Carole has been performing on stage for more than 30 years. She approached Photograph Tasmania with an idea to show the world that she is emerging in a new skin, ready to take on new roles and performing to her own standards.
Carole presented us with a series of images of women in beautiful, flowing dresses, artful and strong. There was one image in particular that stood out of a series of long sheets of fabric, trailing in the wind, attached to a dress. She wanted something in that vein and it had to be in a wilderness setting, preferably up high.
A photo shoot consists of three underpinning features, or characters: the location, the clothes and the attitude. If even just one of these was lacking, the shoot would not work. Carole would bring the clothes and the necessary attitude. Our task was to find the best location.
Time was quite limited, as Carole had her own busy schedule, but we had plenty of lead time. We had a couple of months to plan the shoot, so we visited a few memorable locations. Nothing spoke to us the way kunanyi/Mt Wellington did: an iconic location with fantastic views of the city below.
Shooting on kunanyi for commercial purposes requires a licence, which comes with some strict conditions, such as the number of crew, precise locations, etc. We found a long slab of dolerite quite close to the main viewing platforms at the pinnacle, which gave unimpeded views of more than 180°. The application for the licence was quite straightforward, but it did need to go through Wellington Park Management Trust, and then through Hobart City Council. We booked the location for a Saturday afternoon and then just hoped that the weather played nice.
To set up an iconic image of a flowing dress was going to take some work. Whilst Carole's dresses were nothing short of amazing, they were never going to have the impact of what we had discussed. Our budget didn't extend to getting hold of a dress that would work for us, and relying on the weather to billow the material at just the right angle would take god-like powers.
Over the course of the last year, we had discussed something similar for our own projects. There is a technique where we could achieve the effect we wanted with just a single piece of fabric. My counterpart, Laura, bought a length of gold organza. It was just the right weight for a gentle breeze, and the perfect amount of transparency to see the incredible view through the material.
Firstly, the weather: we got lucky. We were due to meet at the pinnacle car park at 3pm to set up for the shoot. The sun was strong, there were very few clouds and there was no wind, with only gentle gusts every now and then.
The crew was small. Myself and Laura, Carole and three kids, between the ages 11-13, assisting (two were mine and one Carole's).
While Carole was getting dressed and made up, we tested the scene, finding the best location for the camera. This is something we couldn't do previously, as it relied on wind direction. As it was, the wind was driving directly over the edge of the mountain, so I needed to set up the tripod along the edge with Carole facing towards the pinnacle. My eldest daughter helped by doing a few insta poses with the organza.