Sand, Wind & Mermaids

The second shoot in the “Once Upon A Time” series called for a mermaid and was originally envisaged to be on the rocks on the south coast. This ended up being changed when I was approached by Peri who lived in New Plymouth who was very keen to take part in the shoot. She even offered to drag in 19her friend Ella (who is a very talented makeup artist). They were willing to drive the 4 hours down to Wellington, but when I told them that I was going to be in Wanganui on the weekend of March 2-3 they were happy not to have to travel so far and we arranged to meet and do the shoot there.

Now shooting away from home base always presents issues as you need to ensure that you don’t leave anything behind. It is also complicated when you don’t know the locations that may be available. The former is sorted through careful planning while Facebook can come to your aid with the later. On a photographic Facebook group I asked for ideas and was told roughly where to look, so on the Saturday I set off to look at the suggested beaches.

The first location was not promising especially with two drunks sprawled out on the sand, but further along the road we found the exact location I was looking for. The only problem was that the gear all had to be lugged over a very large sanddune.

The next day we met up with Peri and Ella and headed for the beach. Unfortunately when we got there we discovered that the “ideal” spot was being used by a couple of fishermen. Fortunately a 100m down the beach was another suitable location. So after Ella finished with the makeup we headed down there.

I had anticipated sun as an issue but what turned out to be a bigger one was wind. Although it was not that strong it threatened to turn the reflector into a kite making it very difficult to use. Still I managed to get the shots that I wanted and a few more.

A friend is a keen fishermen so getting a good image of a fish was not that difficult. Several hours of photoshop work and we have a couple of images that are not too bad.

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This year the last round of the Hutt Camera Club Ladder competition has the theme “Once Upon A Time” in which we are challenged to create an image that represented a fairy tale. It is called “conceptual photographer” where the photographer gathers together a significant amount of the elements that end up in the final image. Now those that have read this blog will know that it is a style of photography that I really like.

I decided on a number of ideas that I would progress and just before Christmas 2012 made a casting call on Model Mayhem for models and makeup artists who were interested in taking part in the project.

As it turned out the first shoot ended up being “little red riding hood”. However I wanted to do this with the twist that the recent television series had introduced where Red and the wolf were actually the same individual. To represent this I wanted a model to be face painted on half her face as a wold while the other side remained normal. Rachel agreed to the shoot and my wife Vicky agreed to do the facepainting. Lower Hutt photographer Mandi Lynn kindly loaned us a cape from her wardrobe.

We shot late on a Sunday evening in a park not too far from home and I am really pleased with the early results. The final images may be tweaked even more in photoshop before being entered into the competition later in the year.

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