Spontaneous Thoughts

I was cutting and editing a figure into another image of a landscape to see how bad the lighting would clash, and accidentally selected the wrong layer and just copied in the outline of the model, which created quite a sudden surprise (for me since I was expecting to see a model in a flowing dress!) but also the over powering white against the landscape.

Above are the images I was working with, and below is the strange incident.


I am unsure why, but I quite like it and the effect got me thinking, why do I need a recognisable figure, this outline is enough for the viewer to understand that it is a female, wearing a rather feminine dream, and depending on the selected image, could certainly create a strong sense of movement and dance within the image.

I am unsure however of how this could communicate the strength of the individual, as it does not define as a particular person. (This could work as an overall statement of the feminine as I had originally thought of expressing, but through experimentation have moved away from, perhaps because not all females want to define themselves as this?).

Also as the features of the person are not representable could read as a loss of identity, or it could also read as being unknown, which strongly clashes with the concept of displaying strength!

Although I had thought this style of imagery could work, after reflection (my thoughts just flew out in this post sorry!), I don’t believe it will be effective for this project. It has however sparked ideas for future projects and possibilities for this method of a more ‘digital art’ take on editorial fashion photography.


Further Experimentation

I am still trying to figure out the best way to express the feminine through my photographic series using dance, dress and movement to symbolise this. It is the methods of portraying this that I am still experimenting with to see which style expresses this more, whether the photos should be taken in daylight, in the studio etc. along with deciphering the movements and poses that are the most successful and visually aesthetic.


As you can see this image isn’t perfect (along with the coat but it was so cold!), but I wanted to take some shots with this dress (which is actually one my own, and would prefer not to use it for on location should in case of spoiling it), so I took some at home.

These shots are simply taken after dark, using fill flash, without reflectors or decent lighting, but the image still doesn’t look too bad.

I also took some photos using long exposures, to create some interesting effects which I will upload and discuss shortly.

Image is my own, as Rachael Anne Photography NZ.

‘Play Things’ @Refinery ArtSpace

Play Things A group exhibition featuring contemporary jewellery created by Nelson based artists on exhibit during September. Looking around the gallery there was such uniqueness to each item, and almost avant-garde styled contemporary jewellery. It gave me a lot of inspiration for my own jewellery designs, as I am still in the process of creating a body of work for my theme of Moment or Memory. Below are some images I took from this fantastic exhibition.

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Mourning Jewellery, Memory of Someone Loved.

An area of jewellery created especially to capture memory is Victorian Mourning jewellery similar to Momento Mori (remember that you have to die), however has a different concept instead of focusing solely on death,  Victorian Mourning jewellery is more holding a memory of those who have passed on, through taking hair or photographs into jewellery.


Ms. Michelson, who co-owns antiques store Obscura Antiques, added that buyers are often drawn to the slightly morbid pieces because of the strange emotions that they evoke.


‘Victorian hairwork is just so well done,’ Ms. Michelson explained. ‘It takes years of dedication and practice – it was a real craft. The labor involved makes you appreciate the difficult aspect of working with it. I can imagine how working with hair would be an act of devotion, turning these precious relics of someone you love into something more precious.’

The band on the bracelet above is actually created with braided hair, which is a little unusual to imagine that sitting against your skin! However I am more interested in how the photos of the children are set into the design, sealed behind the glass, holding a memory forever.
The pieces I have been experimenting with are using similar methods of communicating the concept,holding a moment from the past as a beautiful memory, but rather than glass as a way of framing the work using resin instead.
Image One retrieved from:

Wellcome Library,London. “Hairy situation: Jewelry made out of human hair was widely popular throughout the late-Georgian and Victorian eras.” Daily Mail UK. 2015. Accessed September 20, 2016. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2907086/Meet-women-collect-morbid-mourning-jewelry-HUMAN-HAIR.html.

Image Two retrieved from:

Heritage Images/Getty Images. “Strange love: Wearing hair from a lover, family member or friend was seen as a token of affection in the Victorian era.” Daily Mail UK. 2015. Accessed September 20, 2016. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2907086/Meet-women-collect-morbid-mourning-jewelry-HUMAN-HAIR.html.

Information and quotes retrieved from:

Erica Tempesta For Dailymail.com. “Not your average bling! Meet the women who collect morbid mourning jewelry made from HUMAN HAIR.” Daily Mail UK, January 13, 2015. Accessed September 20, 2016. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2907086/Meet-women-collect-morbid-mourning-jewelry-HUMAN-HAIR.html.

Photography as Memory.

Susan Sontag in her essay Frames of Mine: Photography, Memory and Identity addresses ideas on photography encapsulating a moment of our past, holding and keeping it from fading from our memory, a keepsake for the future.

She states

“. . . (A) photograph translates the fleeting, raw materials of our subjective experience — light and time — into permanent, enduring objects that can be treasured and possessed. In this way, photographs seem to off a loop-hole by which we can freeze the passing of time and selectively retain and revisit those moments which we choose to hold dear.”

I find this appropriate in relation to my own ideas on th choice of subject matter set into my resin jewellery, using a photograph I have taken as a reference to a memory of a beautiful moment in nature, the sublime, as some might call it.

I always take my camera with me when exploring nature and take multiple photographs, which made finding images that successfully recollected a moment not too difficult, as they were already anchor points to the moment captured.


Testing Location

I have been considering doing an outdoor shoot, to add some interest into the dress photographs, rather than just having a plain backdrop. This got me thinking about good places for a shoot, and after spending some time at the Boulder Bank and with overcast conditions, this could potentially be a great place for a shoot. ( I have also seen the work of a local photographer achieve fantastic lighting in similar conditions, with a model dressed as a contemporary ballerina).

I took some photos today, not only because I love photographing landscapes as beautiful as this, but also to test lighting, and see if I could envision a model placed within the composition.

I know a lot of these photos aren’t applicable, since you can’t see the land in all the shots, bu they do show the fantastic cloud formations that can add to the drama and theatrics I am wanting to capture within the image, through the movement of the model.

I have also considered shooting at the beach, but the lighting and reflections created by the sand is not particularly what I am wanting, but the lighting in these images and the colour tone, will be complimentary and second to bright colour and actions in the foreground.

Photographs are my own as Rachael Anne Photography NZ.

Some Advice on Photoshoots With a Model.

It is always welcomed when an experienced photographer puts into writing tips and tricks for portrait and fashion photography,as this information can be difficult to get from some of the leading photographers.

Below is a link to an article by Viewbug which is an online community for sharing various styles of photography and where I get a lot of inspiration from.

Through this platform I have been discovering a lot of useful content, written by successful photographers in their preferred fields.

Sarah Allegra is one who works with a lot of models to create some beautiful compositions, often mastering challenging techniques along with gaining good communication between her and the model, which Allegra talks of in this article.