Thursday, October 12, 2017

Utah 2017: A Return to Lake Powell

Image by StudioMGPhotography

'This 162 mile long wonder defies description but it s a beautiful museum of erosion and awe inspiring among all those expect the extremely jaded.'

BTS image by Gordon Nebeker

For the last several years, one of the shoots that I most anticipate viewing, and most look most forward featuring, are the images from Gordon Nebeker, Mike Tossy and StudioMGPhotography from their annual trip to Utah. One of the themes I often explore on FH is the relationship between model and environment. Some photographers use location as simply background, much like green screen in a movie, the background is almost unimportant as it can be altered and changed in the editing process. For Gordon, Mike and Mark, the rock and landscapes, the sun, sand, sky and water of Southern Utah are more than the just a backdrop for their annual visual expedition, they are the inspiration.

Yorgen takes the bow by Gordon Nebeker

I am always amazed at the visual beauty and grandeur of the location. The mountains and unique rock formations, the land water and skylines. There is a timelessness to the land that conjures up visuals we have all seen and experienced in books, movies and on television. For this shoot, the lands inhabitants are male models and photographers, but they could be easily replaced, with cavemen, dinosaurs or almost any character from a science fiction movie or book.

Behind the scenes with Mike Tossy

The lands in and around Lake Powell have in fact stood in for many far off distant planets and time periods in close to 50 film and television projects including Gravity, Evolution, Walking With Monsters, John Carter and The Planet of the Apes, both the 1968 and 2001 versions. I was both intrigued and frightened by The Planet of the Apes when I saw it on television as a kid, and the film's visuals came vividly to mind when viewing some of the images from this years Utah shoot.

Beyond the sandstone and erosion created crevices and rock based architecture, there is another element that is organic to the timeless feel of area, the colors. The sky's deep blue and the palette of browns, oranges, reds and even purples that nature so magnificently brushed over every surface. There is a heat and fire that blends so many branches of earth sciences including' geography, geology, physic, not to mention the visual nod to astronomy. For me however the science that most embodies this years set of images, is undeniably, chemistry.

Yorgen by StudioMGPhotography

There is a clear chemical reaction, both seen and felt in this years photo series. It is palpable and powerful between models Devin Franco and Yorgen, and visually evident and memorialized in the captures from Mark, Mike and Gordon. Most years, I have separated the images by artist, or location, usually separating the art shots, and the behind the scene images from the shoot. This year, I am presenting the images over three day with a focus on chemistry and the stages of heat. Starting with the organization of the shoot and trip, and the first meeting and merging of creative energies.

Devin & Yorgen by Gordon Nebeker

'Working with 3 professional photographers was pretty easy, especially since they all respected each other and obviously have amazing taste. :ake Powell was a blast! Absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking. I had no idea it was that big.'

'It was interesting and a little confusing sometimes working with three photographers at once, but as a model it's easy to adapt and pickup on the photographer(s) styles after the first few hours. Now that I am seeing the results I like seeing the differences in perspective and style'

Cap'n Mark by Gordon Nebeker

Gordon Nebeker on ModelMayhem & Instagram
StudioMGPhotography on Blurb & on Instagram

Ship Shape by StudioMGPhotography
Devin on Instagram & Twitter

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