Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Dreamy Martini

The Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa offers a Dreamy Martini at the hotel in Dallas on Wednesday, September 29, 2004.

Mark M. Hancock / © The Dallas Morning News

I enjoy these "Drink of the Week" assignments because I get to arrange shapes and colors. As a bonus, it's a low-stress assignment; if something goes wrong, I can shoot it again.

I had already gotten some cool images of beach balls spinning under a waterfall in the Jacuzzi as my background and wanted to try a different background. I was moving my “beast” strobes to work the repetitive shapes of the hotel facade when the couple in the background came out to sun themselves.

It looked really cool while I made some final light tests. However, as soon as I got behind the camera, the guy sat up. I fiddled around for about 15 minutes hoping he would lie back down, but he didn't. Since I had to split for another assignment, I worked with what I had.

The original idea was OK. Then it got great, then it disappointed me. It's still better than the original idea (because it has some life in the image), but it could have been so much better. Darn it.

I often wait for random actions in the background (or foreground) of my images. Most of the time it works.

This is one of the ethical differences between PJ and advertising (commercial) photographers. With PJ, whatever random actions happen -- happen. With advertising, they would have hired models for the background and told them how to act and what to do. An ad photographer would have probably put an extra couple in the top, right-hand balcony as well. They would also have model and property releases as well as a hefty check at the end of the shoot.

Instead, I have a pretty image and a funny story to share with y'all. :-)

Enough for now,

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