Planning and ideas for a landscape shoot
(intense electronic music)
For six weeks, 12 hours a day, I put my eye, my one eye, on the Island of Syke, and I was searching, really, pretty strongly, and I was definitely switched on because the project was very expensive for me, for me to leave New York for six weeks and take a whole crew there, it's an expensive project to do and it's only at this point in my life that I can afford to do that, you know. So, my planning for this project and the way I went about it and the way that I thought about this project for almost a year, off and on, off and on, off and on, about how I could make it better, that the whole planning part of this was an absolutely, you know, was essential and also a philosophy. So it's not just planning. You know, people say planning, that means you have to organize the tickets and the bus and your equipment and how do you do, are you gonna take strobe lights with you or not and so on, because a lot of my things when I talk, talking just about landscapes, of c...
ourse, I was in there photographing trees with macro lenses on, so therefore, it wasn't only about landscape. I always have that vision to think about things that are close to me and also things that are mid-distance and also things that are at infinity. So I'm kind of planning all of that in advance, keeping it in mind, but at the same time, keeping an open mind and watching where the light is at various times of the day. You obviously travel with a compass, but it's not quite that simple that you have a compass and you say, the sun's coming up there or going down there. You kind of know that, I knew that after a while how it was gonna play out, but you sometimes get lucky and you're about to leave a location and suddenly, the moon breaks through early in the day and you get a reflection of the moon on the water. So that you, at that point, you're, there's, yeah, be organized, but be prepared for things like that to happen and the one thing I don't like about landscape work is that to a certain extent, you're the slave of nature. You can't control it. What I love in the studio is you make your own light, you make your own, you know, there's a control thing that way. But when you're on an island (chuckles) off the north coast of Scotland with wild weather, you really are a little bit the slave of what's going on, but it's only by determination and continued planning and continued work that in six weeks of 12 hours a day, you should be able to get a few shots that are worth looking at. (light electronic music) There was a shot that I had done, it was actually for a magazine, part of a magazine shoot, fashion, but we were actually in the Pennsylvania Turnpike and this is 20 years before I went to the Island of Skye and I was pulled off this turnpike into the edge of a field, because the rain was so severe, you could not even drive on a highway. You could not see 20 feet in front of you, and I was with a crew, and therefore we decided to pull of the road into this kind of lay-by, and I was sitting there with everybody just waiting and I notice that in front of me, there was what had to be a 1954 or '55 Chevy truck abandoned in the field. And I was sitting in the car and I had just in my, I had a Nikon in my hand, and I, I just was looking at it and two or three times I hit the shutter, looking at this through the windshield and the rain was pouring down the front of the car and as a matter of fact, I then used that same camera and the same roll of film to go and shoot some fashion pictures later. But as I processed the film and looked at the contact sheet, I saw that shot, and I thought, I could do a series of pictures at some point in my life, through the windshield with rain coming down that might be kind of interesting. So, fast-forward 20 years, and I was in Scotland and I had planned to do this, 'cause I always remembered and loved that shot and I had planned to do this through the windshield and when we selected the car, I actually selected the car based on the windshield of the car that I could, I could probably pull of fairly decent shot where I'm shooting through the windshield so that you probably guess it's through a windshield but you're not sure, and therefore, I needed quite a wide windshield for that. And I did several shots like that during the Skye project. But I mean, that's how that, that's how I arrived at that. (intense electronic music)