Suunto watch company is creating some POS for their retailers so we teamed up with Ian McClendon, who always comes through for me with great hunt and fish support services with his outfitting service Independence Pass Outfitting Service LLC based in Aspen, Colorado. I met Ian while shooting for Remington Firearms Company a few years back and he had just taken an eight point bull elk with bow and arrow, which we used as a prop element in that shoot. We ran into each other again while shooting Keystone Lite 3 years ago. We've remained friends and I'm realizing what a dynamo this guy is. Always great to have resources like this, and although I shoot in many categories, Ian is my "go to" guy for hunting and fishing production resources.
We were concentrating on bow hunting this go-round and Ian had this elk rack on hand for us to use as an eye catching element for our shots. This particular 6-point was not shot by Ian, but killed by another unknown hunter who let it run off and was unable to retrieve it. Ian stumbled onto a sow and her cub gnawing on the carcass and somehow chased them away long enough to grab the skull and rack. How he was able to do this is beyond me, but it made a great prop for our photo shoot.
So how do you exploit wrist watches in a backwoods hunting shoot. It was actually easier than I thought it would be because a hunters hands are his tools and figure into the photography fairly prominently, whether large or small. The main thing was to make sure the watch was on the correct hand to you'll notice that we had to make sure to change the watch hand pending the direction of the flow of the shot.
We didn't have much time on our side for our shoot and wanted to make sure to cover a couple of different locations. When we were in the rocks, we were battling some "in and out" direct sun and wanted to make sure we were able to blend our backgrounds naturally by locking down and exposing for our flash as well as for the more subdued light of the natural scene with the intention of layering later on in post.
I've always felt that even the purest digital file always looks, well...like a digital file. I make no bones about the exploitation of a few key after-the-fact plug-in filters to bring some of the look of film back. Having the opportunity to shoot in both the granite rocks as well as in the aspens brought a "hi-key, low-key element of play to our palette. Our plug-ins work well in this already gritty context.