Ode to a Special Daily Pic Series and Keeping an Open Mind

Ode to a Special Daily Pic Series and Keeping an Open Mind

Well, I’ve just wrapped up a most fun but bizarre themed #dailypics series celebrating past Best Pictures. I hope you got a chance to catch them all. If you happened to miss any of them, you can find them all at my Instagram account starting with the tease from Saturday, February 16 and a tribute to Sir Lawrence Olivier’s take on Hamlet and my own take on Yorick’s skull in one of the lead character’s many contemplative moments. (Click here if you want a refresher on what that looked like from my photographic perspective.) You can also go to Twitter and search hashtag #dailyoscarbestpics to get another look at all of them.



But toasting my own completion of a themed photo series is not the reason for this blog. What I wanted to share is a little lesson that hit me over the head during my photo preparations during the week. I had set out to photograph a re-created shoreline kiss on the beach from the 1953 best picture From Here to Eternity.




You’re probably asking yourself – wait, did I see that one? Um, nope, you didn’t. You see, in the process of planning it and photographing it, it transformed into something quite different.



I had only one toy doll to work with – Barbie, who had already made her debut in my American Beauty tribute –





I had yet to purchase a Ken doll (or imitation Ken doll to go with her), so I reached for the next best thing:  a doll, er, action figure from my hubs’ man cave (or what his adult sons affectionately call his ‘dork room’).



But the only action figure I could find that was even remotely large enough to snuggle with Barbie was still about 30% her size. Well, that would have to do, I decided. I brought Wolverine into the tub with my leading lady and snapped the photos, struggled with making a believable shore line complete with foamy tides rushing in until I realized the dog’s bubble bath would do the trick. (Jax watched me the whole time wondering why he wasn’t being ushered in there for a bath, at least I assume that was what he was thinking. Who really knows what a Shih Tzu thinks anyway?) Aah, the bubbles look like the foam of the rushing waters, perfect. Only one problem. I need to make this black and white like the 1953 film, I thought. So I turned on the filter and voila. I had From Here to Eternity for #dailyoscarbestpics but something was still off.



Now Wolverine looked a bit like – well, there’s no delicate way to say this – the Creature from the Black Lagoon. And then it hit me…smack in the kisser with a big gasp! This looks like The Shape of Water and didn’t that win the Best Picture award last year, I asked myself. I looked it up to be sure because usually the film I’m rooting for does not win and last year was an exception. Sure enough, I had found it. My From Here to Eternity was in fact The Shape of Water! What luck!




A disclaimer: I have since learned that what I thought was Wolverine is actually The Beast from the Marvel universe (played convincingly by Kelsey Grammer in the 90s film series). And I never planned on featuring Barbie in such an um…revealing pose. So my apologies to those of you who hold the doll in a much higher regard than my photos may convey. But if you’ve seen the movie, you know that this is actually pretty representative. In fact, I almost used the black and white aerial version (seen here) because it has since been revealed that director Guillermo del Toro wanted to do the film in black and white originally, much like its influence, yes, that Creature from the Black Lagoon who I hold a special affection for since it’s one of the first films I remember seeing as a toddler on the late late show on TV with my mom.





Oh, and this was what I finally decided on to represent The Shape of Water. I went with a more intimate, close-up shot between the two.  I also posted in color but added a shadowy filter to it since much of this couple’s scenes are near water or under it.




I hope you got a kick out of this special themed #dailypics series. I had a blast doing it.  And I also hope that you take away the same lesson I did from this particular photo experience. Okay, maybe it’s not so obvious but I see it as this: we may set out to do something, with one singular purpose in mind, but whatever you do, don’t be so rigid that you overlook those surprises that can pop up and eclipse your original plan. Some of the best ideas are not from well-thought out plans but from pure accidental offshoots. My advice to you is to always be looking around — for EVERY possibility. You don’t want to miss anything, do you?


As always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.



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