This image all started with a walk. Actually it was a daily walk in September. Around labor day I return to teaching at BSU and my time to create my art becomes much less than in the summer. The days grow shorter. I would get home from teaching at BSU and the sun would be setting across the garden. I would walk longingly around the fence looking for something I could use to make a beautiful photograph and then a meal. I held my hands up to the fading sun and admired the way it modeled the shapes. The illusive daylight would slip away before I would be able to set up my equipment. I began to formulate a plan.
I had a ton of leeks in the garden and I had never found a good way to photograph them. With the memory of the beautiful light in my mind I visualized an image that would express a sense of one offering the leeks as a gift and emphasize the beautiful shapes and textures of this most delicious vegetable. I sketched out my idea and added some notes about the lighting. The setting sun serves as the main light and I needed a portable studio rim light to clarify the edges of my subject.
On the following saturday I set up my shot in the late afternoon. When photographing alone where I am the model and the photographer, I need to use a stand-in for myself to focus the camera on, so I use a light stand with a bright orange clamp placed at the same height as my pose. I had to use an 8' ladder to see the ground glass on the back of the camera, in order to focus. I used my digital camera to take some test shots to examine the lighting and practice my poses. By the time I set up the 8x10 camera the sunlight was perfect and I photographed 6 sheets of film. I included a preview of one of them in the slide show. I look forward to selecting my favorite and printing it as a cyanotype next month when I am on winter break.
Sometimes there is a nice surprise from the creative process at the end. In this case, I realized that turning the photograph upside down changes the meaning. By turning the image upside down it appears as though the hands could belong to the viewer of the image rather than to me, which I find quite interesting. Which way do you think is more successful?