Dallas fine art photographer Jason Witherspoon is no different. Administrative tasks are tossed aside the moment the ‘right’ clouds are spotted, and the ‘right’ shadows cast. Once that perfect mix of light and dark reveals itself, Jason gathers his camera bag, and other duties are relegated for a later time.
The sun was hours from cresting the horizon, but there was something in the way the clouds moved that compelled Jason to grab his camera gear and navigate through the darkness. We headed towards a nearby suburb where he had been working daily on an architectural project. After tucking the car away in a parking lot, fine art photographer Jason grabbed the camera and tripod and walked towards an empty field. He put his earbuds in and I could hear music in a muffled blast, shrouded by the quiet openness of the vast, dark landscape.
Jason spent an hour surveying and inspecting the environment before the camera even made an entrance onto the scene. With the tripod positioned at the base of a small hill, I watched inquisitively as Jason removed a single earbud to jokingly inform me that he has loved the camera for its uncanny ability “to transform molehills into mountains”.
For the next several hours, Jason made subtle methodical adjustments to the lens, camera settings, and positioning of the tripod, all while shining a bright flashlight onto the ground to “obtain the desired sharpness of the grass.” He continued these tiny adjustments until finally, around 4am, he jumped with enthusiasm. I looked up from my notepad to watch as he made his way into the camera frame, and triggered the shutter by remote as he stood there, still, motionless, staring off into the distance.
Returning to the camera, I anxiously awaited as he pulled up the preview of the image on his camera. It looked amazing – the way the clouds moved over the elapsed time of the exposure, brightly lit by the surrounding city and contrasted by the appearance of a figure within the composition. Even though what appeared on the screen looked flawless in its raw form, he continued to take pictures until the slate rays of dawn sliced through the clouds. It was around 6am when he turned to me and nonchalantly said, “I’m hungry, how about breakfast?”