Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The ballerina's leg is not from a plastic doll, it's the tip of an ancient, eroded conch shell! I found it on a beach right behind a famous local seafood spot. This tiny beach is literally covered with tons of shells from oysters, clams and conch.
The graceful ballerina is tip-toeing through a maze of pastel gems, floating on quicksilver...actually it's a mirror with seaglass scattered all over, me steadying the 'ballerina' with one hand, clicking the camera with the other. And I'll tell you, that's no easy job!
Most of the time, and this time as well, my 'photo studio' happened to be the extra-wide 2.5 feet window pane in my living room. I started off with a small mirror, but quickly realized that I need something much bigger to cover the whole background. I ended up taking the wall mirror off my dressing room. This mirror is 2x5 feet. In order to catch the sunlight at the right angle, it has to be placed across the window pane, so half of it just hanged off the edge!
I set up everything, precariously balancing the overhanging half of the mirror on my knee, scattered seaglass all over the mirror, held the conch tip in place, while squatting with my camera to take in everything at the best angle. Alas, the mirror surface is so smooth that the 'ballerina' kept slipping, the mirror kept tipping over, throwing seaglass all over the place! Patiently I picked up everything, set them up again and repeat.
I don't know how many times that slipping, tipping and scattering happened, but I knew I was sweating like mad from the crazy balancing act! All the while I kept telling myself to get better props and try again some other day. Yet the optimmist in me cooed, 'give it one more try, it'll be perfect this time'. I don't know why I hadn't thought of using a camera stand in the first place!
Gradually, the sunlight changed its angle and no longer worked, so I just have to stop. I uploaded the 50 plus shots on my computer and looked through them closely. Gladly, at least a few looked close to what I have in mind. I smiled with satisfaction and lied on the floor, massaging my sore back.