It’s amazing how much weather plays a part in making some photos happen or not. Back in my landscape days I’d often trudge out well before dawn to get to the spot that I’d located and stand there with my camera all ready to go while shivering and hoping that I’d get magical light. And almost as many times I’d have my heart sink as clouds on the horizon, some kind of haze or just plain bad luck would give me a sunrise the color of cold oatmeal.
I was given an assignment to photograph the head of marketing at a local jet charter company for a story about executives chartering more planes now that commercial air travel has gotten so complicated. I had loads of ideas in my head … sunset colors, the mountains silhouetted, a big gleaming jet, "the dude" with a nice soft warm light on him … you know a "sexy" shot. Although the company was totally up for accommodating us the weather simply would not. Ya see this is monsoon season in Denver and just about every evening it clouds up, gets windy and rains. Not exactly the atmosphere that I was hoping for to make this shot happen.
We had to reschedule the shoot 3 times due to weather and deadline was looming neigh. So it became a morning shoot today which meant like the old days, dragging my butt out of bed when it was still good and dark out. Well as it always happens, the sunrise was obscured by low clouds on the horizon and gave me nothing but ugly flat light and haze obscuring the still snow capped mountains. Ugh! However as we went to the hanger to get the gleaming machine out I noticed some lovely light coming through some high windows that dappled against the jet. So I took the same idea as my original but used the darkness of the hanger instead of the mountains.
So with 4 Nikon SB26’s on Pocket Wizards, 3 with warming gels, two monolights, one in a medium softbox and one with a 10 degree grid spot and a tripod I made a photo that doesn’t match my initial hopes but will certainly satisfy the client without making me feel like my delicate artist self is compromised. That’s what a "pro" does, right? Find a way to make it work under bad conditions?