Tag Archives: steampunk

the saucy sue

Sometimes bringing all of the elements for an image together can take some time. This was certainly the case with my image of “The Saucy Sue”.

Back in October 2018 my wife and I called into Hamilton Gardens on our way up to Auckland. The gardens are amazing with sections all done out into different themes. In one of these we found “the Saucy Sue”.

The minute I saw it I knew that I wanted to incorporate it into an image and pretty much had the concept in my at point.

So when we got home I cut the boat out of the background and I went looking for a suitable landscape to use with. I settled on an area shot just outside Hasting in April 2014.

I blended the two images together and was reasonably happy with the result. This was relatively simple as the light on the day that the boat was shot was very flat.

I know needed someone to pilot it. I had the idea that Kimberley would be perfect, however sorting out a shoot time proved difficult.It was not until earlier this year, when she was coming out for The Dressmaker shoot, I decided we could add this one as well.

Kimberley’s costume was made out of a corset, a dress hoop and some lengths of materials. We didn’t have to worry about the feet as I knew these would not be visible.

As the boat was elevated I had Kimberley stand on a small stool and I shot from a low angle. This made getting the perspective easier.

As can be seen in the photo the lighting for the image was a large softbox placed camera right and a reflector to bounce some light back. The lighting was positioned to match the direction of the light in the landscape image.

Ballerinas & Steampunk at the Rail

On the Saturday afternoon of the Central Region PSNZ Conference there were three field trips scheduled. I decided to go on the one over to the Silver Stream Railway museum. Not necessarily because I wanted to shoot trains but rather because I knew that models had been arranged for this location, and that sounded a much better option than other two trips.

We had arranged for one of the old engines and carriages to be available. Unfortunately we were not able to arrange for it to be steamed up.

The last time the Hutt Camera club organised the conference the same venue was used for a field trip and that time the models had been dressed in wedding dresses as “trash the dress” had been a theme of the main speaker. This time they continued with the usual theme in that we had Kylie in full ballerina gear, Chrissy in classic 50’s outfit and a couple in steampunk outfits.

This made for very interesting shots and a fun afternoon, even if the light conditions were extremely difficult.

I loved the outfit of the museum person and asked that he pose with Kylie. He reluctantly agreed.
I loved the outfit of the museum person and asked that he pose with Kylie. He reluctantly agreed.

Kylie posing on the tracks
Kylie posing on the tracks

It took a couple of attempts to get the timing of this image right.
It took a couple of attempts to get the timing of this image right.


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Return to Palmer Head – Victorian Inspiration

Ever since I did the shoot with Megan at Palmer Head I had wanted to return there and try out some different concepts. Kristara and I had planned to shoot at the start of the year but somehow never managed to lock in a date when either our schedules or the weather could align properly. With time on my hands we managed to arrange a shoot for a Friday afternoon.

I wanted to go with two quite different looks. The first I wanted to utilise a homemade outfit that looks very Victorian. I thought that this contrasted nicely with the fact that Kristara has piercings and dreadlocks. Kristara added a set of goggles for a steampunk sort of look.

The initial test at full power

I planned on shooting inside of the gun emplacement and to add an extra dimension brought an old style lamp in which I has placed a speed light covered in an orange gell. The first shot the speed light was set to quite a high power and while it produced the desired effect it was real too bright. So the flash was wound back a little and the following image was produced.

Light solely from the flash in the lamp

While the  shot worked there was too much falloff in the light and so I positioned a second flash in a bounce umbrella to my right and then played with the positioning and angle of it until it only provided a level of fill and did not over power the colours I was looking for.

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We did run into a major issue with the light in the lamp in that something kept creating a circuit that caused it to fire randomly. I suspect that it was something to do with the metal of the lamp. I managed to get enough good shots but it was frustrating.

For the final shot we moved into the main chamber of the complex that would have housed the actuals guns and I shot Kristara looking out. This is actually a composite of two images with one being exposed for her and the other for the outside, as there was two much difference in the light levels to handle in a single exposure.