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To The Lost



I wish very much that I'd had no reason to create this photo. Last Tuesday I found out that Andrew Ashcraft, a boy I'd grown up with, was one of the 19 fallen ...
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I wish very much that I'd had no reason to create this photo. Last Tuesday I found out that Andrew Ashcraft, a boy I'd grown up with, was one of the 19 fallen Hotshot firefighting crew. The world is greatly worse off without them.


One of the first things Geoff asked as I cried into his chest was how I was going to work through my grief in a photo. Luckily Katie was around to help me bring my vision to life and aid my therapy.



Much more about the photo in my <b&bt;blog post<-b&bt; along with some nice detail photos.



Model: Katie Johnson.




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4 Comments | Report
hajari59
 
hajari59 October 09, 2013
nice shot and editing , i like it so much, good colors ..
zeljkadamjanac
 
zeljkadamjanac November 09, 2013
BEAUTIFUL PICTURES.
Chelanamo PRO
 
Chelanamo September 09, 2014
Amazing!
ntgreen
 
ntgreen July 01, 2015
Stunning image ... sorry for the reasons behind it, creativity does have a way of helping us through the pain. Beautiful, touching image!

Behind The Lens

Location
In front of my garage at my home in Los Angeles. Since I knew nothing of the background would be shown, I really could have taken this just about anywhere. The garage was perfect because it cast enough shadow to keep my model, Katie Johnson, and I both in shade as we ran through the smoke.
Time
About 4:30 in the afternoon.
Lighting
This is all natural light, which is how I prefer to work. I did a bit of dodging and burning in post, but the majority of the light was already there for me straight out of camera.
Equipment
I used my Nikon D5100 with my 50mm 1.8 lens. I had my camera set on my tripod, I composed the shot and then had my husband act as my human shutter release. Since we only had a short amount of time to catch the smoke, I knew using a remote shutter release wouldn't work well.
Inspiration
A childhood friend of mine grew up to be a firefighter and I had just learned that he had died in the line of duty while battling a huge wildfire in Arizona. You may have read about his crew, the Granite Mountain Hotshots. I was grieving the loss of my friend, feeling heartbroken for the young family and loved ones left behind, and at the same time, I wanted to honor the sacrifice these 19 men had made. This is what I call a "semi-self=portrait," since it has me in it with another model (and dear friend). Katie, in the purple dress, is portraying the firefighter, pulling me out of danger. She is carrying a bouquet of 19 large flowers, which have smaller flowers shooting off from the main stems, which I like to think symbolizes the firemen's family. I absolutely loved how the smoke wrapped around my body as she pulled me through the smoke; it looks like it doesn't want to let me go. That was all completely natural and happened just as you see it here.
Editing
Although I had used some very large yellow smoke bombs, I filled in some holes the smoke didn't cover. I used one image for Katie's and my bodies and another one for our faces, blending them together. I sweetened the colors, did a little dodging and burning and in the end turned this into a square crop.
In my camera bag
A Nikon D5100, a 50mm 1.8 lens, an old 35-70mm kit zoom lens, a lightweight, collapsible tripod, several cheap remote shutter releases and some snacks! You never know when your or your model's blood sugar might get low.
Feedback
Get more smoke bombs (and bigger ones) than you think you'll need! Only use smoke bombs like this in a very well ventilated area with and never around anything flammable. Always keep a hose and fire extinguishers on hand just in case. Try to not breath the smoke as much as you can! Even though this was shot completely outside, we were both coughing for a while afterward, so make sure you take every precaution to make this a safe experience.

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