“August 2011 Featured Project”

Because I travel so much I get the question a lot “where is the most interesting place or project that you have photographed”. Having been very fortunate to have shot in every state of the US as well as been lucky enough to shoot in Paris, Mexico and the French West Indies  its always very tough to name just one place or project. Well that has changed for a while. Who would ever  have guessed a location two hours from my home would be at the top of my list.

I got a call awhile back from my good client and collaborator Whitney Richardson Editor at Log Home Living. Whitney said she had a project to shoot in Lake City Colorado and would I be available to shoot it. As I always say, anytime I don’t have to get on an airplane with all my gear and instead drive to the location to shoot is a good day and real treat. Not that I mind flying, I just can’t stand the food, security, crappy seat selection, delayed flights, stewardesses with bad attitudes, being x-rayed in the nude, extra bag fees, overweight bag fees, lost bags, being coughed on, ten-dollar beers, turbulence…….. well anyway you get the point.

So you can imagine my excitement about this assignment. The project was a one thousand square foot log home at an elevation of thirteen thousand feet up Engineer Pass. I know Whitney will appreciate this when I say it was up ” The road from hell”. Eighteen miles of the worst switch backs, rocks, potholes, trees in the way road I have been on since a shoot I was on in Costa Rica a few years back. Oh and did I mention as on my shoot in Costa Rica it rained like it was the end of the world. I guess that’s why they call it the Rain Forest (never go in April by the way). But that’s another story for another time.

Back to this project. As mentioned it was raining cats and dogs when I arrived and the sun was going down. After turning on the solar power and getting my gear out the sun broke for about fifteen minutes and I was able to capture the above exteriors before the heavens closed up again. The bridge you see here is the only way to get to the house from your parked car on the other side of the bridge. I must have made at least fifty trips back and forth. The homeowner was kind enough to let me stay at the location over night to help facilitate the shoot. So I was all by myself at the home for two days. After the sun went down it was time for bed. Now I normally read before I hit the hay, but on a shelf above the TV I saw the VHS version of the movie the “Perfect Storm” you know the one where George Clooney is a fishing captain and him and his men are lost at see and die a horrible death by drowning in a monster hurricane. Well I felt it apropos to watch it since basically there was a hurricane outside the cabin and I feared for my life and getting back home to my loved ones in one piece down  ” The road from hell”….

Day two I was up before the sun and ready to grab a few more exteriors before the wrath of God showed up again. I then moved onto the interiors. Interesting enough I have shot a handful of homes this size and believe it or not smaller. They are a challenge to say the least. A space this size does not offer many angles on the inside so I maximized the spaces the best I could knowing the magazine would need as much info as possible. I also tried to show as much of the views as possible through the windows.

Overall the shoot went very smoothly, besides the rain, road, size of the cabin, bears, lions and tigers. At least I didn’t have to pay for ten-dollar beers………..as a few of you know, I am a  seasoned professional and brought my own.

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About James Ray Spahn Photographer
James Ray Spahn is an award winning architectural, interior, lifestyle and resort photographer. He shoots for architects, interior designers, developers, manufacturers, shelter magazines and resorts. www.jamesrayspahn.com

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