How it was lit: Daughter Of The Moon

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“Daughter Of The Moon” is a new one of my ongoing series “Arcadia” and is introducing a new character, of which a follow-up story will follow in the time to come as her story is far from being told. Compared to my earlier work of this series, I’m slowly introducing some “bolder” pieces - straying away from a strict painterly style only featuring people in armor as the main theme - as this series evolves with my own evolution as artist and I want to be able to work on this series for a long time to come. I will never leave it behind, but I feel the variety will only allow for a richer fictional work and fantasy series as a whole.

I’m often asked “how I find my inspiration” but honestly it’s hard to pinpoint … for this one specifically I had one of these (for once not annoying) ads on my Instagram with these “moon sphere lights” . While very sceptic about the quality with these kind of things, for the price it was and the “photoshop might save the day” approach I decided to get one of the bigger sizes and just see what would happen when it arrived.

And honestly - I was pleasantly surprised! I’ve been unable to properly capture it when light with artificial light, but in-person its actually very beautiful! Maybe at one point I might use it for my “natural + artificial light v2.0 project” - but that’s for another time.

The idea to do something with a moon has been on my mind for a while now - maybe also because I wanted to do something with my beloved star dress again from “Alice Corsets” before I give it a little break from my personal work. I never really showed it as simple as I shot here, without the cloak and without any big headpieces or elaborate styling.

As I was so heavily inspired by using the moon (and nights in general) as inspiration I really wanted to work around deep and stronger shadows - without losing any of the details or depth. It took me a while to figure out - I really want to try another session with this in the future, being much more bright in approach and maybe adding in a few more colors as well.

As far as post-processing went: when working on it I decided to make the teal to a deep blue so it would beautifully merge together with the color of the corset; as lately I’m very drawn to deep, rich colors in a monochrome approach and color pallet. The rest was minor clean-up of the skin, color toning and dodge and burn. I wanted the images to stay very minimal and without distractions.


Gear I’ve used

broncolor siros 800 L
broncolor picolight + fresnel
Colorgel (teal)
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 - Alice Corsets
Halo - Honey & Ember
Photography & Retouch - Laura Sheridan / Studio Sheridan’s Art

Light Diagram

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A quick test before I called this session over was to see what would happen if I would use a second fill-light: for this I decided to use my octabox on the front left side to add in more light and remove most of the deep shadows that the softlight reflector gave. This gave a very soft light that I only edited slightly to fit to my visions. While I do like this set - compared to the earlier set it feels less “matching” to what I had visioned - so I only edited about two shots so far. I will definitely use this to create a different set in the future I’m currently working on already - featuring a more pastel, painterly vibe which will suit this light set-up much better I think.

*click on the images to enlarge*

The Silver Spine & Baroque Bodies (NSFW/Nudity)

The Silver Spine & Baroque Bodies

Working with Ivory Flame has always been a big dream of mine - which came true (just) a year ago where we created some of my favorite images still to date. We spoke about working again somewhere in 2018 when she would be in Belgium maybe, but our schedules didn’t really align for her or me, so we where just waiting for a better time. Until Ivory Flame saw that I had again some of the amazing masterpieces of Eero Hintsanen here in my studio which I was going to shoot. Over Instagram she got in touch with me asking if we could work something out and I guess - needlessy to say - I was really and totally up for that without a question! So she decided to literally hop over from the Netherlands for just a few hours of creative work.

These days I rather only work with people who really understand what I’m going but also have their own vision and aesthetic of the process and this is one of those shoots. We had less than 2 hours that day, as the train got delayed and she had to catch her last train back to the Netherlands for a really awesome shoot with Nona Limmen the day after so it was a very quick shoot with very little preparation. We did go over some ideas as we both wanted to shoot it nude and use the human body as a(n almost abstract) canvas. But I also wanted to use some of my favorite colorgels to enhance the beautiful designs Ivory Flame brought with her from the equally amazing designer Emiah.

I kind of really love short, powerful sessions like this. It doesn’t leave time to mess up and at the same time it’s a whirlwind of creative energy with some supertalented people. We ended up creating these baroque inspired images featuring curves, dramatic light and the fine art nude I love so much but also these almost fantasy-wisp vibes with flowing robes.

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Credits

Model - Ivory Flame
Jewelry - Eero Hintsanen
Lingerie & Peignoir - Emiah

Lights provided by broncolor
Edited in Capture One Pro & Photoshop

From our very first shoot, I never shared these but I hope you will enjoy a little throwback nonetheless! Featuring work from my Arcadia series: with all the armor, redheads wielding swords and being epic - but also some kaleidoscope and fractal work. And Eden Project, basically everything I’ve been working on for a while and which I’m still working on to this date.

Credits

Model - Ivory Flame
Heart Necklace - Madonna Enchanted
Collar - Monarque Jewels
Black Lingerie Set - Emiah
(Cathedral) Halo - Hysteria Machine
Armor - Mytholon

How it was lit: Fervor - Artifical & Natural Light

How it was lit: Fervor

My first time using artificial light on location

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done this shoot, but I’m so happy I can finally talk about it: my very first time using artificial light outside. When I became a broncolor GenNEXT ambassador, I quickly knew I wanted to have the possibility to work outside as well – as I felt that was something I rarely did anymore. Mostly because I felt uninspired and I love how I’m able to use artificial light to create certain moods and feelings – but it was something out of my reach. This entire set was shot with a Siros 800 with just one modifier (a Softlight Reflector with diffuser) and being able to just pack it up and go is pretty mindblowing. Everything is battery charged and I made it through the entire session with just two, with the second still going strong and steady.

For this specific shoot I had some of my favorite people on set: Eline Deblauwe who was taking care of hair and make-up, my gorgeous muses Luce Del Sole & Van Spooky Pants, with dresses by Church Of Sanctus – a London base independent vegan brand – and amazing jewelry by Finnish designer Eero Hintsanen.

For this one I only took one modifier with me – as I had this idea to create very deep and contrast like images with the urban location we had in Antwerp: which was the Siros 800 and the Softlight Reflector with a diffuser. I did my first try with Spooky and it took me a bunch of attempts to figure out the “how” as the first images looked like the (what I don’t like) typical look I see very often with artificial light outside.

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It all came together the moment I positioned my model against the beautiful, strong evening light we had on that fall day and I used the light to fill in my model rather than to use it as a main light. And that was basically the magic I was looking for. The first try (with Spooky) resulted in some heavy chromatic aberration (which I’ve been able to work away), for the second shoot I positioned my model in a more overcast setting and used the shadowplay of the building we where shooting under for a different kind of look.

I positioned my light mostly on the left, angled up at a 45 degrees downwards while the rest of the image was mostly lit by the evening light. It resulted in a deep, contrast like set of images without losing any details and an absolute minimum for editing. Most I had to do was color conversion and adjustments to contrast and light – with just a few minor distraction removals.

And on that note: The Siros 800 is an absolute beast - the HS (High-Speed) was able to balance out the beautiful evening light and merge both light sources together. It is definitely visible it’s not only using natural light, but it doesn’t has this overpowering feel to it like in my first tests and that was the look I was going for.

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I shot a second set near the water, which was a bit more tricky as I had more natural light and the sun was setting, but again I was able with some minor adjustments to get it all done and ready to shoot with a similar set-up as before. As before, in post-processing I barely had to do any editing as everything just flawlessy came together on set.

I will be going outside again shortly to try more of this, this time with colored gels and/or more modifiers but that will be for another blog. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed!

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