Note to readers: This series features the behind the photograph stories of images from the past year. These are not always my best photos but they are photos that have some meaning to me. Of course, sometimes that meaning is simply the photo was one of my best images.
Trudy Amon is a delightful young woman of 80. I hear that birthdays are just numbers, your age is actually determined by your attitude. If that is true, then Trudy is about 18 years old. She told us she had wanted to jump from an airplane for years and always told her family if she reached 80 then she would jump on her 80th birthday. You go Trudy!
And jump she did. Unfortunately, no one thought to call us in advance. We found out about the jump just after her birthday and went to her house to do a story sans parachute and airplane. Now you know the problem. I am guessing she wouldn’t be jumping off the porch roof for us so I had to come up with a picture that would capture something of the adventure and something of the personality of this amazing lady.
I always like having sky and clouds and even the sun in my photos. It has never bothered me shooting straight into the sun, at least not since I understood how to use strobes effectively. On the drive out, I was daydreaming how to get that beautiful sky in the photo. I arrived to find the property engulfed in trees, tall, tall trees. I walked around for a few moments and decided on this location. I set up a Lumedyne strobe in a small softbox and brought Trudy out.
I wanted her to look like she was flying, or at least look like she was remembering flying, through the air. I asked her to lift her arms for me. I shot and shot and twisted the camera around to get it in the best spot and shot and shot and twisted the camera around some more. Finally, I arrived at this. I was very happy with the image, especially considering the difficulties in the location, the set up and the fact she wasn’t jumping.
A big shout out to her grandson who acted as my VAL (voice activated light stand). He had to lift the strobe and softbox on a light stand and lean it right out over his grandmother as if he were a boom stand. Well done young man.