Shadows are as interesting as the light. Chiaroscuro is a term used in photography, as well as cinema and painting, that literally means “light-dark” and originates from the Italian Renaissance. The shadows help define the image, making the two dimensional appear three dimensional.
The idea for this shoot was to have the model, Saori, emerging into the light from the shadows. To get that effect, I used a black seamless background, making sure that the key light did not spill onto it by keeping them well-separated. I started with a large gridded softbox close to Saori, on camera right to light the portraits and close-ups, highlighting Julia’s makeup work. By moving the softbox in very close, the light falls off quickly so the opposite side of her face is quite a bit darker than the side with the light. To control the shadow’s darkness I used a large white foamcore panel and a silver disk reflector for fill light.
For the full body shots, I really wanted to get the shadowy look, so I used a more focused light – a gridded strobe on a boom in front and above Saori. For an interesting background, I put a fog machine and another strobe to backlight the smoke/fog behind Saori. For some of the shots, I used a blue gel on the strobe to make a blue smoke effect. With this set-up, Saori’s face was well lit and her body gradually became darker, fading into blackness.
Post-processing was done with Lightroom 3.3 and Photoshop CS5.
Inspired modelling by Saori Sloan
Beautiful peacock themed makeup by Julia Lockley
Categories: beauty, Fog Machine, Glamour, lighting, makeup, Photography beauty, chiaroscuro, fog, fog machine, lighting, model, peacock, Photography, shadows, smoke, studio
Dress with Vintage Peacock Print Train
Monica Fraser is a graduate of the Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Fashion Arts program. She was one of the designers at the VCC graduate fashion show that I wrote about in an earlier post. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to photograph her designs in the studio. In this session I photographed three beautiful outfits, each designed around the motif of the peacock.
I was fortunate to be able to work with an awesome model, Charr, and talented makeup artist Tessa Mitz as well.
The first outfit featured a 2.5 meter train made from a vintage print from Vienna over a natural linen dress with a gold silk bolero jacket with pearls and feathers and a golden belt.
Linen Dress by Monica Fraser
The next dress has a handmade bird motif print by Monica Fraser. The fabric is white cotton dipped into caustic soda, waxed, then repeatedly dipped into indigo dye. The dress was finished with feathers, Swarovski crystals and a whimsical bird nest!
Indigo Batik Dress
The third outfit was a beautiful vivid blue silk dress made using four different types of silks with shredded silk on the top to look like feathers. It also has a long tail with Swarovski crystals hanging from it. To go with the dress, is a long black hand embroidered coat with a beautiful peacock design made from silk threads in Vietnam.
Vivid Blue Silk Dress
Feathered Silk Detail
Hand Embroidered Silk Jacket
Charr Wearing Coat by Monica Fraser
Congratulations to Monica for a fantastic collection! Thanks also to Charr for modeling the outfits and to Tessa for the beautiful makeup and hair styling.
Categories: Designer, Fashion, Photography Charr, couture, designer, Fashion, model, Monica Fraser, peacock, Photography, Tessa Mitz