Three years ago when my wife and I moved from Sag Harbor, Long Island to Southern Ohio we found the perfect house but the pool slide was not to my liking and the first thing I wanted to do was remove it. Strangely enough the more I looked at it, the more meaning it had for me, and the more I liked it. Over time the slide morphed into an art object and became my muse and metaphor for suburban life. Who knew it would captivate my imagination and provide the impetus for my next photo project?
The very first “slide” picture I took was late at night one summer evening with my iPhone, and I had no idea if people would like it or not. I posted it on social media to see what kind of reaction I’d get, because honestly I don’t always know if I’m onto something or not. The response was immediate, people liked it.
“Moonlight” is part of my ongoing series “Suburbia.” I photograph the slide at different times of day, night and throughout the year. I photograph it in all kinds of weather, and must have several hundred photographs.
While growing up, I always admired Monet’s Cathedral series. I am no Monet and my pool slide isn’t exactly the Rouen Cathedral, but nonetheless it’s always there for me and I just love to capture the changes in color and light. Sometime our dog (who seems to like to have his picture taken) wanders through my frame and sometimes people who come to visit pose for me by the slide.
When people come over for the first time, the first thing they notice through the large plate glass window in the living room is the slide, and many people are already familiar with it.
At nighttime I’ll take dozens of photographs of the slide at the same time, one reason being that the sky keeps changing, sometimes dramatically every few seconds. I can only get the golden light effect during the summer, and sometimes in the fall.
Every year I think what can I do that’s new? It always turns out that I don’t have to worry to much about it because nature always comes up with something new.
What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!
I think it’s a good image mostly because of the color. I think that it’s also good because I was able to capture the moon in that exact spot. Throughout the year there aren’t that many nights when the moon is anywhere near the slide.
If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?
This is an ongoing project, so I actually CAN and do reshoot this image on most nights. I always try not so much to take a better photograph, but to learn something new.
Gary Beeber shared his photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.
Equipment and Settings
I use a Sony Alpha 7 most of the time. It’s a digital camera and I change the settings a lot depending on the light or lack of light. I wish I could be more helpful but when I take pictures it’s a flowing process and I don’t keep track of the settings. The files are about 120 MB. On average I might take as many as 40-50 images of the subject at the same time. Sometimes, but not all the time I use my iPhone 10