Whenever we hear from the creatives at Washingtonian, we always know that we’ll be tasked to bring some wild idea to life and make beautiful photos in the process. As always, their latest cover shoot did not disappoint. Shoot some tubers in the middle of a river – sounds easy enough right? Little did we know what was in store for the Crisman team that day. Thankfully we didn’t lose any cameras or lights to the river, but there were plenty of close call – keep reading to find out the whole story…
It all started in Harper’s Ferry. Located an hour or so away from Washington DC, we arrived on the river early in the morning to find not only and idyllic summer day, but a raging river cutting through the lush West Virginia countryside.
Equipped with only inner tubes, we knew that our models wouldn’t stand a chance if they were out in the full on rapids that had formed at the center of the river.
The solution? Well, first test it on the photo assistants. As always, our crew never says no, so Jared Castaldi and (familar face from long ago) Jeff Elkins grabbed a few tubes and braved the waters to try and help Chris find a spot suitable for shooting.
You might be able to tell from Jared’s face in the photo above that this location in the center of the river wouldn’t quite cut it. Aside from barely being able to keep steady in the flow of the river, we knew there was absolutely no way we could setup any lights for this shot – battery or generator powered. It was time to move on to plan B.
The solution? Shoot closer to shore and composite our hero talent into the final frame. No matter what, you can’t risk equipment or anyone’s safety on set, and shooting in the shallower, calmer water allowed us not only to get a better performance out of our talent, but we could dial in our lighting in a way more precise way.
Since we were shooting much closer to shore, it was time to break out the octabanks. Working with both battery powered lights and a generator, we concentrated the high-power source from the generator to shape the light on our hero talent in the front and filled in the shadows with a lower power battery pack for the rear talent.
And there we have it, the final shot! Last but certainly not least, we owe a big thank you to everyone who helped make this awesome cover shot! Thank you to all of the creatives at Washingtonian, Michael Gosele, Diane Rice, Hong Le (especially for the extra behind the scenes), Jeff Elkins, as well as Kim Reyes on hair and makeup, River Riders for the tube rental, and of course Harpers Ferry National Historic Park for letting us shoot in the river. Cheers!