Ariane reaches a section with few trees and drives her SUV off the road.
“Hey, you can’t just leave the road,” exclaims Rachel.
“This is an all terrain vehicle, it is built for off-road driving. Besides we are just going over that hill,” answers Ariane.
The other side of the hill turns out to have more trees which Ariane has to drive through.
Rachel is panicking, but Ariane loves this kind of stuff.
“Don’t worry, I do this all the time,” says Ariane, “Besides we are almost back on pavement so to speak.”
“What road are we on?” asks Rachel, “This road is not on my GPS app.”
“It wouldn’t be, this is an old highway decommissioned a couple of decades ago.”
Ariane continues, “As you can tell, it’s rough going, lots of pot holes, but it will drop us off at the old Echo Canyon campground.””
Wow, that is very convenient. That is a mile hike of switchbacks into the canyon we don’t have to do,” says Rachel rather impressed. “Why did they decommission it, seems very useful.”
“Mostly because a section of the road had to be rebuilt every time the river overflowed, which usually happens every spring.”
“Yes, that would get expensive,” says Rachel.
“Wait! That means that there is no road ahead!”
“Only a couple of meters, we should be able to clear it,” says Ariane reassuringly, “unless it got bigger since the last time I did this three years ago.”
“That’s not reassuring.”
The SUV is airborne for only about a full second as it clears the gap, but it seems a lot longer to Rachel as she screams her disapproval.
They land on an embankment, a short distance from the park boundary.
“See, now wasn’t that fun?”, asked Ariane reassuringly. “Look, we’re here.”
“Ariane, you are one crazy bitch.”
“Thanks, I like doing daring things sometimes,” says Ariane. “Lucky for you that list includes public nudity.”
A short distance into the park, there is a bridge overlooking a pond. Rachel decides this is the best place to take her photos.
“I’m setting up multiple cameras. Both will take pictures every 5 seconds. This one will change its aperture as the sky gets darker, and this second one will adjust the shutter speed. These are both likely to lose focus in different ways as the sky gets darker, but it will triple the number of photos to choose from,” says Rachel.
“I have no idea what you just said,” says Ariane.
“I am going to take a lot of photos in a short time, and we will figure out the best one to submit,” says Rachel.
“Ah, got it.”
A Park Ranger comes by, “Good afternoon ladies, looks like you are setting up for a photo shoot?”
Rachel answers, “Yes, it is a college class project.”
“Well the rule is you can use a hand held camera all you want, but to set up extra stuff you need a permit,” says the Park Ranger.
“Sure, here it is,” says Rachel pulling a paper out of her pocket.
“Interesting, nude photography?”
“Yes, it’s allowed with a permit, I checked,” says Rachel.
The Park Ranger looks over the permit. “Well your paperwork is in order but you still need permission from the park ranger, which is me.”
“I see, so can we?” asks Rachel a little scared she will be rejected.
“How long will it take?”
“A half hour tops, we are trying to catch the sunset.”
“Well its off season on a school day, and I haven’t seen any minors,” says the Ranger, “so I’ll allow it. Just no “erotic” or “pornographic” photos, OK?”
“Thanks,” says a relieved Rachel, “Sunset is at 4:57. We’ll be out by 5:00.”
“I’ll go block access to the bridge then,” says the Park Ranger, “good luck with the photos.”
“Let me get some test shots,” suggests Rachel. “You’ll need to stand in the middle of the bridge near the rail, Feel free to sit on the rail if you want.”
“What should I be doing?” asks Ariane.
“Just pose how ever you want, cover yourself or let it all hang out is fine. Just change it every few seconds.”
“Also I may ask for different expressions. Smile? Pout? Distant stare?” Ariane tries different looks as Rachel calls them out. “Good!” says Rachel.
Ariane gets undressed wearing nothing but a scarf.
For the next 20 minutes or so, Rachel barks orders to Ariane on how to stand, where to look, and what facial expression she should use.
“And that is sunset,” states Rachel as the light gets too dim to take more photos without the flash going off. “You can put your clothes back on.”
