Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanks & Giving

Twilight at the Pool
November, 2008
Naples, Florida

"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?"
- Erma Bombeck

All photographers pray for good light at each photo shoot. Me, I throw in a little extra something to the angels of coordination, asking that I don't trip over something, break something, lose something - or worse, forget something. At a recent photo shoot, I did manage to avoid burning the place down, but I left the L-bracket that secures the camera to the tripod at home, and battling traffic 30+ minutes both ways meant losing the light, so I ended up tripping all over myself in apologies to the home owners (who were so kindly well-prepared, as I should have been), and rescheduling for the next night. Thankfully, November nights in SW Florida this year have been relentlessly clear, so a reschedule, while embarrassing and inconvenient, was at least doable.

And so it was. The light was generous the next night, as were the homeowners, who sent me home with thanks, two boxes of votive candle holders and a plant press for making prints. All this, despite me kicking one of their poolside candles into the deep end as I (blindly) trotted by it with the camera as the light was dying. Ahhh...graceful me. Maybe in another life.

It's been a great gratitude-holiday this year, filled with nearly a dozen friends gathered around a table, food everywhere sharing top billing with laughter and love and magic tricks. Everyone left full and sleepy, carrying enough leftovers to last a good while.

And now, we're rounding the bend to Christmas. Last night, we headed to the beach for my annual Christmas Card photo op. The light was incredibly delicious and the beach incredibly full of sun-soaked tourists. I'd previsualized my setup for this year's cards and spent the last two months combing thrift shops and garage sales for the appropriate props. My next art sale is in a week - about time to get it done!

One logistic I'd neglected to consider was the crowds. Not only was there no cool sand ripples (the closest we come to sand dunes) for Santa and his sleigh sled to fly over, but there was not even one single 2x2 patch of untrampled sand to be found. That's the fun of photography, no? Learn to love improvising, because for sure, one detail or another will trip you up.

Lacking pretty sand, I found shell dunes and was able to "comb" them into some kind of untrampled shape. Beachwalkers peered at me strangely as I crawled through the shells on my belly, trying to get a good angle on Santa. A few raised eyebrows. And a few asked what on earth was I doing. So I did what every photographer worth her salt does in today's market: I gave them directions to my next art show.

Santa Sleds Shells
November, 2008
Barefoot Beach, Florida

Christmas Star
November, 2008
Barefoot Beach, Florida

Good light, a gorgeous beach, wonderful clients and loving friends, a busy work schedule doing what I love, a freezer full of turkey and even a little time to play (as if it wasn't all play). Gratitude abounds.

Nikon D2x, Nikkor 12-24 (home photography), Nikkor 18-200 VR (beach shots)

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