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Monkeys on the Range


The monkey put on his boots, spurs, and duster and headed toward Eaves Movie Ranch yesterday afternoon for a photo shoot.  The ranch has been the set for several Westerns, including the Cheyenne Social Club, Lonesome Dove, Silverado, Every Which Way But Loose, and many, many, more.  Today Kongo’s National Geographic Photo Expedition Workshop got to work with models, learn about bouncing light, and get up close and personal with some real Western characters.
One of the models we got to work with is Thom, shown above.  It’s hard not to take a good picture of Thom and Kongo ripped off about 150 photos of him while on location.  This professional actor and model could strike a pose and give you a look that was over the top.

In the photo above Kongo asked Thom to look at him like he’d just caught the monkey cheating at cards.  You can almost imagine that the next thing that’s going to happen is that a six-shooter is coming out and the monkey better be looking for a handy vine to make a quick getaway!  The following are a few more of Kongo’s favorite Thom shots.

We also got to work with Clint and Sarah, two great models who were fantastic on horseback.

Thunderstorms were threatening and the sky was difficult to work with.  You didn’t get any blue sky backgrounds and the bright overcast tended to overpower and blowout the camera’s exposure settings.  (See how technical the monkey is getting with looking at his pictures?”  One of the things the class worked on was using reflectors, flash, remote flash, and diffusers to adjust the light on our subjects.  In the picture below, National Geographic photographer Joe McNally, shows us how to bounce light.

There were plenty of other great things to take pictures of at the movie ranch.  Kongo ended up taking 877 pictures.  Now he has to pick his five best for submission to the daily critique session.

This afternoon we will be in downtown old Santa Fe.  While Kongo escaped the rain on the ranch, the lurking thunderstorm broke as the monkey was making his way back to his car after dinner with the team and for the second day in a row got completely soaked.  Today it’s supposed to be sunny in the morning with more thunderstorms about the time Kongo gets to the Plaza.  He’s getting used to it.

Travel safe, pardner!  Have fun.

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