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 :)
While driving down Tamiami trail (the route that connects Tampa Bay to Miami), We saw a name on a sign: Warm Mineral Springs. We wanted to capture the miniatures next to the Springs and learned that we couldn't get access because they were closed for renovations. Not far down the road, we discovered a beautiful, original motel built in 1958: the Warm Mineral Springs Motel. Tamiami trail: the Route 66 of Florida!
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".
My intention was to produce a good quality, short video about how I photograph the miniature figures. Instead, the following video turned out to be more of a "home movie". Doing it right requires more effort than we can invest at this time. We will eventually post a video showing our process. But for now, enjoy the silliness :-)
Kurt and I have another photo shoot planned and these are our field kits: