Game Of Thrones: A Song of Queens & Ruins

I love Game of Thrones, as a geek, even way before the series where ever talked about. I think I had my first book of George R. R. Martin - which was the first book of GoT as we know it now - somewhere back in 2006, maybe 2007. Makes me feel old but hey - here I am nonetheless shooting one of my first shoots inspired by someone else their lifework!

The whole idea started when I reached out to Fairytas, asking if I could borrow any of her jawdropping amazing designs for another session in the Abbey of Villers because it’s my favorite place and I’m obsessed with her work. It felt like a match made in heaven. To my luck, she said yes and said she had the “red corset and cloak” I could borrow and kind of throw me of my chair when she showed me the actual design. If I wanted to borrow it of course. Needlessy to say I never said “yes” so quickly in my freaking life hahaha.

There was one lady I had in mind from the start and thats my dear friend Lucy aka Luce Del Sole, who we decided would be a great embodiement of a “Cersei” inspired character. Bitchface and wine in hand and all we love and like about the character. Considering our Lucy is one of the sweetest souls on earth, it was a hell of a lot of fun seeing her transform in some badass queen who takes no shit on set.

For this I knew I wanted to work again with my broncolor GenNEXT gear - specifically the siros 800 which is my current favorite as it’s so easy to transport, I have three batteries and I set it up anywhere with one of my tripods and a modifier. For this I wanted to keep it simple and just use the 60x100cm softbox as it gives a really nice fill in light that would work for almost all my 1-light setups - and at the same time allow me to practice and play around. It was one of my first bigger shoots using natural and artificial light together so I decided flexibility was the way to go.

We started shooting around high noon, which was basically super bright crazy hard sunlight I really do not like working with and definitely did not see for this set. But what I do like about bright sunlight is the gorgeous backglow it gives - so I positioned my model almost entirely with her back to it and used the siros on HS (high speed) so I could keep my aperture open for that bokeh I adore so much without having overexposed images. I pretty much decided to keep doing this for the rest of the shooting through all sets as this was exactly what I had in mind - and as extra, made the colors of the costumes and details pop out amazingly gorgeous.

For me this was one of the first times I felt I was able to use artifical and natural light like I had imagined it and it has inspired me to do a ton more shoots now (of which two more have already been shot). What I also love so much about it is basically the realisation right now that I have a lot more control about the light when working on location - which is gold for future potential clients. Since I’m lately obsessed by becoming technically better - I’m working on my weak points and that is mastering any light (and combination).

For this I do have to thank my amazing team: Lucy (Luce Del Sole) as model, Fairytas for letting me shoot her gorgeous designs, Shienra for being an awesome asisstant and friend, Lumecluster who has been collaborating with me with her epic Phoenix Gauntlets and of course: broncolor for choosing me to be part of the GenNEXT 2018 broncolor ambassadors. And of course: Abbeye De Villers for being such an awesome piece of heritage we can work at!

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Some behind the scenes I shot in between, everything is shot with both artificial as natural light.

Armor & Smoke

There are a few things I’ve been not so lowkey obsessed with for some years and that has been shooting a lot of concepts and stories fueled by inspiration that comes from armor, knights and shieldmaidens. It kinda kicked off with Arcadia; it turned into a second sister series called “Requiem” and here we are right now, fast forward to 2019; doing what I love most: causing some havoc.

For this set I got to thank my dear friend Erik, who both graciously let me work on his private land with the smoke bombs as well as offering his stronger smokebombs after I not-so-graciously forgot to check all weather conditions except wind. Which turned out to be pretty heavy that day and proved to be a bit of a challenge to control. But all by all: things turned out amazing!

This set was originally intended to be part of my broncolor GenNEXT program but after seeing the results on set I wasn’t completely satisfied - not due to technical matters; but simply because I had seen something far bigger in my head and I decided that this would just be a “little pre-study” ; one that seriously impressed and inspired me:

Shooting with popular elements like smoke bombs are easily repeated; Pinterest (and my moodboard) are full of awesome shots yet often touch on the same kind of approach, with the same goes for all “knight in the wood” themes. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I like to turn things around a bit, even just a little. For this I decided I would introduce a lot of color; partially because I absolutely love color and using this in my work but also as it’s not something I’ve seen done before a lot. For me there is something really inspiring about using some unusual elements and bringing these together and see it come to life in front of me. This here was no exception.

I shot this with both artificial light as natural; for a full run-down and explanation I will guide you to my Patreon where I cover the entire topic, light set-ups and some knowledge I picked up on the road. The lights I did use on set are from broncolor, both a siros 800 and my move 1200.


Credits

Model - Larp Vision
Assistence - Nzoye, Shienra, Maki & Erik
Armor - Mytholon

Lights - broncolor
Edited in Capture One Pro & Photoshop

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When we realised the smaller smoke bombs didnt work as good, Erik went for his red ones and we decided to make the best out of our waiting by shooting on the nearby field with the available natural light. I really like the simplicy of these yet their deep storytelling and have made me realise yet again that you don’t need a crazy amount of backdrop or set if you have a great costume and styling available (or vice versa, in other cases). Shienra was our amazing assistant who harnassed the cloak so the wind could really blow into it and create that amazing flow I was looking for.

The Silver Spine

There are a few things I really wanted to do this year as part of my resolutions and one of those was expanding my service and business. Especially now I’m pursuing photography as a full-time career for almost three years now - I’ve been blessed to work with some of the most talented people on this earth and to be able to capture their gorgeous designs. From armor to dresses to wearable art and jewelry, pretty much you name it and I photographed it on someone.

But I can’t sit still and I’m always looking how I can expand myself and my business - and the idea of starting to incorporate “non-human” photography in my work has been on my mind for ages. So at one restless evening I decided to put things in motion. A bit before I had bought a few sheets of plexi and a mirror for some concepts I had in mind for portraiture - and I decided to use it and my broncolor gear to see what would happen if I took this gorgeous spine design by Eero Hintsanen and capture it like I would do it when a model would wear it: the light had to be pretty much perfect. And it needed some color. And I wanted to showcase all the beautiful details.

Once I got started on it - I was actually surprised on how much fun I had with this. While I still have tons to learn about it - it doesn’t feel as different as to shooting with a person as it’s all about making a beautiful composition and capturing the work.

For the actual shooting I wanted to try a few things: because the spine has such a specific look I really wanted to incorporate color into this, as it felt very otherwordly and almost like a piece straight out of a science-fiction movie. I decided for a very high key set using teal for the shadows. With the other two I wanted to explore what it would give using only white light and a reflective surface, with the other going for a very dark and monochrome theme.

The most important part for me was to explore the things I saw into my head and how I would translate this - but with the broncolor gear and some quick thinking I am actually really happy with these first results!

Currently this is becoming a quick growing part of my business and I’m already working on a ton more sessions and product shoots - so stay tuned! Video is also high on my list and I’m very excited to dive back into that as well. Really excited to share it all with you soon.

Find the blog & light diagram about this shoot here:  Wynvyre - Part 1 .   The spine worn by Luce Del Sole - Hair & Makeup by Eline Deblauwe - Dress by Maria Heller Designs - Photography & Edit by Laura Sheridan / Studio Sheridan’s Art.

Find the blog & light diagram about this shoot here: Wynvyre - Part 1.

The spine worn by Luce Del Sole - Hair & Makeup by Eline Deblauwe - Dress by Maria Heller Designs - Photography & Edit by Laura Sheridan / Studio Sheridan’s Art.


“The Silver Spine”

Piece by Eero Hintsanen
Lights provided by broncolor
Photography & Edit by Laura Sheridan / Studio Sheridan’s Art

* Click images to enlarge *

How it was lit: Wynvyre (part 1)

For a while I’ve been wanting to back to my “roots”  - both technically and by my artistic visions. The fantasy genre as a whole has always deeply fascinated me and it lead me to shooting an entire (ongoing) series about it called “Arcadia” . But while I love elaborate costumes and people wearing armor, using a lot of practical effects in post-processing and really pushing myself with trying out new techniques – I felt I wanted to do something both “simple” with light as directly inspired by my oldest sources of inspiration: which is “high fantasy” – specifically I wanted to go for an elven queen.

For this I asked some of my favorite people to work with: Eline Deblauwe – who has been doing all of my hair & make-up in both my paid as personal work lately and Luce Del Sole as model. Both because I call her ‘my living elf’ for her grace and beauty, but also because she had the physique I was looking for. For styling I wanted to try and capture one of my favorite designs ever made by Maria Heller Designs – who has created a modern pre-raphaelite inspired gown. Lastly – we decided to give it one final touch by adding the silver spine necklace that Finnish designer Eero Hintsanen has send me to capture – which also became a very big influence in our visual styling.

We decided to give her loose braids, wrapped around her head – mimicking the spine but also creating a crown-kind-of-effect. For the colors, the most important part of my shoots usually: we had to consider working with some more difficult to combine colors: silver & gold. Her hair feels very “golden” and we had the gold ribbon on her dress – which kind of clashed with the silver spine, we decided to make the “warpaint” silver to tie everything visually together into a cohesive set.

Technically I decided to use  my to-go-to set-up I used for the past years: using a single octabox with a move 1200 l and a giant reflector on the opposite side to ensure I had some light to bring out the details on the shadow-side. A big change for me was not working on a black backdrop; but using a dark grey to make it a more muted yet deeply, rich color.


Find the second story of this shoot here: “Wynvyre - part 2” . Links will be updated once the new blog is released!

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Gear I’ve used

broncolor move 1200L
broncolor octabox
Giant white reflector

Shot on a Canon 5D Mark III with a 50mm 1.4
Edited in Capture One Pro & Photoshop

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Credits Creative team

Model - Luce Del Sole
Makeup & Hair - Eline Deblauwe
Dress - Maria Heller designs
Spine Necklace - Eero Hintsanen
Photography & Retouch - Laura Sheridan / Studio Sheridan’s Art

Want to read more about this shoot? You can find a more in-depth article exclusively on my Patreon from just the 5 dollar trier as well as tons of other content! Follow this link to the article if you want to find out more about my choices.

Made with the light Diagram Creator

Made with the light Diagram Creator

- Click the images to enlarge for the entire editorial -