Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Lady Sunset..

For months now I've had an image in my mind that I wanted to capture. I'd think about trying to set it up at least every week or so yet in amongst the busyness of life I discovered that months had gone by and I was still repeating the same ole mantra to myself'; "next week.. next week.. next week.." It was while drinking my morning coffee a couple of weeks back that I noticed the fields behind my house were beginning to make the shift from impossibly green to a warm golden hue and I knew if I kept up this mantra and didn't act soon then my window of opportunity to shoot in amongst the rice fields would be gone, and that was something I was not prepared to let happen.

I asked amongst some friends if they'd be willing to let me shoot them and sold them on the concept of the shoot and was pretty jived when they agreed. Part of my vision was to have a background in which the setting sun was just kissing the mountain tops and so on a couple of afternoons at around sunset I rode around the outskirts of town location scouting. I thought I had settled upon a place but randomly one afternoon when I was picking up Wildfoot and Little Feather from their school, I decided to take the long way home and as we rode the scenic route through fields upon fields of rice just ripening for the harvest I knew I had stumbled upon a far more beautiful space.

I came back later that afternoon and wandered around the fields looking for interesting nooks and crannies and points of interests that I might want to include. The whole time I was keeping my eye on my watch so I would know where I needed to be at what time to get the most of out the rapidly changing light, but at times it felt almost pointless. I challenge anyone to try and focus or to make plans while walking through those fields at sundown! The whole afternoon felt like I was walking around in a dream. The soft breeze blowing across the top of the rice fields that created ripples which stretched out all the way to the base of the Himalayan Foothills while the sun gently settled down behind the mountains and smothered everything with an impossibly gorgeous golden light. If I'd had a picnic blanket, a bottle of red and my wife I believe I'd be well in my right for thinking that I'd died and gone to heaven.

 I rang around and locked in a day and a time for the shoot. I even managed to convince my friend's eldest son to come out and be my lighting guy/voice controlled light stand and this move ended up being one of the the best 60 baht I've ever spent! But on the morning of the shoot things didn't look anywhere near so promising. The weather was overcast and cold, the wind was kicking up a stink and the sky was continually threatening to rain. Living in a valley means the weather is always unpredictable and so there was always a chance it might come good, but because the weather report said it was likely to rain I opted to postpone the shoot till the following week, a risky move considering the difficulties in getting all my friends there at the same time coupled with the unknown date of the impending rice harvest but ultimately it was the right one.

The days rolled by and thankfully the rice remained unharvested. Everyone turned up for the shoot and it was like God had been saving up the most beautiful weather he had ever conceived of just for that day. The golden sunlight was otherworldly and helped give a real milky quality to parts of the images that I was hoping to capture along with the occasional bit of lens flare. I fired off a bunch of shots in different locations and tried to capture a variety of moods (as well as a number of individual portraits which I'll upload once I've had a chance to edit them) and walked away with a digital copy of the image that I'd been seeing in my mind's eye for months in advance (the first image on this page) and that is a sweet feeling indeed!

The final noteworthy part to this story came the following day when Shoonklicky Spoon went for a ride back to where we shot these images only to find that the fields in their entirety had been cut down in the harvest. Not more than than 12 hours after I captured these images the harvesters arrived and put their sickles to work. If ever there was a time I was grateful to have gotten off my butt and made something happen, this is likely to have taken first place!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely ladies captured in a click of a moment. Great work!