Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kauai photoshoot with Rosanna

Did a shoot this weekend with model Rosanna Picardi, who contacted me through Model Mayhem.
Rosanna is an amazing model to work with. Very energetic, extremely professional, and jaw-droppingly beautiful in person.

I had originally planned to work with Rosanna on Maui the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but due to complications with flight arrangements, we were not able to get her over to Maui for a full day of shooting. Since she had a shoot planned on Saturday with photographer Chaz from After6Media, we all agreed it would be better to arrange a joint shoot on Kauai instead.

Because I had to fly over to Kauai to do this shoot, I was limited in the amount of gear I could bring. For lighting, I mainly relied on my California Sunbounce reflectors and some small strobes.

Canon 1d mkII 28-70mm L lens ISO 100 f20 @ 1/5 sec.

We first went to Kipu Falls. The water was pretty rough, and the original set of rocks I wanted to have her pose on proved to be too difficult to reach (I know because I got completely soaked trying to cross the stream to get to it). So we settled for some rocks that were closer to the side.
To get the above shot I mounted my camera on a tripod, added a neutral density filter to cut down the light, and used a silver California Sunbounce Pro reflector to light her. Played around with different slow shutter speeds to blur the water.

Canon 1d mkII 70-200mm L lens ISO 100 f11 @ 1/6 sec

Since it was not possible to get Rosanna directly under the falls, we had her pose at the edge of the top of the falls, to try to get as much of it in the background as possible. Rosanna is a really brave model because right behind where she sat was the sheer drop of the waterfall.

Because the sun kept going behind the clouds, we switched to using a silver California Sunbounce Micro Mini reflector and bounced an SB26 at full power into it. Chaz held the reflector/flash combo to camera left, just inches away from the edge of the cliff. Dangerous as heck, but hey, it made a great shot. ;-)

Canon 1d mkII 70-200mm L lens ISO 400 f5.6 @ 1/50 sec

After the waterfall, we went looking for some parks and botanical gardens. We passed by one area and noticed some old train cars. It turned out this place had an actual working railroad - the Kauai Plantation Railway. The staff there was very friendly and gave us permission to do a few shots there. This headshot was done using just natural light and nothing else. There was a white rain gutter in the background that I darkened in Photoshop to lessen the distraction in the image.

Canon 1d mkII 70-200mm L lens ISO 400 f5.6 @ 1/1600 sec

For this shot on the tracks, I walked around until I found a section of track that kind of S-curved. This was from a lesson I learned from photographer Rolando Gomez. I could have just shot her on a straight portion of the train track, but by working in this section, the curve of the tracks creates an interesting line that leads the eye to the model. To help blur the background, I zoomed out to 200mm and setup my camera far away from the model's position. Lighting was a silver California Sunbounce Mini held just out of frame to camera right.

Canon 1d mkII 24-70mm L lens ISO 100 f8 @ 1/250 sec

Later in the afternoon we found this small stretch of beach near a restaurant. Since time was limited (Chaz and I had to get back to the airport to make our return flights), we settled for this spot to do some sunset shots. Rosanna wanted to do some Bond Girl type shots, so we used a couple of Tomb Raider airsoft pistols as props. Being very pressed for time, lighting was done on camera with a Gary Fong Lightsphere diffuser aimed directly at the model.

I ended up boarding the plane that night covered in mud, sand and salt water (but with some great images). :-)

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