Bringing It Back Home
As photographers, we have to have some loyalties, the first no matter what I firmly believe is to ourselves. That photograph is our expression of so much we know as creatives and humans. Another loyalty is to the subject and lastly to the story. It’s these loyalties that push us each time we click. So after getting some of the ground work images in the can, it was time to focus in on the mission, telling the story of where Meb lives and loves to train.
The Eastern Sierra has many iconic locations known around the globe like Death Valley and Mt Whitney and the ghost town Bodie. It has even more iconic locations known just to Californians and one of those is the Green Church. It’s been around since dirt first fell here and had been the focus of many, many events in history. It’s also where many park before taking off on their workout on the road. Many think it’s still an active church because of all the cars seemingly always parked there. Well we finished our “road” work and drove back to the Green Church to bring the shoot back to its purpose, Meb’s home in Mammoth. Now in this photo, while Meb and we know it’s the Green Church, it looks like just a green wall to anyone else.
To at least tell the story that it’s a church, I needed to include the steeple (open the doors you see the …). So shooting with the D4 and 200-400VR2 zoomed to 400mm (Sharon filling in Meb’s right side with Lastolite TriGrip with softgold), I walked the side of the road where I could get just Meb and the Steeple and not the rest of the “junk” that is around the Green Church. Meb didn’t have to run any great distance because as it turned out, we only had two strides where I had just the right background. Now if I didn’t write all of this story, you wouldn’t understand why the last picture here is the photo we were going for. So one its own, the photo doesn’t tell the story without a caption but thank goodness, that wasn’t why we took this photo. It wasn’t meant to stand alone but be part of a greater story. But what does bring a smile to my heart was Meb’s big smile when he saw the photograph because he’s the client, he was who the photo was being made for. So while being loyal to my concepts and skills as a photographer, I was able to stay loyal to the subject and the story. That’s make the photograph successful. But were these the photographs that really were on my mind for this assignment? mtc.