Bridal Makeup Shoot

The final shoot for the weekend was to help out Grace Krishnan who is an Upper Hutt makeup artist. She has realised that in her portfolio she did not have any wedding makeup images, and given that weddings is actually one of the few areas where makeup artists can actually earn a living they were essential.

I dropped off a wedding dress that I had purchased for a “trash the dress” shoot and Grace found a model. She arranged to meet with the model at 2.00pm and I would arrive at 4.00pm. The original plan was to shoot at Percy’s Reserve in Lower Hutt and then down at Petone beach.

Unfortunately events conspired to work against us. When they put the dress on the model (Jade) they discovered that it did not fit properly and secondly was completely out of style. So they went off to the local SaveMart store and managed to buy another one for $24.00.

That trip however put the whole shoot behind schedule, and given that the light was much better in Upper Hutt than Lower Hutt we entered up shooting down by the river. As the light was quite dull we used a mix of techniques. For some a bare off camera flash was bounced off a gold reflector to give the impression of a warm afternoon glow. For others I put the flash in a Softbox positioned on the end of monopod and held high in the general direction of where the sun should have been.LR_Jade-1 LR_Jade-9 LR_Jade-11 LR_Jade-15 LR_Jade-18

Steampunk High Tea

For some time I have wanted to get into more themed photoshoots and one that had sprung to mind is steampunk inspired. For those of you who have never heard of it, Steampunk is a role playing/costume science fiction type genre where Victorian era clothing and modern equipment  is fused. However the modern equipment is made to look like it used  the technology available to the Victorians.

Apparently there are two separate streams, namely one based on Victorian England and the other on the American Wild West.

Rather than seek out a model and hire the gear, I thought that it may be quicker to approach those people  who are actually serious about it so I found the New Zealand Steampunk group on Facebook and posted a message.

I was then contacted by one of the Wellington members and told that they were having a high tea afternoon, and I was welcome to come along. This was being held in an old villa in Island bay. I took along my speedlights and a single white shoot through umbrella which was used to provide some fill light as the room had a large window to provide natural light.

In order to create a more authentic look the images were turned into Sepia toning. I was quite pleased with this starting point.LR_WgtnSP-1 LR_WgtnSP-6 LR_WgtnSP-9 LR_WgtnSP-12 LR_WgtnSP-14 LR_WgtnSP-20 LR_WgtnSP-23 LR_WgtnSP-25

The Color Run

“The Color Run” is a commercial activity that originated in the United States although it has links back to a Hindi festival called Holi. Basically runners do a course and at particular sections of it coloured powder is thrown over them. I am sure that in the original form there was deep meaning to this activity but in the modern version it is all in the name of fun.

Actually I should probably change that and say that it is in the name of making money. Although a charity gets associated with each event the organisers are quite open then they are only receiving a contribution.

The Wellington event was held in Upper Hutt using a park that is very close to home so after checking the map I decided to go down, take a look and snap a few photos. The power used is a edible corn-starch which is very fine. It has a reputation of getting past the weather seals of cameras and lens so I was being particularly careful. The oldest kit lens in the collection came out and it was fitted to the D60 that is used now only for my photo a day work. I also stood well back and made sure that I stayed up wind of the competitors.

That way I knew that if it got damaged it would not be that bad. The major drawback is that the d60 does not have a built in focus motor, and neither did the lens, so the only option was manual focus.

Now I have been to a number of so called “fun” runs but quite frankly this was the happiest one I had ever encountered. The people and the volunteers throwing the powder were having a great time and the photos show that.CR-1 CR-4 CR-5 CR-7 CR-8 CR-9 CR-12 CR-13 CR-15 CR-16 CR-18 CR-19 CR-20 CR-21 CR-22 CR-23 CR-24 CR-25 CR-26 CR-27 CR-28

Palmer Head

Palmer Head sits at the southern end of the Miramar peninsula and has great views over Cook Straight and the entrance to Wellington harbour. As such it was the obviously point for the placement of a gun emplacement in World War 2. The guns have long gone but the concrete buildings remain and thanks to graffiti artist are covered with a very colourful array of designs. The moment I saw them I wanted to shoot there. The opportunity came last Saturday with a shoot with Megan. She had a concept of a look that she wanted and I had agreed to shoot it. The look she was going for was actually based on nature but unfortunately the light on the day was not great and it was really the wrong time of year for much natural colour from the plants. In many of my shots I have actually worked with opposites and I saw this as a good option so we headed up to the gun emplacement. As often happens in Wellington the wind blew and being on an exposed headland meant that we were hit with the worst of it. Even inside the building there was a fair breeze going round and we ended up using a reflector as a wind shield so Sophie (makeup artist) could apply false eyelashes.

Sophie applying makeup on location
Sophie applying makeup on location

The main wall of the room had a large element painted in silver paint. I knew from past experience that such surfaces don’t come out well when flash is used. So I stuck the camera on the tripod and allowed long shutter exposures. To try to introduce some warmth into the image I had Sophie hold a gold reflector. LR_Megan290314-14 LR_Megan290314-2This worked for a while until the cloud got heavier and the room got darker. I still didn’t want to use flash directly so I put the flash inside a Softbox and aimed that at the reflector like shown in the diagram below.Palmer-Head-LightingLR_Megan290314-25 We then moved to the doorway into the room. I had Sophie hold the reflector on the other side of the wall to bring in some extra light.LR_Megan290314-41LR_Megan290314-32 We did try some shots outside but they lacked the punch I was looking for. We ended the session with Megan in another part of the complex, looking out one of empty windows, and me shooting from outside.LR_Megan290314-53 LR_Megan290314-52 I was really pleased with the images and I am sure that I will be back at the location in the future.