The Fireman's Boot

A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.
~Ansel Adams

The Firehouse is nestled at the bottom of a winding road. If not for the bright red fire engines peeking out, it might be mistaken for just another building in the quaint town of Soufriere. Once inside, Joe McNally challenged us all to pay attention to detail and scout for good shots. I decided I wanted to shoot inside of a firetruck’s cab. RC challenged me to create and build an image using two lights, one in the cab and one outside the window. I have to admit, I initially thought this would be an easy image to create. I was wrong!

Capturing this image proved to be one of the most difficult exercises, both in terms of technicality and endurance. It was hot as hell, we were in a small, cramped space, and I felt bad for models Darius and Henry, who were in full firefighter gear.

I eventually gave Darius and Henry a break and Cali stepped in to assist me in getting the lighting right. Part of what makes Joe’s workshops such great learning experiences is that they don’t just show up when you’re struggling and give you the answer. They talk you through what you’re doing, asking the right questions to force you to think and go through the steps yourself. When I finally had an image with just the light I was looking for, Henry stepped back in and I resumed shooting. But something still wasn't quite right.

I happy accident capturing Cali and his soulful eyes.

I happy accident capturing Cali and his soulful eyes.

RC stopped by to see how I was progressing and I explained my dilemma. “Why don't you try a different shooting position?” he said. That was my aha moment. I was so busy wrestling with the spill of the light from the window and Henry’s position that I forgot the simplest of solutions—to move myself! I began the slow migration to the other side of the cab, contorting myself to eventually end up right in front of Henry… With one click, I finally got the image I wanted. We all climbed out of the cab of the fire truck feeling quite pleased. RC and Henry gave their thumbs up on the image, and RC told me to go show Joe.

Henry

Henry

Henry

Henry

I was so excited as I walked towards Joe I didn't see the cement block used to park the trucks, you guessed it I tripped and went flying. I tried to correct myself to protect RC’s camera, crashing into the wall, while my right hand, which was holding RC’s Nikon D3S, miraculously landed on a single fireman's boot. No damage done. As RC says, every good picture has an even better story.

The Fireman's Boot that saved the camera shot with my iPhone. 

The Fireman's Boot that saved the camera shot with my iPhone.