A binary day

10.10.11 was certainly not boring. I was shooting on location with Earl Miller in the Hollywood hills. The minute we reached the location I could tell it wasn’t going to be your average Photo shoot. The house was loaded with art / props. and not the type of made in China pieces you normally find on a porn set. I looked over and recognized a sculpture by Rodin and briefly wondered if it was genuine. . . Then came to the rewarding realization that yes, it was. I had an urge to wander the house looking for a Balthasar Klossowski, but just then the girl showed up. A brief hello and she was ushered in to makeup. I continued to asses shooting locations. The sets were tight and busy. There were objects in all corners and I was hard pressed to find angles that didn’t appear “clutered”. By this I mean there was 100k worth of art in every composition.
The nice thing about working with Earl is that there is rarely a rush. He’s about a relaxed as they come, as meticulous as they make them, as detailed as I’ve met, and there’s simply no rushing the man. This suits me just fine and rarely will I make an attempt to speed thing along. I am after all shooting Erotic Art at a multi-million dollar location in the Hollywood Hills.
We settled on shooting from outside, through a doorway flanked by two life sized Bhodisatvtas, and in to one of the living rooms. I begun lighting the situation.
Earl loves to shoot a three point set up with an umbrella key and two edge lights. His consistency is welcome as I can now intuitively light for him. Up went the set up he tested it. Sure enough, The dreaded black hole. A background so dark it detracts from the overall photo. In came the punch lights. A floor mounted 750 aimed at a palm tree which threw specular highlights from a player piano and we were up and running. . . I thought. Earl went to get an ETA on the girl and I mapped the path of the sun. She would be another 15minutes due to bad scrapes on her knees. (Did Herb Ritz ever have to deal with Hooker Knee?) In 30 minutes the sun would be shinning directly onto the set and the 12X12 silk was not with us. Earl, in all his infinite calm says “You’re going to have to use C-stands and some fabric to build a sunscreen.” I stood there and stared at him, my mind trying to read a joke into this, but slowly realizing that, no, he was serious. Up to the truck, 6 C-stands, 12 sandbags, innumerable A clamps, and 2 big bolts of fabric later and I had constructed a Bedouin tent that could withstand gale force winds and Adriana Fox looked like she belonged on the set.


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