Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Florida Chronicles Part 1

We got back from Florida yesterday. Last month I saw an article in the Times about the fresh springs in the Florida panhandle. I shot there 20 years ago when I worked as an intern at The Florida Times Union and remembered how strange the people were and how beautiful the river was.

I don't get that many ideas and thought it might be a good idea to take the 8x10 out there and see what we could find. I spent the whole last week dreading the trip and wondering what the hell I was thinking in going to Florida. Why there? What's wrong with Oakland?

A few years ago I got it in my head that it would be a good idea to go to New Zealand. Where that thought came from I have no idea, but a couple weeks later I found myself on a pay phone on the South Island begging my wife to call Quantas to see if I could get back on the plane and come home. I had flown 20 hours and driven five more and felt completely overwhelmed. My wife talked me down. I ate something and slept. I spent the next nine days in a camper van by myself shooting, having the kind of experience you never forget. It was during this week that I came up with the idea to shoot the animals in a movie theatre. It came to me fully formed as if it had been faxed from the Wizard of Oz.

The FLA trip was a challenge. It is surprisingly difficult to shoot people floating down a river with an 8x10 camera. Who knew? We would see someone we wanted to shoot and by the time we explained what we were up to our potential subject was 30 ft down stream.

We finally got some people to stop and then found a pull out where people had more time and were willing to sit for us . And then the camera ended up in a tree and my assistant ended up in his underwear. But that is for another post. And that was before things got strange.


Trevor said...

Wow. Tying your camera up to that tree is great. Very interesting.

robert said...

this is looking great, the trip out of town and the fresh water have been good for you.

robert said...

this is looking great, the trip out of town and the fresh water have been good for you.

Anonymous said...

damn. that's quite a pair of balls you have.