I remember buying the Neil Young album "Rust Never Sleeps" and never really thinking much about the meaning behind the title until I was reviewing my shoots from this year. For me, the title applies to both my artistic endeavors and technical skills. My infrequent shoots created by my diminished desire to create something different has also caused me doubt when using my speed lights. If you review my images since the beginning of this year you'll notice that a majority of them were either shot using Available Light, or Natural Light which brings me to my latest shoot.
I messaged one of my new Instagram followers to see if she was interested in helping me out scrape the rust off of my skills; she agreed. It turned out that her family, including her, babysat my co-worker's 4 year-old son since he was a baby.
The town she lives in accounts for 55% of all Roses grown in the United States, so my first thought was to shoot among the Roses. I wanted to shoot early so I could use my speed lights, but just in case it was too bright I also packed my Alien Bee 1600.
On the early drive into town, I noticed that the roses were no more than 2 feet high, which really didn't fit my theme. So we drove to the local AMTRAK station and as we parked we encountered a fair amount of vagrants. We left the parking in search for another locale.
We shot at four locations all within a block of each other. On some images I used an SB-900 in an Apollo Orb, other images I used a 4' x 6' 1-Stop Scrim and others was either direct sunlight, or reflected sunlight.
The next four images below were shot with my Nikon D700 dSLR and with my Nikon F5 film camera loaded with Ilford XP2 Super 400.
As we were packing up add heading back to our cars, I noticed a gently-used clothing store and had Erika ask the owner if we could shoot inside.
After arriving home and reviewing the images I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It was a casual shoot with the simple premise of "Shooting for Fun." No expectations, no preconcieved ideas, aside from the Rose theme, and be spontaneous.
Erika was very patient and took direction extremely well. She also did her own make-up, which is always a plus when I choose a model for collaborative shoots.
The "rust" may not be gone, but at least it slowed down for a bit on this particular day.