Zodiac series – Second Scorpio shoot

As I started to share the images from the Zodiac series it became easier to recruit models, and in fact for many of the signs I had multiple people sign up. As written in this previous post I had originally had Kimberley down for Scorpio, so when Jasmine expressed an interest I actually told her that I had selected a subject. What I did notice was that Jasmine had some impressive sleeve tattoos so I asked her if she was interested in taking part in my tattoo project. She agreed so a shoot day was set.

As it turned out time constraints in the original Scorpio shoot meant that I did not get the exact look I was going for, so I suggested to her that we incorporate both tattoos and zodiac together. Fortunately she agreed.

Doing a second shoot on a subject is not something that I normally do but it did have the advantage that I could refine the exact lighting settings before Jazmine arrived. My white seamless is much wider than the backdrops previously used with helped with setting the lights.

As before we shot two images with one containing the tail and one without, positioned in such a way that I could get a good separation between the Jazmine’s body and the shadow. When I shoot in studio I am always tethered to the computer so I can see the images full size on the monitor. This means that I can check details like focus, but it also means that I see how a shot lines up with one previously taken.

I also wanted to try some different variations in pose so I asked Jasmine to change from a standing pose to a crawling one. This did require some alteration of the lights, however this was not too difficult as the practise sessions I had done enabled me to reset easily. It was also fortunate that I have a Manfrotto nano stand that is quite small when not extended.

A model session is very much a collaboration and so I am more than happy when the model suggests poses, which is what Jazmine was doing. As it turned out the last pose of the day ended up being the shot used.

After doing the initial culls I ended up with three possibilities that I then took through into Photoshop. It was there that I started to encounter some issues. The final stage of the set was to run a recipe in Nik Color Pro across the image. It created the high texture grunge look I was after but it also brought out details in the blends and especially light differences. These were mainly caused by the difference in the hard light to create the shadow and the soft light on Jazmine.

However as the same time that this was happening I started to realise that I actually liked the tail being in the scene, and so therefore I changed the approach from removing it, to simply removing the stand.

As it turned out the pattern on the tail, which was actually a mistake in making, worked perfect as it fitted with Jazmine’s tattoos.

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