The female ninja or kunoichi concept is one that I've been trying to develop for a while. Whenever I find a model that is interested in this, I break out the ninja suit and props and experiment. Recently, I had the chance to shoot this idea with model Rosanna Picardi, whom I worked with while she visited Kauai late last year.
I had originally planned to photograph her on some lava rocks near a beach house restaurant. Unfortunately, we were unable to get permission from the restaurant to do the shoot there as it was too close to their property. I guess a sword wielding ninja does kind of distract from the family atmosphere of a restaurant. ;-)
We ended up shooting on the tiny crowded beach nearby. The sun was going down quickly and we also had a swimsuit look that we needed to complete before our flight back that evening.
Ideally, this would have been shot with a greenscreen in a studio. Since we had neither at the time, I had the model pose on a rock outcropping high enough that I could position myself slightly below her eye level. This put the clear sky behind her, (nature's version of a chromakey background) which made it much easier to remove in post. I couldn't get the sky completely behind her as you can see, but I was able to get it behind her hair which is most important. Hair is really difficult to mask out in Photoshop.
The other elements of the shot I had in mind I took while traveling in Japan this past December. The roof she is standing on is from a temple that I found while walking through the back streets of Akihabara, the high tech electronics district in Tokyo. Shot it with a Canon 40D.
Had to walk around the temple grounds a bit before I found the right section of roof that would work.
The mountain in the background is Mount Fuji, which I took from a moving bus while we were going to an onsen in Izu. This was shot with a Canon Powershot G9. I try to always keep a camera with me as I never know when I'll come across something I can use for a background or element in Photoshop.
The moon and smoke elements are from stock images I already had on file. To get the nighttime look, I used a Lightroom preset called PH Bedtime with some minor tweaks.