I thought it would be interesting to show you what the effects of the Annular Solar Eclipse were on David, the model I was working with when it took place.
Here side by side are David and Duma who both have similar body types and almost identical skin tones which makes the comparison easier to see. Both pictures were taken at the same time of day when the sun was at almost the same place in the sky. And they were taken in the same location at the north end of the Great Salt Lake with almost identical surrounding elements. I shot both of them with my Nikkor 105 1.8 manual lens with an ISO of 100 and the white balance set for partial shade to offset all the blue. Both images were shot using Adobe RGB color space. Except for being shot a year apart from each other all of the givens are pretty much the same. The one major variable here is that David still had some of the dried terra cotta clay on his body. Had it not been there his skin would have been even more pale than it is.
When I first heard about the Annular Solar Eclipse on its way to us on May 20th I knew immediately I had to be out on the Great Salt Lake when it happened. But I also had to find the right person to work with and my search turned up a beautiful and gifted sculptor named Dave who stepped effortlessly into my imaginations and delivered on the promise I'd seen in his pictures. Here are some early images from our shoot out on the far north end of The Great Salt Lake in Utah in an area I've now nicknamed Stonehenge. These were all crafted just before, during and just after the Annular Solar Eclipse of May 20th 2012.
For the beginning of our journey together as artists, sculptor David Pletsch crafted an animal totem from natural terra cotta clay and then offered it up to Mother Earth just as the Annular Solar Eclipse began on May 20th 2012. After offerings and blessings were made David left the totem there on the rock as a gift to the earth.
This is the first in a series wherein David will sculpt various offerings to the earth, leaving them where they were crafted as we move on from the setting towards a new destination in the wild places of Utah.
He was very young when the crown became his and he wore it well. Alone in the desert he let the sage, the sun and the stones inform his thoughts and he danced upon the earth while the blue blue sky bathed him in its clarity. His rule was long and through it all he honored Mother Earth and shared her simplicty and wisdom with those in whom his guardianship was trusted. When he died his body was taken to the highest rocks and burned; those same rocks upon which he had so often danced and played. When you visit the desert late in the day you can see his ashes still dancing there amongst the sands and the sage, awash in the glow of the setting sun in the western sky. This is the land that he loved and that will keep him safe along his way.
I photographed Russ on a cold windy day at the Little Sahara Sand Dunes in Utah. For most of the shoot he was bundled up but the white angora blanket carries the tradition of complete nakedness underneath it. Weaned in the waters of the Pacific in Southern California, Russ is no stranger to the cold; he slipped into the blanket without a hesitation and we crafted these images that I've become so fond of.
There are many thousands of men and women who've come and gone from in front of my cameras over the years. Russ stands out from the crowd, as much for his warm and engaging personality as for his great physical beauty. I love working with him and will be doing it again soon.
The White Angora Blanket continues its journey and will never be washed; it carries the DNA of a lot of beautiful people and will continue to gather more as the years go by. The project is ongoing and will continue until I die, at which time the blanket will become my daughter's along with the collection of images that feature it. Let me know if you'd like to be a part of the journey. The only stipulation that comes with being photographed with the White Angora Blanket is that you be completely naked underneath it. How much of your body you show or don't show is up to you.
Salt Lake City artist Chauncey Secrist came across my radar a few months ago at a bday party for Erica Salti. Took about 15 seconds to figure out that I wanted to work with him. So here you go, the talented and handsome Chauncey...
At the end of a long snowstorm in January I took my grandkids out to Antelope Island on The Great Salt Lake to see the buffalo. This fellow was completely at ease with us, walking directly towards me and my grandaughter Taryn as if curious but without a trace of aggression. He took a good look and then turned to his left and wandered off across the hillside.