Monday, April 29, 2013
The latest fauxto in my Young Adults series was inspired by The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.
Brace yourself for a long story, because this shot deserves a long post.
For those of you that haven't read The 5th Wave yet, allow me to brief you on what it's all about. ALIENS TAKE OVER THE WORLD. Okay, you've been briefed.
This photo is not a spoiler, but if I give you the background to it I will certainly spoil some of it for you, so instead, the only thing I'm going to say about this specific scene is that it is a literal interpretation of a scene in chapter 19 of the book. There was one sentence that totally stuck with me (okay, so this is an interpretation of just one sentence) : "We stepped into the bright sunshine, the man in the gas mask and the girl with the teddy bear."
To achieve this fauxto, all I needed was a gas mask (thank you Amazon), a teddy bear (see below) and a dude to pose with me. Enter my father, the hero.
Some of you may know that my Dad has brain cancer. Technically, it's called a glioblastoma and all you need to know about that is that it's a fucking bitch. He had one operation on Christmas Day and two weeks ago we found out that another tumor popped up post-surgery, post-chemo and post-radiation. That, my friends, is not good. Where my Dad's tumor is located is right in the middle of the memory part of the brain, so what we were most worried about with this second surgery was memory loss.
So, the Wood family made plans to come back into town for surgery #2 and I booked my trip a few days ahead of time so I could have some time to take some fauxtos. I knew I wanted to do a fauxto for The 5th Wave as I seriously adored the post-apocalypse novel, and since the book takes place in the Ohio valley I thought a trip home would be the perfect location for the shot (since I am from the Ohio valley).
My Dad has been in front of my camera several times over the years and when I told him about the idea I had for the shot he jumped at the idea of getting to wear a gas mask and hold a gun to my head. (We have a special relationship.) With the help of my Mom who did some location scouting along Route 52 that follows the Ohio river west, we found the perfect location - an abandoned 19th century stone house that sits right on the edge of a cliff that shoots down to the river. Here's an unedited photo of the front of the house, we shot behind it:
So my Dad and I took off for an afternoon adventure driving the hour west to find this stone house my Mom had spotted weeks prior. A few wrong turns and we finally found it and promptly ran inside the building (not a good idea) and got the crap scared out of us because massive vultures had taken up residence inside. Fun times. After clearing the house of vermin, we decided it was too bright (see how bright that photo is above?!) and I was missing an essential prop: a teddy bear. (Photographers take note: It is really, really difficult to shoot in bright, full sun. Never shoot at noon and always try to wait either until the "magic hour" or at least a few hours past noon to avoid the harsh light.)
Back in the car, we drive back east a few miles until we spot a janky old ferry that's taking cars across the Ohio river into Augusta, Kentucky - a tiny, TINY, town built in the late 1700s that pretty much the same still. There, we proceeded to raid the antique shops (we bought an old book on poison cooking) and found a teddy bear at the home / gift shop of some local resident. (PS - I decided to leave the teddy bear inside the house for the next adventurers. He can keep his aviary roommates company.) Next up was lunch at The Beehive Tavern and time killing until the light was better.
2pm and back on the ferry we go, back to Ohio. When we finally get back to the house it's still "shiny" out (my Dad's word) but better than it was before. Showtime! We took about 50 different shots, trying out various styles. Dad had fun pretending to shoot me and I had fun pretending to be annoyed. (Here's a closeup of us in the photo above since most of you are probably looking at this post on tiny phones.)
As for the fauxto, well, I'm in love. I was worried it was going to be too bright (or shiny) and I wouldn't achieve the look I was going for, but a few tricks in Photoshop turned all the greenery into fall colors and the river on the right paired with the house on the left makes for one of my favorite shots to date. Unfortunately for internet friends, this photo is best viewed as large as possible as Flickr seems to compress the image on smaller screens making it look sharper than I intended. So if you can, try to view the shot on a large monitor - I want you to get the proper effect!
All in all the shot was captured and another adventure was had. This was a day for the memory keeper and will probably go down as one of my favorite times I've ever had with my Dad.
As of this morning my Dad's surgery was complete and he is awake and talking and, amazingly, the surgery did not affect his short-term memory. He remembers our little dragon-slaying adventure. So here's hoping that this next round of chemo works better than the last because I intend on having him star in as many future fauxtos as possible.
Labels: young adult