don't want to complain about the heat, it's below zero back home.
The shells and the mollusks added some visual interest to the photo shoot. Kurt had a bunch of scenarios going. The colors were in the pastels, milky-creamy, very soft looking.
Tigertail Beach photo shoot was late afternoon on a cloudy, windy, stormy looking day. Kurt decided very quickly to quit trying to photograph the little lady tanning herself and pulled out instead a woman and her umbrella struggling against the wind, how fitting!
That day we almost lost the woman with her umbrella to a wave. Fortunately this isn't Sunset Beach and the waves were gentle enough to release her back to us.
Passing through the small town of Stillwater recently we counted about a dozen cars with Christmas trees tied to the roof. It brought back to my memory a scene that I had done in the past... and I wanted to revisit from a different perspective.
Imagine Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here" playing in the background when viewing the image :-)
Since living in our Travco motorhome, Kurt has been dreaming of photographing it at night with the lights turned on and the snow falling.
He started to think about a way to achieve his vision with miniatures. Because we don't have an HO scale version of our Travco, Kurt used a miniature Airstream travel trailer.
Inspired by miniature street lights displayed on a train set in our local hobby shop, Kurt figured out a way to light the airstream from the inside, giving it a warm glow.
Late afternoon, we set out to photograph the scene. The weather forecast was calling for some snow. It was pretty dry at first and Kurt was looking for moss on a tree stump to set the travel trailer on. It turned out that the moss was either too deep or the tree stump was too curved making the scenes unrealistic.
As we were growing anxious to find the spot for the shot, the snow began to fall, heavy and wet and the daylight started to go away. It turned out that the snow and the darker sky helped make the scene more more in line with Kurt's original vision.
We went home to our RV in the dark and drenched but pretty happy! (Just like our guy in the photo)
Edwige and I attempted to get as close as possible to the fireworks this year. My intention was to photograph the miniatures watching the fireworks from the shore of the Mississippi River. That all changed when I realized that the fireworks were exploding to our left (not above the water as I had hoped) and practically overhead. As a result, I had to handhold the camera shooting at 1/20th of a second. It was complicated. Anyway, it worked out well enough.