Sunday, December 27, 2015
Gordon Nebeker: The Moab Project
'We mostly worked in and around the Moab, Utah area and visited approximately three or four different sites each day. The weather was terrific but hot so everyone was well sunscreen slathered and well hydrated.'
When Gordon mentioned his trip to Utah, he titled it The Moab Project. It conjured up thoughts and visions of Roswell, aliens and mystery's from a galaxy far far away. Although Moab is of course a city located on our home planet, it certainly has other worldly qualities that define both time and space. It is that timeless, untouched feel and the almost cosmic colors that make the location such a spectacular setting for photographing the male form.
The first image from the Moab shoot that I saw was the image I used for Pic of the Day from photographer Gordon Nebeker. Gordon was still in Utah and had just finished his two days of shooting. He sent me along a little teaser with the heading on the e-mail, 'A Taste Of Things To Come'. That header really sums up so much about what FH is about, and would also I think be the perfect title of my autobiography if I ever decided to write one.
The shot was more than a teaser, to me, the image was the pièce de ré·sis·tance of Gordon's work in Moab. It perfectly captured the spirit of the shoot, the location, the bodies, and joy and personalities of not just the shoot, but the three men in front of, and behind the cameras. Thanks to Gordon for acting as tour guide for the project, getting the ball rolling, and for supporting myself and FH to share and visually spread the story of The Moab Project!
'The models (Joel, Will, and Rob) were terrific! They came ready to give their full effort to realize the photographs we wanted to take. Each of them very different in many ways and yet they got along very well together. I would not hesitate to work with any or all of them again and can recommend them highly.'
'We often get asked if we ever get unexpected visitors coming upon our shoots when the models are not wearing clothes. And the answer is “yes”. Usually it is not a complete surprise; one can hear someone coming up the path before they actually see us. We have a code word that we shout out if someone sees or hears someone coming and the models, who keep some clothing close at hand, can usually put something on before the visitors arrive. But seldom are the visitors fooled!'
'When we were photographing at the rock pond, two young couples came along and even though the models got something on before they arrived, the girls quickly figured out what was going on. They asked if they could watch us photograph and we said, “only if your boyfriends join in the photographs”. The boyfriends quickly started back down the trail in the opposite direction and the girls reluctantly, and slowly, left since their boyfriends were having nothing to do with that! Too bad; their handsome boyfriends would have been a welcome addition to our shoot!'
'As the immediacy of the shoot begins to fade with time, there are still touchstones that one remembers as part of the experience. Things like tubes and tubes of sunscreen, carrying enough cold water to satisfy the thrust of all involved in ninety degree weather, getting a good night’s sleep, bopping to dance music in the car, taking the right lens with you on the short hike, can anyone ever have too many fully charged batteries at the ready?, and did I mention sleep?'
'I also remember lots of laughter, some great meals, attending the Moab Gay Pride Parade that happened to take place the day after our shoot was over (the whole town gets involved) and people. Lots of people everywhere. It was a challenge to find quiet and private spaces to do our photography but we just watched the people; if they went left, we went right and we found our private spaces.'
There were so many great shots from The Moab Project that I have saved some of my favorite individual shots of Rob, Will & Joel. Look for separate pieces spotlighting each of three models over the next week.