Photographing Moments of Crisis to Help Save Lives

Photographer Brent Humphreys and his team recently had the chance to work on a huge photo project for AARP Magazine about crisis moments and how to survive them. The large scale project had them coming up with feasible ways to capture four completely possible—and believable—scary moments. In this behind the scenes video, you can see how the team worked to create life-like photos of an animal attack, a plane crash, a car collision, and a car in water:

Animal Attack

The idea for this image was to capture a simulated bear attack. To do this, Humphreys shot a bear (with a camera, the bear was taxidermied, so you know, already dead) in Bastrop State Park in Texas. The team set up their props and equipment, including off-camera lighting and smoke machines, in the forest setting and worked into the night to get the final image.

bear attack photo

Plane Crash

With a pre-planned description of what was required for the image, Humphreys was able to come up with a dramatic image to portray this terrifying moment using Photoshop.

plane crash photo

Car Collision

Again, the crew used the Bastrop location to get this shot of a literal dear in headlights. They set up the deer in front of a Porsche on the country road to make it look like it was about to be struck by the car.

car crash photo

Car in Water

This was the hardest of the shots. Since they didn’t have their own stunt crew and a huge Hollywood budget to let them demolish a car by driving it off a bridge, the photography team took photos of Rowe Valley Bridge in Taylor, Texas on its own and a bunch of photos of a car suspended over a body of water, then merged the two images together. With a few minor adjustments to the car—they installed some strobe units in the headlights and welding a pipe to the bottom to stick in the mud—Humphreys and team were able to hang the car over the water to get the shots they needed.

car over water photo

“I couldn’t be more proud of the project. The photography, the level that we were able to pull off as a crew, but I’m also proud of the fact that it’s an article that people out there can read and become more knowledgeable about how to potentially save themselves should a moment of crisis like this arise.”

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