I recently agreed to shoot Sassy because she wanted to recreate a scene from the film the Fifth Element. I was a little bit hesitant at first because if you go at it half-cocked, it can look - well, pretty lame. It doesn't help that some of my peers are so darned good at this kind of shoot too (check out some of Mike's work at Evolutionary Images and particularly this set - CLICK HERE
Sassy went off to prepare her costume and I had a think about how I was going to come up with something that would do her vision justice.
This was the picture she had in mind which didn't seem too difficult but we were doing our shoot outdoors on a bright sunny afternoon. I came up completely blank with a location that would allow me to have a nice clear bit of wall in this style. The only places I could think of were either too public (Sassy ain't that shy but I think that would have drawn a little bit too much attention to ourselves) or too far away from where I could park the car. (I needed a lot of kit with me)
Anyway I decided to compromise - I chose a secluded location but the wall (underneath a road bridge) was heavily graffitied which I thought might add a bit of character and make the shot 'ours'.
The next challenge was to make it look like evening time when all around us was bright sunshine. I set up my Jinbei Traveller with all 1200s pointing directly at Sassy with just the open reflector attached to the head. Dialling in an aperture of f10 to keep the whole of her nice and sharp, I took the shutter speed up to 1/2000 second to pretty much lose all the ambient light.
In processing, I just needed to make some of the dark tones a bit darker and raised the highlights slightly and added some vignetting and I think we managed to come up with a great take on the scene from the film.
With that shot in the bag, we thought we'd try and get some more pictures inspired from other scenes in the film - a quick Google Images search brought up a couple of likely candidates and we thought we'd give this one a bash.
Now obviously the futuristic setting wasn't happening at all! (There's no way my PP skills are going that far) Nor was the costume change so we ran with what we had.
In this outtake, you can see how bright the light we were working in was. This is the correctly exposed without flash picture which was a 1/640th at f4
After a little refinement of the pose and setting the camera to 1/4000th second at f4.5 we were able to achieve a far moodier shot.
Obviously the contrast has been boosted in Lightroom but again I was pleased with the overall feel of the picture - it doesn't faithfully recreate the scene from the film but I don't think we were ever going to achieve that anyway. I'm just glad we could pull off some great shots that (IMHO) look like they were inspired by the Fifth Element and that Sassy certainly brought a resemblance to the character Leeloo
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