21 May 2008

Here comes the heat

"Sisters"

“I wish more people felt that photography was an adventure the same as life itself and felt that their individual feelings were worth expressing. To me, that makes photography more exciting.” - Harry Callahan


It was 108 degrees here in Vegas just a few days ago. Its cooled off a bit, but the the thought of the coming scorcher days ahead makes me wonder how it will affect my ability to shoot. At the beginning of last summer, I arrived in Las Vegas and was amazed at the heat. I'm from Texas. I can recall the temperature dancing around 120. I remember watching the news and hearing about the number of visitors to the state who would succumb to the heat via heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. I remember playing basketball or riding bikes in the noon day sun and thinking nothing of it. Vegas heat is nothing like Texas heat.

"Yeah, but its a DRY heat".... Well, there may be something to that saying. This low humidity heat is like oven heat. Set your oven on 450. Wait 15 minutes and open it up. Stick your head in. That's akin to Vegas heat. My challenge is being able to find locations to shoot for my Las Vegas Art Models Group. All the water and springs are drying up, but there are still interesting places and locations to shoot in without water. The trick is getting a secluded place that doesn't have many visitors, is easy to get to, AND doesn't become unbearably uncomfortable to the model or other photographers. Hiking miles and miles into a location isn't fun for the photogs that attend my workshop. Being naked for 3 hours in the sun isn't cool for my models. Solution: Get the hell out of Las Vegas.

Am I moving? No, not yet anyway. What I mean is to head up north to shoot. I was out scouting locations with a group member in Mt. Charleston. There can be a 20 degree difference in temperature in the mountains. Again, finding a secluded spot is the primary concern. As everyone is trying to get out of the heat, they head to the mountains. Also, hiking up a mountain to the location may be a challenge. My friend and I headed down the 40-some odd mile Mormon Well Road located not far from Mt. Charleston. You can't do that road in a regular car. You have to be in something with some clearance. We explored that road up in between the mountains, but its an arduous drive. The road seemed to shake and vibrate my guts loose and that was at a maximum speed of 20 miles an hour for about 2 and a half hours. At one point, we stopped so I could get a picture. My camera didn't work. Talk about your heart sinking. I was despondent for the rest of the ride. Fortunately, it was just the CF card door was shaken open. WHEW! Otherwise that would have sucked.

Right now, I am trying to put together a workshop with the glorious London Andrews. She'll be here in Vegas next week and if I can get a few photogs to participate in a workshop, I can make enough to pay her. She'd be the first professional model to be featured in our workshop. I primarily want to use local talent, but 4 to 6 times a year, I'd like to give my workshop attendees experience with a professional. I am especially intrigued by the traveling models. I've had several of my models ask how girls travel the nation from gig to gig and be successful doing this full time. I think that would be good to know as well. Its got to make for a great story and I can't wait to hear London's. I just hope to be able to do this workshop. It's kind of a last minute thing that we've put together. Somehow or another, I've got to make it happen.
I came across this funny Sesame Street video with William Wegman's weimaraners Batty and Bettina. Batty poses as a model. If you can't see the video below, > click here <


2 comments:

unbearable lightness said...

Unbearable Lightness knows about unbearably uncomfortable. It's cold up here in the north!! Could you flap your oven door a little to send some dry heat this way?

I also wondered as I read this post how you deal with poisonous snakes when you hike and hike through the desert (see my recent post www.irisdassault.blogspot.com). I am worried about you guys doing that.

TLNeasley said...

I wish I could dispell some of this hot air your way. As for the snakes, I try to keep a vigilent eye out for them, and I am also careful not to put my models in any spot that I don't check out myself first. Aside from that, there is just too much beauty in the natural environment to bear witness to and I just can't let the snakes hog it all for themselves!