A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...
It was January 2013, summer time, and I went to Rockingham to meet Bridget for a space themed photoshoot. Bridget had a space girl costume and I had turned a small water pistol into a raygun. It was going to be epic! The problem was neither of us considered how bright a salt lake would be at midday and were blinded. I was stupidly trying to use my Lensbaby which is hard to focus as is without the glare coming through the lens making my eyes water as well. We eventually gave up and I left there looking like a human capsicum. Super attractive!
Bridget and I rescheduled the photo shoot for another day and later in the afternoon thinking we would be smarter this time to avoid the harsh sunlight but we took a bit too long getting ready then we got lost and next thing it was dark and we still hadn't found the salt lake. In hindsight clearly we were idiots (or I am because I can't do maps) because it's right near the train station. Literally RIGHT NEXT TO THE TRAIN STATION!
For the third attempt it was a "go large or go home" mood. We had gone opshopping for boots to go with the costume rather than the costumes leg wraparounds that looked daggy which Bridget painted silver and purple, Bridget also bought some earrings and painted them to go with the outfit which has just now occurred to me that you can't see them except for one photo. I painted a nerf gun so it would look much more impressive (aka larger) than the original gun I had. We even got ourselves a makeup artist. All was going well until it started to look like it was going to rain. I obviously started to freak out, this was the first shoot I've ever done multiple times and felt like it just wasn't meant to happen. Thankfully it held off and the overcast sky made it easier to shoot on the lake. The photos were a total success and we had a laugh at the fact all of my photoshoots end in someone dying but if you're stranded on a strange planet with no water you're going to die of dehydration, amiright?
The Bonus Extras Nobody Really Cares About...
This shoot happened back in 2013 and is probably (with the exception of everything I did at Tafe) the longest I've ever taken to edit photos. At the time I didn't really know what I wanted to do with them but I loved the poster for Man Of Steel where Superman was on a blue planet of some kind and wanted to do something similar. I got as far as making the salt lake blue but it still felt like it was lacking. In 2015 a couple of friends send me a couple of astro photos they'd taken to play with and one became the sky. 2015-2016 were full on personally and I lacked the patience involved to finish these photos.
The editing process: First up I used an action called Vanilla Pop which was a free download years ago from Paint The Moon. I just really like what it does to skin tones, then I adjust the opacity to where I want it and in this case used a layer mask so it didn't alter the ground as it was already white enough. I then added a colour balance layer with a layer mask to make the ground blue. I adjusted Curves to add a bit more contrast to the model and then added a 50% gray layer for dodging/burning. This is a trick I learned at Tafe so you can dodge and burn areas without altering the photo itself. I find dodging and burning directly onto images can have a more harsh affect so I avoid doing it that way and using the gray layer it makes it easier to go backwards if you decide you've overdone it. I made a group to create the sky. I used one of the astrophotography images then mucked around with the levels, colour balance and hue/saturation so it fit in with the rest of the image.
This video is a sped-up version of my live editing. This was done slightly different as I was trying out high frequency separation which I'd just learned but I didn't use it on all of the photos. I didn't feel they really needed it.