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As photographers, we all have a desire to create images but at times we can feel restricted by thoughts of needing better equipment, limited by having little to no budget, or just even a creative block.
What we don’t always realize, though, is that as a creative person, we tend to network with like-minded people and working together can lead to some interesting projects such as the one I have the opportunity to share with you today.
Autumn Fairies Part 1
This set of images really came to be due to my friend Aranel Cosplay. She has been working on a new project where she is creating and modeling outfits based on different seasons and had just finished the first outfit for Autumn for the photo shoot.
We decided on the Clachan of Campsie, which is a small settlement at the base of Campsie Fells in Scotland for our shoot. Luckily, the area had some fog settle at the base of the hills which added a wonderful atmosphere to the images.
My equipment might look a bit odd since I tend to use small, fixed lens, Sigma cameras over a DSLR because I enjoy the Foveon sensor and the leaf shutter lens combination that they provide.
- Sigma Dp1 Merrill (19mm f2.8 aps-c Foveon)
- Sigma Dp3 Quattro (50mm f2.8 aps-c Foveon)
- Quantum Q-flash with 60x90cm gridded softbox
- Cactus v6 triggers
For the first set of images, we started on land. There was a lovely fallen tree which we used as a prop and in the first image, Aranel was looking away as I used the Dp1M to capture a wider view of the area.
For the second image, I switched to the Dp3Q while Aranel stayed in the same spot. I had to move back a little, but otherwise everything else was the same. The smoke at her feet was created when my friend Barry Grant (who was the drone pilot) blew some Vape at Aranel’s feet.
Next, we moved over to the left a little, and as we were climbing down to the river, I noticed there was some nice framing with the foliage/grass so we did a few shots there, again alternating between both cameras. For these shots, the light was up higher and off to the right a little (not in the video, sadly).
Now that we were down in the river (which felt like walking inside a flowing freezer), we decided to head over to the other side that had this lovely mossy rock. I placed a light on the hill to the right of the frame (in front of the model) which I removed in post and made my way up the river a little to find some nice framing.
Finally, we decided just to go in the river to shoot a few more frames. For this shot, the light was on the left of Aranel.
As Aranel moved over to the left more, I decided to put the light on the right of her for the following shot, placing the light stand in a rocky riverbed.
I switched back to the Dp3Q for the last shot in which Aranel and the lighting stayed the same.
Due to the location not being as progressed as far into Autumn as we would have liked, I had to adjust the green and yellow sliders in the Hue section of Camera Raw/Lightroom over to the left a little. I also added a little orange into the shadows using split toning to give a more Autumnal feel to the images.
A big thank you not only to my friends who helped with this shoot. Hopefully, this article has been helpful and inspires you to reach out to your friends and create some new work.
About the “How to Shoot It” Series
This educational series highlights amazing images from our writers as well as our community. The goal is to not only feature inspirational work but to provide valuable education for our photography community. If you would like to submit your work or shoot to be considered, please click here.