How to Fake a Sunset
Spoiler alert: this is a self portrait on a gloomy, gray day. Both sunset and raindrops are contrived.
For the past several years, I have loved the challenge of creating unique and memorable photos for our annual Christmas card. It’s always easiest to hire a photographer (duuh!) but the creative exercise has become a highlight for me. Last year’s Christmas photo was taken on a Costa Rican beach and how on earth do you top that? Faking everything, of course!
Ever since taking my favourite rain photo ever, I have dreamed of conniving a way to be in that kind of photograph! But self-portraiting on an actually rainy day means that ALL the camera gear is exposed to the rain (I usually get to keep at least my camera dry when I’m shooting in the rain) and that just isn’t ideal.
Enter: a fake sunset and a fake rain storm and a loving husband willing to help me realize my dreams.
On a dreary, gray, dry day we went out and set up a sprinkler and two off-camera strobes to create the Christmas card photo of my dreams. John set up the sprinkler for me, I played with the lights and gels to get the look I wanted, and then we posed.
If I had been thinking, I would have photographed my set up but it looked something like this:
With the version below, you can more clearly see the sprinkler pattern. This is only one strobe, directly behind us.
John is showing off his ability to take the photo while I’m changing the settings. (Yup: my camera can be triggered through an app on my phone. And, yes, my flashes are triggered by my camera. So, yes, I took these photos “with my phone” if you want to be even more amused.)
I absolutely love this photo in retrospect, but in the moment all I could think was “OHMYWORD HIS BEARD IS TOO BIG! I CAN”T BREATHE!”
This is how I feel about how these photos turned out and I am so excited to rave again at how cooperative John is to facilitate the dreams I have. We are even working on plans for an actual rain machine to take the art to new levels. I’m pretty sure it’s obvious: he loves me.
Merry Christmas, friends!