Well, there's luck, good luck and then there's just plain dumb luck. (And, by the way, I'll take all the blind dumb luck I can get if it looks like this.)
We got the latter when we turned the corner in Kirkwall, Orkney a couple of weeks ago and saw the poor bloke wrapped up on a light pole by the harbor.
We'd just picked up David Schloss at the airport to begin a few days of shooting. David had never been to Orkney and wasn't exactly sure why we had brought him all this way to a tiny band of islands out on the far northeast edge of Scotland. ("Couldn't we do some great photography a little closer to Edinburgh?", he seemed to be thinking.)
Then we saw the "blackening". This uniquely Orcadian (as Orkney folk call themselves) tradition takes the bachelor party to bizarre extremes. The lads collar the hapless groom-to-be, drench him in treacle or some other gooey concoction and ride him around town for several hours on the back of a lorry (that's a truck to us) with scant respect for his dignity. Strapping him to a light pole with package wrapper seems to be an innovation of breathtaking brilliance. The lads are clever, even if they are drunk.
I'd seen a blackening years before when I photographed Orkney for National Geographic. But this was over the top. His fiancee was putting on the public face of sympathy but I suspect she was having an inner laugh all the while.
And David was instantly convinced! We had come to the right place. He's a full blown fan of Orkney now. He couldn't get enough video and I had the trusty D3X cranked up. (Nothing like capturing scenes like this in really high resolution. When you see something like this is 24 megapixels really enough?)
It was a great way to start our travels. You'll be able to see more of our trip through Scotland and Whisky Country when David has his soon-to-be-posted Aperture workflow video posted on MacCreate, here: http://maccreate.com/
And keep your eye for the next blackening you see. You should be so lucky. But then you'd have to be in Orkney.