The park ranger and a few hikers watching from the sidelines applaud.
After sunset they pack up and go home.
It is dark as they “four wheel it” back to the broken highway, but that is what all the extra spotlights on her SUV are for.
Rachel is a bit more relaxed on the trip home, trusting Ariane to drive as she scans through the digital photos on the camera.
A few days later…
“So this is the picture you submitted?” asks Ariane. “That’s actually really good.”
“I agree its a great photograph, but there is too much blue in the sky, it didn’t fulfill the requirements of the assignment. It is complimentary bichromatic, instead of monochromatic.”
“Couldn’t you photoshop out the blue?”
“That would fail the class, and the blue is reflected in the water, it’s all over the picture.”
“I don’t care, I like the blue sky, so what if it ruined the assignment,” says Ariane reassuringly.
“I got a good grade, but the first place prize was a hanging in the Art Museum downtown and possible publication,” says Rachel. “It would have looked good on a resume.”
“Can I keep this?” asks Ariane.
“Sure, I still have the digital original.”
“Thanks. Actually, could you email the digital original? I want to use it for my Christmas cards.”
“You want to send a nude photo of yourself as a Christmas card?”
“Sure, all the important bits are covered up. I’ll send one to you as well.”
“Alright, I’ll send you the digital copy.”
“So what did you think of your first experience in modeling?” asked Rachel.
“Well, I’ve done naked photo shoots before, but just for fun,” answers Ariane. “I thought this photo shoot would be a similar experience, and instead it felt so ‘clinical’.”
“I think the better word is ‘professional’,” explains Rachel. “I have only been a model for about a year and a half, but my experience is one of being professional, and I believe in doing the same as the photographer.”
“You are right, and I understand,” responded Ariane, “I guess it wasn’t what I was expecting, especially with strangers watching us and stuff.”
“Welcome to my world. Every picture of me in a bikini on an empty beach doesn’t show the dozen crew members and onlookers. There are usually surfers and sunbathers in the shots that have to be photoshopped out, too.”
“Well, I’m glad I got a taste of your world then, Rachel. Thanks for showing it to me,” Ariane holds up the picture and says, “And I got a souvenir.”
“I’d love to see the photos of your previous photo shoots,” says Rachel.
“Well, it was just a bit of sexy fun with a guy I was dating,” explains Ariane. “I erased them from my phone, but they should be backed up on the ‘cloud’… here I found them.”
“Is this the scenic view up on the mountain?” asks Rachel. “Yes, that’s the spot, pretty view of the whole city from there.”
Rachel slides through the photos making comments. “Oh, I like this pose… You took off your pants?… and PANTIES?! Weren’t you afraid of other cars coming by?… I guess not because now you are naked… Wow, the one on the hood of the car is spectacularly good! I like it!…”
Um, this backside one is, well I didn’t want to see THAT much of you… and now you are spreading your legs like a porn star… whoa I see PENIS!”
“A close up pick of his penis, he obviously likes you.” Ariane suddenly remembered what the next picture was, and tried to stop Rachel from seeing it but it was too late.
“Whoa, and now the two of you are fucking,” says Rachel.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean for you to see that one,” says Ariane, “This is all ancient history, I’m no longer involved with him.”
Rachel hands the phone back to Ariane. “Sorry, that was probably a little too personal of a picture for you to share,” Ariane nods a little embarrassed.
“So what happened to him may I ask?”
“He followed his career out of town,” Ariane states sounding a little bitter. “I liked him, we had a lot of fun over the summer, and then he left. My fear of commitment is partly to blame for his leaving. He says he’ll be back if he gets a promotion, but I’m not holding my breath.”
“That’s too bad,” says Rachel sympathetically, “As someone in a career that travels a lot, I know how impossible it is to have a social life and a career.”
“Hey, I understand, and fully support your career choices, I’m learning from my past mistakes, and learning from you to get better at this stuff.”
Rachel smiles appreciatively.
“So, since I’m here,” continues Ariane, “You got anything else to show me?”
“I’m sure I can find something.”
Ariane smiles curiously.
END OF PART 3
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