Meet Jerry Jascomb... He's been paddling class 5 whitewater in the southeast for almost 20 years. He's even got a handful of first descents, including the famed Talullah Gorge. C&K asked me to shoot a portrait of him to open up their section titled "Old Man Ripper" about the old-timers who've paddled these rivers longer than just about anyone else.
Our location was the Green River Narrows, the southeast's most famous class 5 steep creek. I hiked in the day before to scout... a 2 mile hike with a killer steep section towards the end. I took the mutts and we picked out 3 spots to stage lit-portraits. The river is dam controlled and water is released only a couple of days per week... thankfully not on this scout day, because I slipped and fell into the river, like a dummy, camera in hand and phone in pocket... the water was low and I was able to float downstream to a point where I could climb out... camera OK (held it above my head), phone dead (and still at the repair shop).
The following day Paul Mehaffey (good buddy and invaluable assistant) and I hiked down into the gorge. Jerry and his buddies paddled down and I met him near the beginning of the hard stuff. I shot a bunch of pics of Jerry paddling, then we set up for portraits while his friends paddled a second round. I used a one light set-up with a Canon Speedlite and a shoot-thru umbrella, but unfortunately it wasn't as simple as it sounds. My Pocket Wizards were on the fritz, and the infra-red Canon trigger wouldn't reach at the distances we were shooting, so I actually had to have Paul manually trigger the strobe when I clicked the shutter... a pain in the ass even though I was shooting a 1/2 second.... I wanted the soft water look, but I couldn't slow the shutter down any more without increasing the F# beyond the limits of my strobe.... so it was just me flailing my arms around and Paul trying desperately to sync... we managed and it worked out well.
The hike out was a bear!!... I quickly learned that it is time to start exercising again (hence the bicycle inner-tubes)...
PocketWizard, if you are listening, I could really use a donation of 6 of your fancy new Flex TT5 Transceivers. Pretty please?
And Canon, I'd love to replace my old busted up Speedlites as well... interested in charity?