Monthly Archives

May 2015

Behind The Scenes

Behind-the-scenes shots from Frozen Grace

May 30, 2015

After I posted my Frozen Grace series all over social media from my 500px, Flickr, Facebook and Google+, I had some interesting questions regarding how I did this shoot. The idea came about when I had wanted to freeze either a dancer or ballerina into my long exposure images. But first, some of the final images.

Frozen Grace

Frozen Grace

Frozen Grace

Planning stage
I got to know this location 2 years ago. After I found my ballerina, I shared my concept and was ecstatic when the idea seemed interesting and good enough for me to work with her. Gear wise, I wanted to pack light because I knew I would be moving  – I brought 2 x DLSR body, 50mm f1.4, 16-35mm f4, a tripod, 1 x light stand, 2 x speed light (used only one), 1 x beauty dish (for closeup portrait, which in the end, I didn’t have time to shoot), and a 10 and 16 stops neutral density filter.

I was after more of freezing the action and with the final image blending it with the long exposure that I would take last. If I had taken the long exposure while the ballerina was doing her moves, then the outcome would be a blurry shot and more artistic. From the beginning, this was not what I’m after.

On location
I had wanted to shoot at the pier the first. What I didn’t know was, during that time, some schools were having kayak practice and it was impossible to access the pier and do a long exposure over there. So while waiting, we shot on the other side.

Sanna Kaappola

Above: The sun was behind her and it was blazing. My speed light was on full power to my left when I took this shot.

Sanna Kaappola

Above: I went down a slope and got this shot from below. No speed light and the shot fell into a silhouette. 

Behind The Scenes Shots

Frozen Grace BTS

Above: Me, trying to impress her with my pull-ups while holding a DSLR and using one finger on my right hand.

Frozen Grace BTS

Above: I then tried to show her that I know a little ballet myself with this pose. All this while, she just looked at me and continued with her stretching.

Frozen Grace BTS

Above: There’s no impressing this girl – after which I told her I wanted to shoot her in the water below. That definitely got her standing on her toes.

Frozen Grace BTS

Above: Me, reviewing my shot before showing it to her. Before that, her right leg was pointing up to the sky.

We finally made it to the pier after shooting at this particular location. It was nearing darkness. But before that we had the chance to experience the most beautiful of sunsets. I made this shot and told her to stand right near the edge of the pier.

Frozen Grace

Above: The only colour shot I shared.

Shot Sequence
So my strategy was to find a composition – fixed on my tripod. Then shoot the ballerina doing a series of poses. Some movements were really dynamic and with the fading light challenging to freeze without some blurriness. After 5-10 shots, I then told her to take a rest while I fix my ND filter and took long exposures of 2-4 minutes. I would then composite her in post which was easy to do because my tripod stayed fixed and nothing else moved when I took long exposures.

Behind The Scenes Shot

Frozen Grace BTS

Above: The light was fading fast while the sun was setting further. I used my bare speed light and placed it slightly to the right. She’s not only limber but strong while showing me this – which is probably a yoga move. I said about a hundred “wow’s” while I continued clicking.

Thanks for letting me share this with you. This is my first BTS with actual photos – courtesy of my wife. I got most of them from screenshots from the video she took with her iPhone. I hope I’ve answered some of your questions.

Have a good weekend.

Outdoor, Photography

Frozen Grace – New series featuring a ballerina and long exposure photography

May 19, 2015
Frozen Grace

Frozen Grace

Frozen Grace

I found photos on my phone which I took in 2013 of this location. Pre-visualization came instantly like a flash – I wanted to added a human element within my long exposure photography. I figured what better way to portray a ballerina and then encapsulate all her gracefulness and motion in a long exposure – forever sealed in a moment where time stood still for that brief period. Through my tries and failures to get a suitable candidate, it took me another two years to finally achieve what I wanted.

Success takes time and not an overnight endeavour. To share your ideas and have somebody agree with your ideas is the beginning. To make a connection and then immortalize it in a photograph is priceless. I’m grateful for the opportunity and it was truly a pleasure to work with Sanna.

If you wish to see my series on ballerina Sanna Kaapola, head over here.

