BURLESQUE BIG SISTER/BROTHER PROJECT - PART 8 : Andromada Mystic

I was encouraged to join a group on Facebook, the Burlesque Big Sister/ Brother project, where I could give something back to the community that I have been a part of for a good number of years now. This year I offered a photo shoot per month, winners are selected and I contact them for a date to shoot.

This months winner was Andromada Mystic and after a few text messages we had sorted a theme as well as props! Andromada had all the props I had in mind, we just needed a date and a location.

I thought about going back to Holland Park as I wanted a wooded area for this shoot but decided to return once again to Wimbledon Common and I am so glad I did! I found an area which I will want to come back to!

This was Queensmere Pond in Wimbledon Common. What you cannot see from Google Maps is it lies in a small valley, you have to trudge down a hill to arrive at the location. Looking back up the hill I could see a wide range of possible shots for another time.

Our theme was of a Goth Vampire Hunter searching for an ancient burial site in the wooded area, finding a relic and meeting her demise.

Who turned the lights out?

We did get some stares from the usual array of dog walkers and one chap was very interested in the photo I had taken above. We also were harassed by a squirrel who was after some food and stamped his feet when I ignored him.

If you don’t feed me I will stamp my feet some more.

If you don’t feed me I will stamp my feet some more.

We shot a few frames by the waters edge while a couple of swans looked on, then we moved further into the woods. No matter where you go the dog walkers will follow you!

I used my Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 for this shot to compress the background and to make Andromada stand out. Just beyond this point was a fallen tree with the branches laid around it. This looked like the perfect place for the vampires artifact location. Andromada had brought along a couple of items, notably the necklaces the Goth and Vampire would be wearing in the respective shots. Take a close look at the red jewel….

Batteries are fading in the lamp…

Batteries are fading in the lamp…

Go on… touch it!

Go on… touch it!

At this time the poor goth was meet her end as the jewel was a receptacle for the vampire. Once released the goth was dead. I had planned this shot and Andromada had bought along a small stool for her to stand on.

I locked the camera off on the tripod and composed the shot with Andromada lying on the floor in front of me. Then she changed into the vampire and we positioned the stool close to where the goth had fallen. In Photoshop I could then align the images and merge them together.

That’s better, my back was killing me…

That’s better, my back was killing me…

After this we trudged back to the lake for some more shots but I wanted to take a closeup shot of Andromada as the vampire with her claws out towards the camera. I knew in my head that in post I would whiten the skin to make it look more undead.

Lastly I had noticed that the dress reminded me of Arthurian paintings and wanted to try a shot like that and edit in post later. I had Andromada stand by a tree and caress it. (an odd turn of phrase to be honest), I added some symbolism to it in post.

With that type of location I think Arthurian paintings will be my next project type!

Really need some nail clippers.

Really need some nail clippers.

No trees were harmed in the making of this photo.

No trees were harmed in the making of this photo.

As an after thought to this shoot, I did start a few story board shots so Andromada would get an idea as to what I was looking for.

Thankfully I am a better photographer than I am a sketch artist but they do convey the ideas.

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Arcane symbol Photoshop brushes by http://www.obsidiandawn.com