I am hopeless at telling stories verbally(or written) but give me a camera and some editing software and I can craft a story in stills or film. I have always been a visual person and that is how I am able to express my deepest self. The art of capturing the images is also something that I am passionate about, the process of taking pictures is what I love to do especially when I get to share it with other people. And in share, I mean to collaborate with other artists. Sharing on this blog or with the world at large is something I am abysmal at, even more so than verbal storytelling. Blogging or creating posts is difficult for me because I don’t like the spotlight and feel that in order to achieve success(views) with posts I need to put myself out there when all I want to do is showcase what I create, not who I am.
Most of the personal projects I work on are never really done, they become a continuous experiment in expression. Sure I will share some finished photos on Facebook but I don’t really talk about the process and how incredibly blessed I feel to be able to make art. Now Mark, on the other hand, is a beautiful writer and incredible photographer who I am sure if he tried, could coax a sneaky expression out of a statue. He is a master at communicating with the talent and through his website. He and I are complete opposites when it comes to our shooting styles. Like yin and yang, it takes all types of styles to make up this creative world and if we were all the same, it would be boring AF.
That said, in November 2016 we found ourselves watching the sun descend at El Mirage dry lake bed and waiting for professional tango dancers Patricio Touceda & Eva Lucero to arrive on set for the first of a two day shoot. It was pretty chilly considering what we were about to do, a 4 hour tango and nude shoot while the temp was hovering around 40f with a stiff breeze which made it even cooler. We had tried to schedule earlier in the year but our itineraries wouldn’t work out so November it was. We started out with just some fun shots that they could use for promotional use before moving on to the more creative work we love. Mark has been working on a series with them about the elements and started with a gorgeous water shoot a few years ago. This shoot was grounded in the concept of earth although one of my concepts was decidedly quite the opposite. You can find all of Mark’s images on his website and see how different they are from my own below.
Patricio had expressed a desire to use the glowing orbs I love to play with in the shoot but wanted to be within the orb itself. Unfortunately, I had to tell him it wasn’t possible but that I had another idea that would hopefully be as beautiful. It required setting up my tripod and shooting in place and shooting multiple images over a period of time as I created the orbs, captured the sky and the ground before photographing them and bringing it all into photoshop to layer each image. It is my favorite images from the 2 days.
I also created one with fire using the same technique but the feeling of the final image doesn’t have the same impact. Here are the rest of the images that shoot.