by Scott Stulberg
I travel often to beautiful places all around the planet looking for great stock shots and many times I know exactly what I am looking for. I have a stock shot list that I think of before I travel and set up many of the shots in other countries, hoping to get exactly what was in my minds eye. But often while I am out and about, incredible opportunities arise and present themselves to me out of nowhere. This is exactly what happened one day when I was walking along the beach on the island of Koh Pha-Ngan in Thailand, looking for a cool hut to sleep in.
As I was walking along the beach, I found a huge tree swing attached to a monster sized palm tree. The wooden seat of the swing and the two huge ropes immediately made me stop in my tracks. I said to myself….”I am coming back here in the morning with a girl and come up with some good images for stock”. After getting a great hut overlooking the water for five dollars, I met a Thai girl named Apple and asked her if she would model for me the next day. I knew that I was set and when we went to the rope swing the next morning…..my friend Jim saw what we were doing and joined in.
I wanted to get a great perspective for the first shot and also get a sense of the beauty of this amazing place. I used my 16-35 lens on a tripod while my buddy pushed her towards the surf. I also had to prefocus the shot to where she was the furthest out from where Jim was pushing her. I love the feeling of this first shot because it reminds me of my favorite beach in all of Thailand.
On the next shot, I wanted a totally different feeling and decided to blur her which works well for stock. I set up my 70-200 lens vertically, and deliberately made her out of focus and again had my buddy push her while she was standing on the swing this time. She tried different ways to lean on the swing and in this shot, I felt that I captured just what I wanted. Sometimes, when you least expect it, opportunites arise and using your creativity and the right camera gear....you can produce some pretty powerful images.