If something’s going to happen for you, it will, you can’t make it happen. And it never does happen until you’re past the point where you care whether it happens or not. ― Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]This is not underwater photography. I’ve watched with interest over the past few years as that particular genre has gained popularity, but it’s not something I’m likely to actually do. First, an ear condition prevents me from being able to enjoy swimming; there’s no photograph worth spending the next two weeks trying to get rid of a painful infection. Second, the cost of even renting underwater equipment is excessive. Unless one is planning on making underwater photography a significant part of their services, it’s not worth the price. So, we won’t likely be doing any underwater shots any time soon.
Instead, this is an above-the-water, long exposure image. The shutter speed isn’t too terribly dramatic, three seconds being short compared to some I’ve taken. Yet, that was enough to capture this unique image. Of all the photos in this week’s series, this is one for which I wish I still had the original RAW file. The state of technology, and my understanding of it, at the time, prevented me from being able to do any more detailed processing. But then, the simpleness of the shot is part of what I like about it. There were others in the set, of course, but this is the one that stood out.
The situation around this image wasn’t exactly normal, either. I hadn’t planned on anyone doing any swimming that evening. I hadn’t planned on doing anything at all. Two models traveling from North Carolina contacted me when one of their scheduled shoots fell through. In one of those made-for-late-night-cable moments, they invited me to join them at their motel to take some pictures. Being human, I accepted, grabbed materials for a project I was shooting, and drove to their hotel. When I arrived, the girls informed me they wanted to shoot down by the pool. [/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Most hotel outdoor swimming pools aren’t open in mid-October, but this particular hotel sported a warm indoor/outdoor pool. A large glass window was the retractable barrier between inside and out, but it only came down to the top of the water. Swimming under the window was rather easy. Since the outdoor part of the pool was technically not open, the security cameras were conveniently off. So the models showed no hesitation in removing their swimwear once they were outside. Sitting along the edge of the pool, I was the only one who was feeling a bit cold.
The only light was the one inside the wall of the pool. Look in the bottom right corner of the image and you can see it. The amount of illumination wasn’t much and if the girls moved too terribly far away from the light they were completely in the dark. Since I hadn’t known I was going to be shooting outdoors I hadn’t brought a tripod. There was a limit to how long I could hold the shutter open without the result being a complete blur. I tried several other shots while they were swimming, but none were turning out well. I was feeling woefully unprepared.
What eventually worked was to have one girl hold the other in place, near the light but not directly above it. I was pleased enough with this shot and soon convinced them to return to the indoor portion of the pool. As the air grew colder, I was shivering too much to take a decent photograph of any kind. For someone else, this might have been one of those “Dear Penthouse” moments, but not for me. From there, the evening went downhill, with one of the models having a severe allergic reaction to some food they had brought up to the room. I have my picture, though. Life goes on.[/one_half_last]