After light painting the Church last week, I had to try this addictive art form again. Photographing late at night is ideal for me, because I am off work and I have to feed my bottomless photographic appetite. Every once in a while a really cool opportunity comes along that I just have to photograph it. On my way home from work one Thursday, I passed a towing company. Sitting in a field was a roached rusty 1957 Ford with weeds and trees growing up through it. I kept on driving, but ten minutes down the road I thought to myself, “I need to check in to it, all they can say is ‘no’.” So I took a chance and drove back. On the sign it read “Johnny’s Towing” with a phone number, so I called and man told me to call Johnny the property owner. After picking up, Johnny seemed taken off guard and apprehensive about letting this stranger whom he never met photograph his car. Noticing his hesitancy, I suggested maybe he could think on it and he seemed to think that was a good idea and told me to call tomorrow. The next day I called, and after asking if he had made up his mind he said “I’ll let you do it, but I’m gonna be with you” I replied, “I understand and wouldn’t have it any other way.” Later that night, I pulled into the gravel driveway of Johnny’s Towing; a big brown German Shepherd with a stick in it’s mouth came running over to the car jumped up and placed it’s paws on my window. I did my best to not wet my pants and thought to myself is this image really worth this? Out from behind an International Airstream camper stepped a burly, stout, older gentleman. “Johnny?” I asked as I stuck my head out the door of my car like a hermit crab that just saw a seagull, “yep” said Johnny. Nervous about him and the dog I introduced myself and thanked him for allowing me to come photograph his car. After telling him that I had family around these parts and opening up to him, the awkward situation between strangers decimated, but not completely. Walking up to this rusty car I learned that it was a 1957 Ford it screamed Americana. What used to be a very popular car, which showed off its craftsmanship in the late 50’s, now sits as a skeleton in the present, reminding its on lookers of its history. I knew Johnny was perplexed as to how and why I was photographing when the sun had been long gone. I knew I would have to break the ice once again, so after getting my test exposures I began to light paint the car. After four minutes, I showed Johnny the image that was still poorly lit but it showed the effects from the flashlight. Johnny seemed amazed, and that was all it took to break the ice. I learned that when I opened up to Johnny, he seemed to be more comfortable with me, and I began to relax which allowed the creative juices to flow.
I would like to give Johnny a big special thanks for giving this young photographer a chance and sitting more than an hour in the humid hot weather as I light painted. To show my appreciation I gave Johnny a 8×10 framed print.