Golden Hour

It was a brisk March evening at the CFC headquarters. I checked my phone before firing up my recently completed 2002 Harley Davidson Softail for one final ride before the sun started to set. The bike had been under the knife since Christmas and I was very eager to put a few extra miles on it whenever the weather would allow. Post-work rides are almost a ritual at this point. If the roads and skies are clear, so are we.

On my phone sat an unexpected message from Joe Adams, a local photographer that I really only met in passing, who asked if I would be interested in shooting some photos. The catch was that the shoot would happen immediately before the “golden hour” was past and the sun went down. I was extremely sick at the time (and ended up in the hospital a few days later with the Flu and double Pneumonia), but reluctantly agreed. 

Both of our houses are located on a small peninsula, divided from the town by wetlands and a small municipal airfield. There are only two ways in and out, one of them being a long, isolated, two lane raised road through the marsh. Our plan was to drive up and down this road to capture a few rolling shots and then stop at a local beach for stationary ones. With no real experience or prior discussion, I was under the assumption that he would stand on the side of the road as I drove by. This was very much not the case. Joe hung out of the back of his SUV while a friend held the vehicle steady, maintaining speed to allow me to get as close as humanly possible on two wheels. 

When traffic allowed, I would swerve hard and slide across lanes to try and get as many side profile shots as we could. The biggest concern was the following distance. I had to stay only a few feet away from the SUV’s rear bumper and there would be no way for me to stop short if the car needed to. Luckily we finished up without issue, a few passes on this road and we were all frozen to the bone.

We decided it was time to stop and hit the beach. Joe expertly combed over the bike picking up subtle details I added during the build process and caught them in the sinking golden sunlight wherever possible. Small things that would normally go unnoticed, like a dice enricher pull or the keys handing out of the relocated ignition switch. It’s always interesting to see what people are drawn to… sometimes the smallest detail is enough to have someone sold on your creation. 

We wrapped up the shoot, I thanked him profusely for the opportunity, and was blown away by the resulting photos when I received them. Before the shoot, the “golden hour” window was something I didn’t know existed, but seeing the vibrance of yellow and green that these shots pulled had me sold on them instantly. 

After this first real introduction, Joe and I have continually worked on shoots that seem to get more interesting each time. Watching him work has been a huge learning experience and I always appreciate the opportunity to shadow behind someone so talented. When presented with an opportunity to work with someone new, however spontaneous, we suggest going for it. You never know who you are going to meet and where a new friendship will take you!

2002 Softail Chopper: @Chicken_Fried_Choppers
Photography by: @Joehadams


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