On Location: Wandering around Brisbane with Castelle

by Ben Heys, August 3, 2013


With this shoot I’m going to continue on my recent trend of doing and writing about much lower scale shoots than before, involving little to no lighting gear, no studios, no makeup artists, no assistants etc

Why am I going down this path I hear you ask? Why when I have access to studios, high quality strobes, any number of volunteers as assistants, makeup artists wanting tfp etc? Well to be honest I’m just a little bored of all that. Also depending on the theme and the people involved it can be lots of work. More complex to organise, setup on the day, even shoot. Sometimes it can get expensive with props, makeup costs, studio hire, wear & tear on gear etc And for another thing after years of working in a studio I feel I’m running out of ideas that will look great & fresh shot on a studio background. Or at least I’ve run out of the ideas that are within my current level of motivation to pull off. This may change in the future.

But for the moment those of you who are just getting into photography and perhaps don’t have the budget for all the gear and all the stuff that goes with an involved studio type shoot should be able to get something out of these type of articles of mine (most of which reside on a domain currently offline, they’ll be moved across to here gradually). So today what I have for you is a shoot that actually happened yesterday, yup, I’m being quick off the mark for once. It was my third chance to work with the fabulous Castelle and for this shoot basically we just did a bit of wandering about Brisbane city and then on to the Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens.

To add to the challenge of working without assistants and lighting gear we also shot most of these images around and after midday – the absolute worst time for shooting outdoors in most cases. So if no lighting gear and no assistants were used how did I achieve the effect I did in some of these shots where there is clearly more than natural light at play? That was fairly simply accomplished by propping a reflector up against a tripod for the shots later in the day and then positioning Castelle in the spot of reflected light. It’s a bit finicky doing it like this as with an assistant holding the reflector they can aim the output. This frees up the model to move and flow. But a tripod will still do the job in a pinch. Earlier in the day I used the same reflector but in a different way. Because the sun was more overhead I simply laid it on the ground in front of Castelle so she was lit both by the overhead sun and the reflected light from the ground.

Anyway as always Castelle was a delight to work with and it’s fairly likely we should get at least one more shoot in for you guys before I take off back to Asia in the next month or so.

Please check back – as I edit more images from this very fresh shoot I’ll be adding them to this post, including the ones I’m not allowed to post on facebook, g+ etc ;)


Location: Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane



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