Cuttlefish Casting


Beautiful examples of the amazing textures that can be achieved through cuttlefish casting, with the textures of the bones showing up strongly on the final piece.

“The “Swirls” pendant (left) used a brass template and then I added the details with dental tools; the “Ocean Bubbles” pendant (right) used a template, carved details and fabricated details (the gold balls).”


Image retrieved from,

Brown, Valerie. “Swirls” pendant (left) “Ocean Bubbles” pendant (right). Firepan Jewellery Designs. 2010.

Text (in quotation marks) retrieved from,

Brown, Valerie. “Cuttlefish Casting!” Firepan Jewellery Designs. Last modified December 31, 2010.


Final Images!

These are the images I have finally decided on and now I am waiting for them to arrive! After feedback from a few people it came apparent that they would prefer these to not be framed.
I considered it I felt like they were not the right style to have the type of framing I was after originally, that being ‘floated’ in a clean white frame. I have decided to print them on glass, which does look amazing and will still give the images a polished look, without distancing them behind the frame. The other issue with the white frames would show up the background details, that I am not particularly happy with.


Each image will be 30 x 45, which makes me a little nervous about the resolution of the images as I originally thought they would be 30 x 40 (although it is only 5 more centimeters so I’m probably getting a bit fussy, although I usually am about my images!!).

Making the final selection of my final images was extremely difficult as i have narrowed these few images down from literally hundreds (probably a couple thousand when I make my final count!).

Over this project I have experimented with various styles, from obvious differences, to the very subtle, that being on various lighting, crazy effects including powder, motion blur, long exposures, dress styles and colour, and differing backgrounds.

To me these images said more, they related closer to my initial concepts, (posted prior and which at one stage I found myself drifting from), and are more expressive, visually interested and have had the best responses from peers, friends and family, including on social media. I also connect with these images more than the rest (I will upload the final 10 shortly) I find them more interesting as well (this may also be due to the fact that I think I over thought on some the images I left out), but over all I am happy with them. It was a tough decision, which took me over a week to decide, the first image is from a few shoots and months ago, and the other two are from a recent shoot that I nearly didn’t do.

I think the pink and blue contrast nicely with each other and the background, they have strong expressive movements, both in the pose and fabrics relative to ballet, the feminine, and the strength, grace and beauty of the female.

To see more of my work go have a look at my photography Facebook page and my Instagram ­čÖé

Photographs are my own as Rachael Anne Photography NZ.

Smoke, Lighting and Photography

I have recently been uploading a lot of tutorial videos for special effects photography, even though my current project photos are finished and being printed!

This is because I keep coming across information that I find inspiring, and don’t want to forget about when I next need it.

Also even though this blog was created to document my studies and research, I plan to keep it up over the holidays, only I obviously won’t have as much info to post.

I have found blogging to be a wonderful tool to place all my info into one place where I can easily access it at a later date, however I also have a workbook for sketches and note taking which is always great to have handy!

Together these mediums work well in my art process, and I plan to continue to work in this way in future!

Annie Leibovitz on New Book.

This interview by Charlie Ross with Annie Leibovitz is a wonderful glimpse into her career, and also her new book Annie Leibovitz WOMEN Susan Sontag, a collaboration between Sontag and Leibovitz, (essay by Sontag, and the images by Leibovitz).


Leibovitz, Annie┬áL. “Charlie Rose – Annie Leibovitz.” By Charlie Ross. Youtube. Video. February 26, 2014. Accessed October┬á30,┬á2016.