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 like to look for the old Florida. Some businesses and attractions built in the 50's are still up and running. North of Fort Myers, we stopped and photographed an ice cream cone shaped building where ice cream is sold since the 80's. As we continued on our way to Port Charlotte, a dinosaur and a sign claiming the world's largest shell factory caught our attention :)
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 took a walk on the Royal Palm Hammock Trail in Collier Seminole State Park. We were looking for opportunities and angles to photograph the miniatures. Kurt found just the right tree to photograph the climber.
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.
Yesterday, Kurt and I went out to find a toy tow truck to use in a scene he had in mind. Last night, Kurt researched tow trucks and photos of cars being rescued out of the ice to make the scene more authentic.
This afternoon, Kurt and I set out to the pond we scouted the day before. The first big job was to chisel through 4 inches thick of ice to get to the water. Kurt used a screw driver for the job which took him about 25 minutes.
Kurt carefully composed the scene that he had in mind. For the next 45 minutes, he went through several scenarios, repositioning the characters and vehicles.
A few days ago, Edwige and I were out hiking some trails near the Mississippi River when we came across what we now know to be Shadow Falls. The spring-fed falls is in a wooded ravine surrounded by limestone and sandstone cliffs that overlook the Mississippi . Although I had my camera, I didn't have any miniatures along for the hike. I took a few shots of the area and planned to return with some minis another day.
Edwige had found a set of Preiser Freeclimbing figures online and purchased them for my birthday. I had been wanting these miniatures for quit awhile and was pretty excited to receive them! After discovering Shadow Falls, I knew it would be the perfect place to photograph these mini climbers. So we set out on another hike to the falls yesterday.
Kurt and I have another photo shoot planned and these are our field kits: