Day Off For Thanksgiving

Updated: Aug 12, 2019


In my six day work week I get one day off (obviously). That one day is Wednesday... today. Today I worked because another employee took the week off for Thanksgiving. It was a short day, mind you, but it was work, and I left in a panic, against my will, because I didn't get everything done that I would normally feel comfortable getting done. I still technically get a day off tomorrow because we're closed on Thanksgiving, but we had planned a two day adventure instead of a day and a half adventure.

Luckily, there was conveniently a full moon tonight, so night shooting was a definite option. Unluckily, it's November, so it's fucking cold. We decided to give it a go anyway. "We"; the romantic storyline. She had presented a location to me when we were planning our "two day" getaway from the exhausting grind of daily monotony: Noah Purifoy's little art museum just north of Joshua Tree proper. This is the very same location that I was taken to summer before last on those breif little adventures that existed in my poverty and solitude. While on those adventures, I remember thinking that I wish I had someone to shoot, because the person I was with wasn't up for it. After getting kicked out of work we headed down to my little valley town to have Thanksgivingish dinner with the woman who calls herself my mother, and, suprizingly, my boy, who is 20. Yeah, I have a 20 year old son, so, that will never cease to be weird. These damn winter days end so quick.

After an early dinner and exchange of Christmas presents in the parking lot, which included a breif musical performance on a new guitar by the boy, we headed out to Joshua Tree to attempt a full moon shoot at the hopefully empty and hopefully not freezing art museum a lá Noah. T'was empty; t'was fucking cold. Well, maybe not for someone who lives in Minesotta, but it was cold for a model in Southern California (45 degrees). I went into it with a "stupid" approach: I have been trying to figure out shooting with the full moon as a key light source for about six years; I demanded on using my new faster lens, but completely ignored the focal length and focus difference in a longer lens. Stupid. The whole time I was focused on wether or not she was

holding still enough for a 5 second exposure, but I failed to realize, until driving away from the location with the heater blasting, that I should've been using the slower, wider lens, for the sake of big picture focus, like I did before, easily fixing the .RAW photo later. I didn't have to fix the exposure in these shots, sure, but the depth of field is shit, and she was so cold that getting her to hold still was absolutely impossible.

I even tried giving her more solid anchor points, like laying flat on the ground, but there was still shivering. I candidly left the shutter open and got some interesting effects, but over all she was just a little bit out of focus, which is the nature of the beast when shooting long shutter releases. I should also mention that we stopped to purchase a flashlight at RightAid, to assist in focusing, that worked for one setup, so we used my phone to help focus in the dark. It was a good experience. We had a decent time. It. Was. Fucking. Cold. More shooting tomorrow, on our actual day off. Happy Thanksgiving.

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