One of the windiest nights I’ve ever taken pictures turned into perhaps the single most rewarding — and frightening — landscape photography experience of my life. I was on the Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley, a place I had visited twice in the past, though under much tamer conditions. This night, the gusts of wind were far greater than I had seen before, and they kicked up a layer of sand that made for amazing sunset photos. But as the day came to a close, it was clear I had entered uncharted waters.
The message of unity and togetherness is a good and strong one to get across, especially right now. United Not Divided, from filmmaker Steve Giralt carries this message beautifully. And as impressive as the message itself is presented, how he created it is equally as awesome.
You might remember Steve’ from the also amazing Burger Drop video we posted about a little while ago. As you can probably tell, he’s no stranger to thinking a little differently in order to come up with unique visuals. In that video, Steve used a DIY Arduino solution to get everything timed up. This time, he utilises some DIY liquid cooled LED lights which really bring the flying sand to life.
I bought a stack of foreign Vogue magazines for inspiration, and inside of Vogue Italia I saw an amazing photo of Alessandra Ambrosio on a beach at night (the image at the bottom of this page). I tucked it away in a manila envelope labeled “Possible Shoots”.
For a year and a half, every time I would create a new mood board, I would see this gorgeous photo. Slowly over time an idea grew that I could manage to have a similar shoot, without having to leave my studio.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about shooting on a beach, it’s that sand gets everywhere. No matter what camera bag the gear is in or how well it’s taken care of, sand will inevitably end up everywhere.
Despite this, there’s one place sand should never be, regardless of where else it might magically appear…on a camera’s sensor.[Read More…]