Is it the Duck's Last Dance?
Is disco or rock your music of choice? Perhaps you prefer grunge. In the process of making this image I’ve opted for a little of both and have been aided in the game by my friend Jake taking on both model and stunt duck roles.
I doubt that anyone would have got that joke, as it's both lame and very cryptic.
Songs That Surround Me
To my mind one of the 70’s worst songs and film clips, as they were referred to back then, was Disco Duck. What made it worse was that I couldn’t get the song out of my head and it seemed to follow me around wherever I went.
On the other hand the name of this photo, Rocking in the Free World is a kind of homage to one of my all time favorite writers and performers, Neil Young, who’s song Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World is both a rock anthem and a confronting commentary on our contemporary society.
This is quite an old photo, going back to late 2010, but I enjoy fishing in the archives occasionally and bringing some old images back to life.
Making The Image In Camera
The original photo was made with a Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105 mm f/4 L series USM lens at a 105 mm focal length.
I remember employing a slow shutter speed, to record sufficient luminosity in the background, with fill flash added to help freeze the subject. You see there’s the speed of the flash, as well as the speed of the camera to consider, when making photos with an electronic flash (i.e., strobe).
Initial processing was completed in Adobe Lightroom prior to a range of substantial adjustments being made in Adobe Photoshop. The original image and I ended up going on quite a journey, with lots of experimentation, along the way to the final result. But that’s what happens when your car breaks down, plans are altered and you find yourself at home with some time up your sleeve.
I'm not normally a fan of grungy looking photos. I pushed this one in that direction just for fun and was surprised by the result. In this case I’d definitely think that the post processing is at least as important in this photo as the implementation of in-camera skills.
Photographing Jake In The Orange Grove
Jake really is a great guy and he was a lot of fun to work with on set. I made this candid portrait of Jake in an Orange Grove in far south west New South Wales, not far from the border with Victoria and the city of Mildura. It’s a lovely part of the world, though during the summer months it gets very, very hot.
Strictly speaking it’s an Environmental Portrait, as it depicts the subject in an environment to which they seem to belong.
Both photos in this post were made around the time I was working on the Australian motion picture film, Summer Coda. The film was directed by Richard Gray, who’s now based in Hollywood and living the dream. Richard is one of my nephews. Needless to say I'm his favorite uncle. Richard's latest film, Broken Ghost, which is due for release soon.