21st February 2016 - Please let the weather be clement!
For a long time I have wanted to do a mystical or fantasy type woodland shoot. After shooting with Savra back on October 2015 and witnessing the amazing collection of outfits she had, I knew there and then that she would fit the shoot like a glove. So that was it then, book her up, my location had already been decided,just shoot. Simples. No!
Not your everyday supermarket shopping attire ...
The Location - Oare Gunpowder Works
I have had my eye on Oare Gunpowder Works, near Faversham, as a shoot location for sometime. It has a beautiful mix of wooded areas, large ponds, open meadow and derelict buildings. On a visit last year I had met up with a warden there and after discussing my ideas with her she said they might be able to open up some of the more restricted areas and buildings for me because they loved to see the park get used for such more activities.
Let's be Grimm
From the off in post processing I wanted to give the images that Grimm fairytale look. To start with though everything was edited in Adobe Lightroom CC. I use Lightroom to catalogue images and do the bulk of the editing including cropping, and film simulation selection. The Fuji X-T1 allows me to select film simulations like Fuji Astia, Fuji Velvia, Classic Chrome and Pro Neg. Most of the time the images for this shoot were converted to either Classic Chrome or Fuji Astia.
The effect I had did not quite deliver what I wanted so I changed some of the texture layers already in the recipe for different ones and removed one completely replacing it with a vignette effect I could increase or decrease to taste. I saved the new recipe as my own preset ready to apply to the next image ensuring a fairly consistent look to each image in the set.
Faking night ...
This was the first shoot I did with my new Elinchrom portable studio flash, the Elinchrom ELB 400 kit with 2 action heads, 2 lithium ion batteries and a control unit. They are about 4 times as powerful as a standard speed light and I get around 350 flashes per battery. To be honest is was not so warm as for me to want to waste time flapping over new kit while Savra got cold so I did not use them that much. What you can do though with flash is turn day into night. By selecting a really small aperture, f16/f22 for example, you effectively under-expose the background whilst the flash still exposes the subject nicely. Thus 2PM becomes much later in the day.
Most of the images taken on this shoot were done with a Fujinon 56mm f1.2 lens shooting pretty much full open most of the time to give a lovely shallow depth of field. A small number where shot using the Fujinon 50-140mm f2.8 again pretty much fully open for most of the time.
There was time for one final change of outfit as the weather was now starting to turn colder and we had been shooting for over 3 hours.