Design Stack recently did a short write-up and showcased some of my works soon after I finished this series. Thank you for the feature.

 

Outdoor, Photography

I AM – Ballerina Sanna Kaappola

May 19, 2015
Sanna Kaappola

“Dancing is creating a sculpture that is visible only for a moment.”
― Erol Ozan

Sanna Kaappola

Sanna Kaappola

Sanna Kaappola

Sanna Kaappola

Sanna Kaappola

I am a fan of many art discipline. It has always been in me – my fascination with the creative world; be it in design, photography, dance, visual arts, etc. My fascination would be bring me to countless hours of in depth research – searching for information and history of the art form. This “habit” of mine would lead to this post and my latest photography project with ballerina Sanna Kaappola.

It all began in early 2013 when I visited this location for a casual stroll, which in turn, lead to me to create my long exposure “Life of Pier” series in 2014. Back then, I realised the potential of adding a human element to my long exposure photography. The question though was who would make a great subject. It took another two years for the idea to become reality.

As a professional ballerina, Sanna has graced some of the finest stages in the world. It was by chance that I stumbled upon her Facebook and found that she was currently based in Singapore. I jumped at the opportunity by sharing with her my concept and was delighted when she said she was interested in working with me. This is an introduction to ballerina Sanna Kaapola and her dedication to her art. My series titled “Frozen Grace” will be my next post. Keep you posted.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Photography, Studio

Vitalina Zagryva

May 16, 2015

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Model – Vitalina Zagryva
Location – MacPherson studio
Stylist & HMUA – Beautyworks by Pippin Emerald
Camera – Nikon D700, 24-120mm f4
Equipment – Macbook Pro, Wacom tablet

Photography, Studio

Yana Chepurna

May 13, 2015
Yana Chepurna

Yana Chepurna

Yana Chepurna

Yana Chepurna

 Model – Yana Chepurna
Location – Roy Chuang Production
Stylist & HMUA – Beautyworks by Pippin Emerald
Camera – Nikon D750, 24-120mm f4
Equipment – Macbook Pro, Wacom tablet

I was surfing the Net and Facebook a few weeks ago– looking for inspiration and passing time. Man, not sure why but my newsfeed was filled with fashion and portraiture. I told myself, wouldn’t it be nice to do portraiture for a change – black and white, yes that would be nice.

Scrolled a little more and started reading a particular shoot. Hmm, interesting words; HMUA, MUA, stylist, manicurist, and wardrobe. Nah! Probably not! No contacts, no models, fashion label/ clothes and accessories. Spotted a nice black and white profile picture (probably that’s why it caught my eye, heh!). She goes by, Beautyworks by Pippin Emerald; Tina. Told myself, I’m going to compliment her for her beautiful work. We chatted for a while then I asked her about working together. Paused and I was hoping for a No. Jumped out of my chair when the answer was Yes! Surfed her timeline a few days later to find out she was MUA for Emily Soto workshops on two occasions. So it was a honour to work with her – which is great but added some pressure on me to perform.

So yeah, I got Tina from Beautyworks by Pippin Emerald to work together with me.Time to get to work now. Contacted a few models. Most were agreeable and liked the ideas but I had to choose one. Yana was the perfect choice; dark/ femme fatale look which fitted the concept. She’s totally the opposite in person once you get into conversation with her.

Day of the shoot. Got moral support from wifey. Asked her along to help pick some flowers. What do I know about flowers, models and makeup. Deep inside, I laughed and broke a sweat. The night before MUA surprised me with 3 outfits. Yay!

Lighting

I lit Yana with a beauty dish. Just one light for the entire shoot. I just moved her front, back and turned her away to get between loop, rembrandt and split lighting. I’m a visual person who goes by feel rather than technicality but that’s the only way to describe the lighting I was aiming for.

I’m so impressed working with Yana. I really love her look and her ability to emote. Truly, I would love to work with her once again.

Post processing

The entire shoot was done with black seamless paper. I added textures in post. You can do pretty much any style once you have the pictures.

Finally, here are the photos. 3 looks in one session. Thank you so much to Tina, Yana and my supportive wife for the shoot.