Today I’m releasing one of the more evocative photos from the calendar shoot: Brandon Sanderson as Father Earth!
Salt Lake City, UT has a high concentration of authors, and I had an idea to do something at the Bonneville Salt Flats even before I had the authors on board. I initially had this idea for a woman, with her growing a tree out of the nothingness, but after some good pow-wowing with friends a more dynamic, masculine idea took shape. Brandon is pouring out the life energy of a new world. This photo has such a wonderful, unique feel, and I’m really pleased with the final result.
I wanted Brandon’s costume to be rather simple to fit the feel of the location, so I chose a sage green velour for the cloak with some green rope trim, and a simple linen shirt and black pants. As for that yellow/green energy liquid, what you’re seeing is the juice from around a hundred glow sticks. Yes, you read that right, that glow is not photoshopped, that’s legit neon glow. I had no idea if it would work, how it would look, and if I could make it do what I needed, but, like so many things in this project, things leaned toward my favor, and it worked out even better than I planned. Mike Macauley (my friend and boss from Lytherus.com) came up to help with the shoot, and Forex dragged another friend along, so there were lots of hands to cut the sticks.
When I did a test shoot of the flats in July with my sister, they were completely dry, only white barren salt. But right before Brandon’s shoot the area had gotten a lot of rain, and the flats were flooded. I was worried it wouldn’t work for what I needed, but it actually worked better, the water allowing the glow liquid to float on the top and giving me more substance overall to work with. There’s a cool reflection of the sky also, which adds a nice eeriness to the photo. If you look you can see Brandon’s kneeling and standing in the water, like a champ. These authors really do allow me the freedom to do strange things! :)
As we were getting ready for the shoot the harvest moon rose up over the flats, creating amazing lighting and really lending a fantasy feel to the shoot in general. It was a beautiful evening for a magical photo shoot, and there’s something special about knowing this huge orange moon was looming just out of shot.
I am beyond pleased with the outcome of this photo. The feel, the framing, the lighting, all of it. It has a lot of power in its simplicity, and it’s one of my favorites. I hope you like it as well! Be sure to let Brandon hear the love! And don’t forget to check out the other released images!Â Plus, be sure to pre-order the calendar!Â