We finished photographing at the second scene and were on our way to the rose garden. The rose garden had a fountain. In the center of the fountain was a sculpture of a child holding an umbrella overhead. Around the pond was a red brick border level with the grass. One section of bricks was covered with moss. Earlier in the day, before Mana arrived, I watched two large frogs jump into the fountain and disappear under the lilly pads.
The sun found its way out from behind the clouds. Gone was the soft, low contrast light. Even with my reflector the sun cast dark shadows in Mana's eye sockets. Most of the images in the bright sunlight were not good exposures. It wasn't until I placed Mana with the sun at her back in the shade of tall bushes and using a silver reflector down and to her left that I was able to get acceptable exposures.
By this time my elbow was dripping blood. A drop or two landed on Mana's back. I was apprehensive about her reaction. Some people freak out about blood. I gingerly wiped off the drops of blood with my bandana as I explained to her what I was doing. She wasn't at all apprehensive about my blood.
I am never alarmed at the sight of blood. Even my own. I am able to remain calm in health emergencies. Maybe I should have gone to medical school. Or worked in a slaughter house.
Knowing the teaming life that exists in the pond, I was beginning to worry my elbow would get infected. I am the only bread winner in the family. I can't afford to be in the hospital. Four years ago, I spent two days in the hospital with blood poisoning. I had waited four days after a puncture wound to get medical attention. Once the pain and swelling reached alarming amounts I went to a hospital emergency room for treatment. There were bags hanging and IVs in my arm within an hour. (Did I say I was reckless with my safety?)
As we worked near the fountain, Mana entered the water. I think she likes being in water. She was leaning against the brick border when she felt something between her leg and the wall of the fountain. It was one of the large frogs trying to squeeze through. She wasn't alarmed, just initially startled at its touch.
I wish I had made an exposure of that incident. At the time, I wasn't thinking about entries in a blog. I need to change my thinking now that I am blogging. At one point during our time at the fountain, I slipped on the mossy bricks and my left foot went to the bottom of the fountain. I swear it seemed as though my shoe was full of tadpoles. It wasn't, just full of water. That was another photo op missed.
My first images of the photo session were captured at 12:37 and we called it quits at 14:05, almost four hours later. Tempus fugit. I packed all the equipment and props into my car. I had Mana sign a model release and paid her cash in return for the release. Paying a model for the release frees me to do as I wish with the images. We discussed working together in early autumn on a project of hers. The theme will be The Legion of Sleepy Hollow. I obtained her email address in order to send her a link where she could download copies of the qualified images after post-processing. We each went our own way. For me, I needed a drink. Water, iced tea or root beer would hit the spot.
I headed to Wawa, a local chain of convenience stores, before heading home. I was wet, soiled, swollen and scabbing over. My right knee and elbow were throbbing. I must have looked a sight and I know there was the pond odor. At my age I don't care what people think of me. I needed something to drink and I was going amongst people to get one. Ten days later my car stills smells of pond water.