Behind the Scenes: Awaiting Adventure & The Beginning of A Getaway

Photo Credit - Liz Bukoski

Photo Credit - Liz Bukoski

Back in October, I had a wonderful week at a Flickr meetup hosted by my friend Val (of Valerie Kasinski Photography), at her cabin in upstate New York. My friend Rob (of Robert Cornelius Photography) and I carpooled up together and arrived our first night a little late. We said our hellos to new friends and gave hugs, but it was clear everyone was exhausted from the day. We discussed plans for the morning and I looked through my brain (notebook), and didn't hesitate to pass out for the next day's adventure. 

After waking up and chowing down on some grub, went to the garage to play a bit of show and tell. Along with Rob and I, everyone had brought with them a grab assortment of vintage clothing and costumes, swords, and other props. The hard part was deciding what to pack up and load into the back of the car. We didn't have far to go though. There was this amazing location not even a mile down by the side of the road.

We parked on the side of the road and looked up at the massive pine trees sprawling up to the sky. It was sort of a damp and misty day, but a great overcast day is nothing to get upset over. The lighting was beautiful and the coverage from the tree tops shaded us from any harsh light. At first, walking into the forest was reallllly dark, but then (not even a few minutes inside), our eyes adjusted so well to the low light. It was the weirdest thing, but still pretty cool. We unloaded the cars of the cameras, props and cases of clothes, and set up home base. It was a pretty awesome sight to see (from a photographer's standpoint at least. To others, we usually look crazy, haha). 

After that was all said and done, I looked down on the plethora of materials in front of me and my brain just started getting overloaded with where to start. Before getting too well ahead of myself, I decided to explore a bit more of the area and check out any potential locations to set up a shot at. 

At the back edge of the forest, I came across this random chair just sitting near a fallen tree. The chair looked pretty cool by itself, but the location was pretty killer too. Val swung by with an awesome concept I helped participate in, and I grabbed Liz (of Liz Bukowski Photography) and Emma (of Emma Johnson Photography) to help assist the concept I was gearing up to do. Val so kindly modeled for me and I loved how her hair contrasted with all of the yellows and greens. 

As I set up my tripod, I kept on noticing little things I wanted to change, and the shoot was quickly evolving into something way more interesting. I starting using more of the environment in the shot, grabbing red leafs to throw in around all the greenery and then I start setting all these ferns around the base of Val's dress. The back of the chair she was sitting in had this back wicker mesh to it. I began poking in a few ferns in there and I immediately was loving the effect. I had to ask Val to sit very still for the duration of the setup and while I was shooting to keep everything propped up nicely and she was a trooper! 

When everything was finally set and ready, I had Liz and Emma set off smoke bombs behind the fallen tree behind Val. Once they set off, it was go time and the way the smoke crawled though the scene was awing. 

Photo Credit - Rob Cornelius 

Photo Credit - Rob Cornelius 

Around lunch time, we quickly grew hungry from running around with excitement and a lot of HOOPLAH's. While around half the group went back to the cabin, I set up to do a self portrait with dozens of these old rusted opened cans of beans laying all over the ground. There was just something there that had a story to tell and I got that itch to shoot. 

When the others arrived back, I ate a PB&J and learned Alex (of Alex Currie Media) was only going to be with us for the day, so instead of shooting a self portrait, I decided to use this talented guy for my concept while I had the chance - who wants to look at my face anyway, haha. 

For this shot, I got down as low as I could with my tripod. For my main shot, I framed Alex as far into the frame as possible without getting poked by another tree behind me. Halfway through panning the expanding shots I had to stand up super quick for a short break - my legs were killing me being so low, looking at my live-view on the back of my camera. 

When we wrapped up for the day, we collected all of our belongings from the damp woods and went back to the cabin. I was tired at this point and was glad to rest up a bit and kick my legs up. Out of the blue, a few others came inside and said a thick fog was rolling in. This intrigued me to say the least. 

As much as I really didn't want to get up and start moving around again, it's been the longest time since I've seen an awesome fog. There never seems to be any in Philly, it's pretty rare. So I jumped at the opportunity. 

We went up the street and into a field nearby. Before our eyes, the sun started setting and the color changed the fog into the most amazing purple/magenta hue I've ever seen naturally. Alex went out and posed for a few of us and I snapped this photo with my phone believe it or not. The quality really impressed me with the beefed up camera on the iPhone 6. This amazing color only lasted 5 minutes at most before it was gone as quickly as it came. I'm glad I got off that chair, haha.