Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fake Cake Float: Michigan and the UP Part 3

Destination Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Hannah and I first saw this location online in which she proceeded to place a post-it on my computer screen of the 5-tier on the falls. It looked like a great place from my office in Muncie so we reserved a camping spot and waited until August.

Camping at the Lower Falls proved to be interesting. Let's just say the number of people that thought we were recently married lesbians was surprising. Our neighbors (seen here behind Hannah) couldn't stop staring at us while we cooked some of the best meals of the summer - whitefish, corn, eggplant, tomato/polenta/mozzerella in tinfoil packets, seared apricots, etc.

Why does food taste so much better cooked outdoors?

Anyway... I was in need of quotes for the last cake so I thought about unpacking it and setting it on the table just to give our rude neighbors something else to talk about. Within two minutes one of them crossed the invisible boundary between our spaces and asked about the cake. She was already to "congratulate us on just getting married" and I was quick to tell her it's about ART NOT MARRIAGE trying hard not to relay how obnoxious it was to stare openly at strangers. Every time I walked out of the tent, I felt the need to wave at them, they were so obvious.

The one drastic mistake made with this cake is that some of the decorations are real sugar. The red ones were caulk and they liked to fall off but the sugar attracted large flies and washed right off the moment it hit water.

The falls proved to be unappetizing due to the tannin which ultimately resembled cow piss and so I opted out of this locale as a potential photo shoot. I was getting worried though. The hardest cake was last - I had no idea how it would float because it was the heaviest and I couldn't try it because the sugar candies would wash off.

I started to have nightmares about it and turned into a ball of anxiety that would snap at anyone who tried to talk to me about it when I was busy photographing. Hannah saved the day many a time with her excellent PR skills. Let's just say that carrying around this thing was anything but inconspicuous and people gaped openly, stood five feet behind me and asked to see what it looked like in the viewfinder, persistently asked questions when I was obviously struggling not to slip on the rocks and drop my camera in the water. At one point I curtly hoped that yelling "It's ART" would make people go away but no.... that didn't happen.

The best part of the entire photoshoot was the location - Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Check out the "water, color" here!!!

This was the incredibly slippery rock that we had to place the cake on to fully go with the name of the surroundings.

Despite the audience, it floated so well (the 3-tier was far harder to stay upright and sunk deeper), the weather was perfect, and the location extraordinary. Needless to say, the final photograph (the postcards went out today!) is my favorite of all nine. It epitomizes the entire series - I will be posting the images later this week as soon as I gather the remaining written documentation so stay tuned.

This photo was my second choice but wait until you see the final cut! It's like a tugboat in this image with a little lean toward the right.

Overall, I cannot believe I accomplished this project since its inception in mid April. It proved to be quite stressful but ultimately, one of the best things I ever conceived of as summer series. Yay! It's over - and now the printing will begin.

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