Friday, September 9, 2011

Circe Invidiosa V

The weather forecast for the day of the photography session was of overcast sky with a chance of rain.  I didn't mind the overcast part of the forecast.  Rain is something we didn't and still don't need here in the Delaware Valley.  This August was the wettest in history with hurricane Irene dumping 5.75" of rain on Aug 27 and 28.  Besides, rain would ruin my day.
Flooding in Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia
Actually, an overcast sky is desirable for this location.  The scene I chose for the Circe Invidiosa images was in direct sunlight.  With no overhanging tree branches or a nearby building to hide under or behind, the bright sunlight would be harsh.  An overcast sky will create a soft light because of the large area of clouds lit by the sun.  Light from a large close light source wraps around an object and fills in deep shadows.  Thereby, producing lower contrast ration between the highlights and shadows(the origin of the term soft light).  A clear sky would produce very hard lighting.  This kind of light source produces high contrast ratio between the highlights and shadows(the origin of the term hard light) and specular highlights.  So an overcast sky would be good but, no rain.

In correspondence with Mana, we agreed to meet at Appleford at 11:00.  I paced my day to meet our schedule.  I stopped at Panera Bread for a ham and swiss souffle, a chocolate pastry and large cup of coffee, which I ate and drank as I drove.  (As I sit here and think back, I took a dangerous risk!  I could have spilled my coffee.)  Upon my arrival at Appleford near 11:00, I immediately brushed the pastry crumbs from my shirt front and began to unload my car and set up the first scene.  The sky was overcast with the humidity rising towards an uncomfortable level.  A level when beads of perspiration spontaneously arise from my pores, congregate in large drops then drip down my forehead, nose, forearms and spine.  Not good when wearing eyeglasses.  Good thing I had my contact lenses in.  I walked the props, light stand and reflector over to the scene.  A few 100 yard round trips and my forearms and forehead glistened with non-specular highlights.  I placed the Lemon-Lime unsweetened Kool-Aid and water mixtures in sealed reused 2L Coke and Sprite bottles on the ground near the IKEA bowl and carafe, shear polyester silky chiton that was fused together with black Stitch Witchery and a Harry Potter magic wand pen(to be used to enchant the lemon-lime liquid).

Stitch Witchery

I have carried a large handkerchief, sometimes called a bandana, for most of my life.  I guess it is my working class origins or my 34 year job in construction.  Whatever the reason, it comes in handy for many purposes including, the then needed, mopping of the brow.  (Though I was wearing contacts, sweat still stings the eyes.)  It can also be used for wiping dirt and blood from your arms.  Even if you are not working at a construction job.

In any event, I now waited for Mana.  I took the time to wander the grounds looking for other scenes to use that day.  I noticed large quantities of frogs, tadpoles, gold fish and minnows in the water.  I heard finches, chickadees, cardinals, titmice, robins, blue jays, cat birds and I even spooked a blue heron from the lower pond.   As I walked about glistening and listening, I noticed not one other person enjoying the beautiful jewel that is Appleford.  Such a shame.  I found several scenes and moved some garden furniture to suit my needs.  The day looked promising.  All seemed to be going well and I hoped nothing would ruin my day.

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