Thursday, November 26, 2015

Desert Colors

So here's another overdue fashion photo shoot we did almost six months ago... this time going back to Beer Sheba for some desert themed portraits.

I was contacted by Adi, the makeup artist, to do a desert shoot. Her emphasis was on the colors of the makeup, but I had though this would be a great opportunity to bring to life another idea I had for a while now.

I had purchased some shiny colored fabrics a few months before this, hoping I'd have the chance to shoot something a little more abstract with fabrics blowing in the wind.

The wind wasn't as cooperative as I'd hoped, but the end results were still quite interesting. I liked the fact that we didn't need a fashion provider for the shoot, as the fabrics doubled as dresses, held together casually with hair clips.

Models: Tal Ratson and Michal Carmi
Makeup and hair: Adi Chen

We didn't need to go far, just found a bit of desert hillside on the outskirts of town. They were working on clearing out the place. It's probably a parking lot by now... but there was this Pistacia tree and a few good angles without the city or the construction in the background, so if you shoot with a long enough lens, you can get away with it. 

We took turns shooting one model while the other was getting wrapped in satin. I love this first image because it came out very much like one of the references for this shoot...

When organizing a shoot I sit down for a couple of hours to collect beautiful images that I feel connect with the general concept. Then I try to get my images to have the same feel as the references... and I really liked a particular image of a girl with shadows of some desert tree across her face. I was very happy to see this tree, and that there were good angles where the sunlight made interesting things between the branches.

You may recognize Tal from the masks photoshoot we did in Beer Sheba last year. She's in a white fabric that can totally pass as a wedding dress when you take medium shots...

Here Tal and Michal are posing together in makeshift wedding gowns. At this point the construction guys were curious enough to come see what we were shooting. They were already convinced the girls are on their way to getting married later today.

We didn't correct them though, and they were just overjoyed people were using this place they were clearing up. So they also let us take some pictures with the bulldozer!

As the photoshoot went on, we got better and better light, and at some point we went around the tree and set up the models in direct sunlight, improving it with a little flash stand action from the side.

This angle really let the tree into the shoot. We also got out the shiny fabrics. We chose the colors that went well with the makeup, namely reds and browns. Some of the closeups really show Adi's beautiful work.

Finally, after shooting for a couple of hours, the sun was low enough to start shooting directly into the sunset. This is really when you need to set the camera to M and just try to not burn the RAW files to badly...

A couple of more shots just showing off with that gorgeous light. Unfortunately the angle didn't let me get rid of the houses in the background. Next time we would go further out of the city to shoot some desert.

As the light got lower and lower I set up the flash and umbrella, and suddenly it became the key light.

You really can't compete with a light like that... and the sky was beautiful and not too distracting.

And finally I want to share this behind the scenes video I recently made from footage I had lying around for months unedited. The resolution is not so high, as it is cropped from a 720p camera. I had my backup D90 on a tripod filming away while we were shooting. From around 30 minutes of recording time I got it down to a short two and a half minute clip from the day's shoot. 

Desert Colors behind the scenes from Guy Larking on Vimeo.


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