A follow up on the travel assignment.

While the Samsung NX cameras are long gone from the studio. I did think the lenses were quite photogenic themselves...

When last I wrote things were perilous for the health of our advertising photography job. We were in a hotel in Baton Rouge loaded with good equipment, blessed with a keen and competent assistant, and a smart and noble client, but we lacked one essential; the product which was to have been the hero of the ad campaign. Our short term reason for existence.

I thought I would follow up on the story. We stayed over one more night after spending a listless day of soggy site seeing, and fending off boredom with good lunches and tattered novels. We lost hope that the package would arrive and allow us to complete our task and, in surrender, started making alternative plans. A general re-figuring of the whole project. Since we three are stubborn by nature, and dig our heels in by training, we decided to wait until morning and see whether the tracking details of the package would be revealed. Would we be informed that it was forthcoming? Otherwise we'd pull up stakes, pack the valises and trudge back to Austin --- in a rental car. (We had already cancelled our airline reservations).

The next morning we ate our eggs and drank our coffee in low spirits. Then our client looked up and out the window. The package had arrived with the dawning of the new day. We jumped up and retrieved our missing link and revved up the motors of imaging. With serious and deliberate purpose we moved through our three main locations and our model joined us to make everything work.

It was a hot, sweaty day punctuated by sudden rain showers that engorged the heated atmosphere like a ladle of water tossed on the burning hot rocks of a steam room. All of our locations were exteriors and the heat was oppressive. But we kept moving and shooting. Every scene diligently explored. Wide, medium, tight. A second and third angle. A range of emotions from our model. A tweaking and re-tweaking of the lights.

At 4:30pm we'd cleaned our plate, conquered our checklist, dotted our "i"s and crossed our "t"s. There was nothing more to shoot. The project was complete.

Soggy and dehydrated we loaded our vehicle and headed for gasoline and cold drinks. I did something I haven't done for years; I got a large Dr. Pepper with lots of ice. Every gulp was refreshing and I didn't even give a thought to the sugar crash that may be coming along in a while.

We aimed the car toward Austin and hit start on the map apps on our phones. And we drove across the bayous and swamps of Louisiana and into the soft, rainy night of Texas.

The files have been edited (that means we've tossed the ones we didn't like...) and now they have been post processed (that means color and contrast corrected, with filters added where indicated) but they have not been retouched (changing the structure of the pixels to hide a fault or emphasize a benefit). That's someone else's job.

I was thrilled that we were able to finish what we started. It's depressing to miss an opportunity to do fun work. Rather than snatch ashes from the jaws of impending success we hung in there until we could complete our tasks.

I am a bit exhausted today but I am satisfied both with the work we did and the change of fortune  as the week progressed.


Bill Stormont said...

Reading this made me start to sweat.

You (and Ben) are the definition of professional.

Joe Gilbert said...

I'm executed you were able to make it a success! I'm traveling back to Baton Rouge Tuesday, after voting. Wish I had planned my travel for a week sooner. Hopefully you will be able to post some of the work; I'm curious to see what, and who I might recognize.



Joe Reed said...

I remember stepping off the plane in New Orleans in my nice starched shirt and within minutes I was wet as a dog. Never been more miserable. You guys did good finishing the job under those circumstances.

Fred said...

Congratulations on getting the job done. I would think in this case there would be satisfaction two ways. One would be the pleasure of doing the job. Second would be the satisfaction of successfully dealing with the interesting but unplanned circumstances. It could always be material for the next novel.