Lights, Camera, Action: That’s A Wrap(around Skirt!)
This past weekend I had the pleasures of attending a Xena convention AND another photoshoot with Lysia. It’s been a very long time since I was actually looking forward to a convention, and I was practically out the door armed with my camera and chakram necklace when my parents cuffed me and dragged me to a family reunion. Apparently it was the birthday of some utterly obscure relative I hadn’t met in the best part of twenty years, so Lysia got to spend the day surrounded by pretty people in leather while I fielded questions about my height and relationship status. Next time I shall phone in sick.
Eventually I arrived at the convention, just in time for the auction (where they raffled off a poster of a cat, because some stereotypes are true). Lysia was wearing her crossover top for which I had sewn the embroidered ribbons, and had latched onto the nearest Xena (accompanied by an Ares and Solan). We spent a very merry evening singing about Xena’s spine and discussing the noise a surprised frog makes.
The next morning we demolished the buffet table in the hotel dining room - hotel hash browns soak up alcohol most wonderfully - and set off for another photoshoot at a conveniently close forest. (Xena, Ares and Solan were sadly stuck on the motorway and unable to participate.)
Unfortunately, we in the UK are experiencing our annual heatwave - for about two weeks the sun makes an aggressive appearance, and we all slather on SPF50+ and continue to complain about the weather - which creates multiple problems for photographers. The sun was high, the promised cloud cover failed to make an appearance, and sunlight pouring through trees results in extremely irritating patches of light that are difficult to photograph around. Despite my best efforts, many of the photos came out overexposed and required a lot of rescuing in the edit suite. But they say you learn best from your mistakes…
Nonetheless, we got some good shots:
My favourite one, oddly enough, is the last one - it isn’t particularly memorable from a photography or costume standpoint, but it reminds me of Annie Day’s little dance at the end of Deja Vu All Over Again. (And anything that reminds me of Annie Day is a good thing.)
As you may be able to tell from the lead photograph, we also had a go at replicating publicity shots. This is something I want to explore more in my Xena projects, and there’s a certain challenge in trying to line up your actor, framing, and lighting juuuuust right so that you come out with a nice little visual parallel. We took the image from Renee O’Connor’s German fanclub (now sadly defunct), and it was something of a relief to try and replicate a photo that was already a bit overexposed! For those of you unwilling to scroll up, I’ll repost it:
Overall, I’ve taken far better photographs than these, but I’m still impressed that I managed to tidy them up as much as I did. I’m trying to get out of the habit of shooting pap-style (holding down the shutter button and hoping one photo turns out right), and instead only take one or two photos per pose. That requires a confidence in your ability to get things right that I am currently lacking - particularly in shooting conditions such as these, where the light is so variable. But I’ll get there.
You can view the rest of the photos here on my brand spanking new DeviantArt gallery.
Enjoyable?: Could have done without the 25ºC heat, but I do like heading out with my camera.
Results: Good, but I still think I’ll redo this shoot.
Amusing Injuries: One Xena t-shirt got muddy as Lysia had to sit on it when we were doing the lakeside photos. Apparently Lucy Lawless’ face was more disposable than the wrap skirt!