Unreality Studios Manifesto

Part 4 of 6

My Kitchen Studio Space

Sierra Studio Production in Progress

My kitchen doubles as studio space for most photographic productions… with the countertop space being the most often used (due to the morning light that comes through the window and to the adaptable nature of the counter and its position in relation to the window.) This is where the main sets are assembled, and the backgrounds laid out and the lights installed in anticipation of the sunlight that filters through the windows and the hanging plants that create some of the background shadows I’m so fond of.

Gandalf and Hobbits face the camera

On a good day, the ideal light usually lasts from 30 to 40 morning minutes... with the shadows dragging across my shooting stage and onto the wall... away from my lens and reality, another casualty to the whims of nature.

Photographing Gandalf and the Hobbits

Sometimes a cloud passes underneath my solar spotlight, as if placed there by Merlin himself even though there isn’t another visible cloud in the sky.

Gandalf leads the Hobits

Once the light arrives, there’s little time for experimenting... sometimes the light fails and I’ve minutes to improvise a different shot, maybe close to what I had originally envisioned. Maybe different. The shadows seem to move slower than the light that makes them… perhaps implying encouragement from the cosmos. It’s nice to have God on my side for a change.

On the day these sample pictures were taken, Mr. Sunlight had chosen not to visit San Francisco’s Mission District. But it made sense to avoid the cold rain and wind that lasted throughout the day.

It occurs to me that maybe I should just grow up and stop playing with toys… but there’s little chance of that.

Below is a final variation on the image taken on this day.

Gandalf and the Hobbits

NEXT: Morning Shoots

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