Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where's Waldo?

Shortly after we'd settled into work this morning, my coworker Yoshi realized he needed to start working on painting a fly. When I asked what it was for, he said he'd offered to do something for the museum to use on invitation cards for a planned holiday gathering. After a bit of conversation about possible backgrounds and such, I suggested an idea we'd batted around a recent staff meeting: that we get the same red fly I photographed against some leaves in October and take new photos with it, this time aiming for a winter/holiday feel.

Yoshi was very much on board with this plan.

Since it's only mid-November, we lacked the most obvious backdrop for this sort of shot—namely, snow. However, we did have access to an excellent alternative setting, so Yoshi grabbed the fly, which he has since dubbed Waldo, and we headed outside to figure out which of the two nearby pine trees was the most photogenic.

All told, I took about 100 photos as we experimented with how to best position the fly and searched for spots on the trees that were open enough to let me get in close but dense enough to obscure undesirable elements, like the nearby buildings and the brown, dead grass on the ground; as it was I had to crop the picture I liked best so the dumpster behind our office was no longer visible in the frame. But I think the result was definitely worth the effort, as we ended up with an image that's simple, straightforward, and evocative of the holiday season: