Fields of Cold – the challenging yet rewarding shoot

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What does it take to take a photograph like this? In our case, it took one really brave and beautiful girl (Laura), two photographers and one warmer/focuser (Laura’s boyfriend Petteri who hugged Laura every time she was getting too cold and who also pointed led light at Laura when we were trying to focus on her in the dark), two flashes, lot of tries and quite a bit of luck with the weather!

If you want to try this, you really want to prepare well. The temperature was quite cold and the grass quite wet, so wear boots and warm layers. You can’t actually see it in these pictures but Laura also had boots on her, but that obviously didn’t do the job in keeping her warm. She’s a pro model in that way, she can really stand discomfort if that’s what it takes to get good results.

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We went to the field approximatedly at 3 am. The light changes dramatically when the sunrise starts, so we wanted to prepare the shoot well and arrange our equipment so we wouldn’t miss the grand start of the day.

We had a flashgun behind Laura and a flash with an umbrella on the front of her. At first the pictures were just plain dark, so I changed to longer exposure (the image at the top with Laura blowing foggy air). The challenge with LE + flash combination is that the person turns transparent. Here you can see through Laura, and I have even corrected the picture. In this case it suits the idea as Laura could be a ghost wandering in the fields, but if this was a shoot for some magazine the transparency would be a hazard.

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We tried to correct the effect by asking Laura to stand still, but that turned out to be even more complicated setup. Her face would become blurry or distorted. So after freezing her appearance with flash she had to move away from the picture.

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The original idea was to take shots in the mist. As the night leaned forward we finally did get some mist in the field for a short period. As the mist started to form we faced another problem. The mist went right through Laura as it’s lighter than most of the parts of the image. (see below)

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Yikes! Not so flattering, huh? Sliced by mist and as a top on the iceberg Laura has a tripod inside her. This problem occurred on the previous image with the mist too. Only photoshop could save the image, and to be honest I think the only thing you can do in that kind of surrounding is to not place Laura in front of white/bright subjects.

After this we took the umbrella from the flash and gave it to Laura. That’s when things finally started to roll!

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The umbrella reflected enough light on Laura’s face and the flash behind her also lit up the mosquitos making them look like pixies. Shooting from low perspective (pictures below) gave the images a bit more space and atmosphere. I think Laura looks like she’s about to fly away to the skies with her umbrella.

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When we arrived at this point of the shoot, sun finally started to rise, giving the sky some vibrant new tones. These photos didn’t need any post-processing.

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The official warmer doing his job!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

-Annamari

Autumn Play

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. Autumn is the time of the year, when every leaf is a flower. There’s symbolism in the way how the nature starts to fall asleep and is turning in bright colours. It’s just like when the sun is pulling back to her sleep the sky explodes in most wonderful colours.

Yeah, I love autumn. Samuli is learning to like it too, but he gets a bit down when the season gets darker. He’s a basic Finn that way.

However we had a blast last saturday. Leaves give such great colour to backgrounds and are great photo props!

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Construction, part I

We’re finally getting a hold on the site and starting to undestand about adding galleries and pictures. One big problem is that this site doesn’t seem to like Safari so much. I’m having hard time constructing this site with my Mac and I have to view most of the changes through my PC laptop.

However, today we added quite a lot of shots to the galleries. I really like the portrait part, I love all my models and always remember how fun it was working with them when we took the photographs. There’s something opposite with the landscapes, though. I hate most of my landscape shots, while Samuli’s landscape pictures are excellent. He really knows how to use contrast and colours and make a simple and interesting composition. I want to blame my old wide angle Sigma that does horrible distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting to the images. But I know the most fault happens behind the camera, not inside it. Somehow yet I think my solitude images are pretty good. Why is it that a person in the picture makes the landscape so much better?

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However, even with a small downer from the fact that I’d love to have better landscape shots, it’s so great to see how this site is building up! Like when you see couple of snowflakes falling and suddenly you see car-shaped piles of disturbing cold white material everywhere. Wait.. that wasn’t too positive, was it?

I’m probably going to design some kind of logo for us this week if I have the energy.

Keep on rockin’!

Annamari

It starts

Alright, so we’re trying to get this thing going on! Wow.. own homepage! What should I talk about first… oh yes, the name. Soluna Images. Weird, huh? We thought that Untouchable photography was a bit too long, and Samuli said that he would like that the name would emphasize how our style is so similiar yet they complete each other. Like yin and yang? I asked. And suddenly it came to me.

Sun is our primary equipment when we shoot, but we enjoy the light of the moon and stars too. I have a cat named Luna (she looked magical and she has a pattern of a full moon in her butt!), that’s why she was named after the moon. We’ve also been thinking about getting a dog at some point and have joked about naming him Sola. So I suggested if we could come up with something like Lunasola.. then Samuli googled a bit and found that there actually is a term Solunar theory, which means that the action of the sun and the moon influences the activity of all living beings in nature. It sounded perfect. Also in a Finnish mouth Soluna means “as a cell”. It’s also some kind of cough medicine, haha! However, I think it fits us perfectly. Soluna Images. Soluna

 

Annamari