Today we’re going behind-the-scenes on some of the images that didn’t make the cut for my first photo book, FANTASTICA. These images are ‘outtakes’ or ‘rejects’, but they were simply too beautiful to get rid of entirely. There’s a heavy use of constructed reality in some, and others were simply lucky location.
To begin with, most of the costumes in the entire book were created by the amazing Theresa Vann-Stribling of Monarch Creations. Seriously, she is incredible. (Find her here on Facebook.) We have a great relationship. She makes great things, and I take great photos of them. Gotta love it.
This image is made from roughly four other images. The background consisted of one, the model another, the wings a third, and the extra rainfall a fourth. To achieve the soaked effect, I actually put my model under a rainbar I had constructed from PVC pipe. (A tutorial will be coming soon). I upped the effect post-process to really make it a storm, particularly since I had to change the time of day. The model was photographed in the shade, but it happened to be over 100 degrees around 1:00pm. The rainbar was quite enjoyed for that alone. The wings had several glow effects laid on top of them, as well as having their transparency lowered. The point was to make them as ‘realistic’ as possible within the realm of my fantasy world.
This image is almost raw from the camera. Post-processing only involved adding a few extra sunlight effects. The location was almost pure luck. Laura, I, and another model were in a park in town, and we were near a batch of trees. While setting up for another shot, I spotted a small path and what looked like alcove. It turned out to be a hidden grotto JUST perfect for an Earth Goddess to rest within. Shooting in there was tricky since I couldn’t stand up fully, and the ground was littered with unstable branches and holes. In the end . . . perfection.
Here’s another big on the constructed reality. My model was photographed at the side of a swimming pool in order to get the right refractions of light. The boat, the ocean, and the fish are all separate images. I believe this image ended up with about 20 layers in Photoshop. It’s the details that make it work, including shadows and reflections and the effect of water. As a side note, this costume was not made by Theresa. It, in fact, belongs to the model and is technically her work outfit. That’s right. She’s a professional mermaid who attends parties in character. How awesome is that?
Another image effectively raw from the camera. I only changed the tone of the lighting and added the wings. This one is really an outtake. Dawn started giggling as she tried to get into a suitable pose, and she didn’t realize I was taking her picture until the shutter snapped. These wings were made a bit different from others as I actually drew the veins in over the shaped glow. It was interesting, to be sure, but it gave me the proper effect. (She’s a Light Faerie, for those wondering.)
And the final image for today is a blend of in-camera and post-production. The background and model were together at the time of the shoot. I simply shot multiple frames of the same model in different outfits and spliced them together. I then changed the Dark half to be night, and increased the potency of the Light’s day side. A few glowing balls of magical power, and I got myself the perfect eternal battle between two perfectly matched halves.
FANTASTICA will be going on sale sometime in Fall 2013. There are 20 brand new images in there, and prints will be offered as well. Having done this project, I find myself wanting to do more projects heavy on the fantasy. I guess whether writing or shooting, it’s my favorite place to be.