It was a few weeks ago that Stephanie and I shot the photographs for the Five of Blades- just as Indian Summer really set in to the Bay Area.
We had a somewhat difficult time finding a good location- as Stephanie says in her blog, we interpret this card differently in our own understandings of it. There were also practical considerations- Stephanie said “battlefield”, and I said first “and where in the Bay Area is a place that looks like a battlefield?” and then “besides, it’ll be really hard to shoot shots that will show ‘battlefiled’ but still be meaningful when shrunk to 2.5×3.5 cards”.
Stephanie was undaunted, and after plumbing the social media, came up with the Sacramento Vietnam War Memorial. Which, as it turned out, was perfect.
The tone of these images is something I’m rather proud of- where Stephanie’s understanding of the Five is of hard-won victory, mine is more of a tense waiting. A battle or battles have been fought, but their influence is negligible, or the outcome is unknown. All parties are holding their breath and licking their wounds, waiting to see what the sentries and scouts report. I think the images manage to convey a sense of both.
It was a warm day, but late enough in the year that the sun was sinking even as we shot in the late afternoon. The brightness was harsh on the bronze of the statues, but I really liked the effect. There were a few folks around, but not too many, and those who were there were very respectful of what we were trying to do.
It’s actually quite a small memorial, right in the middle of Sacramento, next to the capitol. I highly recommend giving it a visit- the statues are real works of art, and the place itself is deeply moving.
This image is my personal favorite- I’ve discovered a tendency to shoot Stephanie with her eyes closed- it feels less intimate, and thus more generic, and better for a card. But this one, with the eyes open, conveyed a level of watchfulness, wariness, that I felt was appropriate.
This last image is from the statue of the medic- someone had placed a rose on the chest of the statue of the amputee victim. It was beautiful.
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