Purple Princess

 On October 3rd , I worked with the lovely Megan Rice to shoot a lovely deep purple dress from designer Ewa Jobka. This shoot was done in Lebanon, Ohio at Colonial Park South. The park has a nice little creek bed and bridge where we did most of the photos that day.  

For this shoot I used:

  • Canon 80D
  • 2 Speed lights
  • Light stand
  • Small soft box

For this shoot the focus was on how the color of the leaves complemented the dress. For those who don’t remember their color wheel, violet/purples complement is yellow.  In this case the dress fell closer to the red-violet shade thus its complement is yellow-green which is very close to the color of the initial leaf color change and the color of the light as it comes through the leaves.   

I shot 216 frames between ISO 100 (55 frames) and ISO 400 (161 frames).  My aperture was set at F4.5. My shutter speed ranged from 1/40s to 1/250s with a majority of the frames being shot at 1/250s.  My focal range varied from 18mm to 90mm with the most common focal length being 18mm.  Of the 216 frames I edited 170 frames, and released 72 final images.  You may be thinking that is a large jump to go from 216 frames to 72 final images,  but really it is not. When culling images, I try to eliminate duplicative images, any image that has the focus off, and those that just look off.  It comes down to in some cases, the pose may originally looked ok, but then when you go back and see it on the large screen, it doesn’t look natural or you find a branch running through the models face that wasn’t noticed when taking the shot.

There were sever good photos from this shoot, Megan embraced a regal princess in the woods.  On of my favorite shots is this one of her standing on the rocks with a ray of light coming down.  This is one of those were I wished I would have noticed it sooner, to have her move just a little bit to my right so the ray of light would hit her face perfectly.  For this image there was a flash set to my left aimed at the model’s face to light the scene, since this was shot in a slightly shaded area. When editing the image I want and darkened the little water fall slightly,  so it wouldn’t detract from the model.  I also adjusted the color, so that the scene would not look so green/yellow from the light being reflected from the trees.  I finished off the image by adding a bit of a vignette.  

(ISO 400, Aperture F4.5, Shutter 1/250s, Focal Length 18mm)

I like this second image, because of the framing from the tree branches.  While the image doesn’t show of the dress, it is a lovely beauty shot, with the hints of purple adding a bit of regal ness to the image while balancing out the green.  When editing this image, I had to pull out the green cast again due to reflection from the leaves.  When editing this image, I used three different gradients to balance the light in the image, due to how the light from flash hit the model and the tree. I also enhanced the light on the models face slightly and used some frequency separation to event out the skin tone and give the skin the more polished look.   Finally, I added a slight vignette to full the whole image together. 

(ISO 400, Aperture F4.5, Shutter 1/80s, Focal Length 40mm)

This image highlights that commentary color scheme of red-violets to violets to the yellow-greens and yellows.  The sunlight was behind the model lighting the leaves on the trees and giving them a nice glow.  I placed a flash in front of the model slightly to my left to add a bit of fill light to the scene. When editing I did have to adjust the color slightly to reduce the green tones slightly, from there I added a slight vignette, and called it a day. 

(ISO 400, Aperture F4.5, Shutter 1/80s, Focal Length 20mm)

This final image is of the model laying on a pile of leaves.  The way that it is shot makes it look as though she is lightly above the leave, but she is directly on top of them. To get this shot, the flash with a soft box was pointed down at a slight angle towards the model.  While the sunlight was basically directly overhead coming through the gaps between the leaves on the trees. I was standing over the model, point the camera straight down.  These types of images can be difficult, because it is very easy to lose the contours of the face and have the model’s nose flatten out.  In this image the models face is slightly turned so the contours of the face and nose are maintained.  When editing this image, I added some more leaves using content aware fill to fill in some brown spots.  I also used some frequency separation, and went through and enhanced the highlights and shadows on the face slightly. To finish the image, I added a slight vignette to draw attention to the model’s face. 

(ISO 400, Aperture F4.5, Shutter 1/100s, Focal Length 18mm)

Overall, this shoot when very well, and I like how the dress looked against the colors of the leaves.  I would like to shoot this dress again in a studio setting to get a more modern princess look.

Images from this session were published in the November issue of Gilded


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