I spent an afternoon at Mission Beach, Australia shooting the London fashion and art model, Joceline in the jungles and beaches in the area.Â We started out shooting in the jungles and moved to the rock seawall and beaches as the sun was setting.Â The set here was shot among the rocks of the seawall as the sun cast a golden glow on Jocelineâ€™s English porceline complexion and hair.Â Joceline is trained as a ballerina and she showed off her grace posing among the rocks and expertly using the light to accentuate her form.Â Future blogs will show our other fine art and fashion sets in the jungle and beach.Â Lovely work, Joceline!!
In our stay in Mission Beach, the hotel Eco Village was very supportive and accommodating toÂ our needs.Â I can’t say enough good things about them.Â Â They gave usÂ free rein of the open air dining facility in the evenings to present our slide shows and even allowed us to shootÂ nudes around the property as long as we were respectful to the other guests.Â And there were some very nice places to shoot on the propertyÂ as well as the adjoiningÂ beach with justÂ a few short step from your bungalow.Â Â Â One day, Vassanta and I wandered around the property looking for places to shoot. We found a grove of palm trees, another areaÂ that the hotel was using to discard palm fronds providing a bed of leaves, and a discarded branch that looked like bizarre antlers. The ever creative VÂ also came up with the idea of using parts of the webbing around the palm trunk as a headdress. We got some lovely shots using the amber color of the palm fronds to accentuate her tan.Â I also used some new editing techniques to get a gorgeous platinum hued split tone result.Â Â We were also fortunate to benefit from one of Â those rare occasions where you are at the right place at the right time.Â She wasÂ posing on top of this tree that had grown around a rock when aÂ natural sun burst started filtering throughÂ the trees behind her.Â This alsoÂ provided a spot of light on her as well.Â I timedÂ theÂ shot to coincideÂ as the burst came through the trees. Ahhh….another day in paradise!Â I want to go back!!!!
While shooting around our hotel at Mission Beach, the ever creative Vassanta put together some different looks using the husks off the side of palm trees as a headdress, discarded palm fronds to frame her face and some discarded branches to create some â€œantlersâ€.Â Â Â I thought it would be interesting to share some of the different versions of these portraits from my experiments in Lightroom. More photos to come from the sessions around Mission Beach and the palms.
My favorites from some recently scanned rolls of medium format and 35mm film
Some of my favorite’s from my shoot with Muse.
Like most good things, it started with a delicious dinner.
A month or two before arriving at Mission Beach, Michael Marlborough and I met up to eat Ethiopian food and chat about travel plans (and before anyone says it, yeah, Ethiopian food â€“ kind of an oxymoron, huh? But itâ€™s awesome. Try it). Some wine had been drunk and we were throwing out ideas for shoots. There was a nautical theme going on â€“ we talked about anchors, rope, and sailors. Then I said, â€œGiant squid!â€
Michaelâ€™s eyes lit up.
Now, I wasnâ€™t exactly joking when I started talking about cephalopods. You know those images you have in your mind, the ones you hope someday with enough time, resources and the right people to work with, youâ€™ll get down on film? Well, one of the ones in the back of my head, taking up important room, involved a many-legged sea creature. Turns out my photographer friend had a similar affliction. Perhaps we were onto something. Since both of us live inland, shooting near the ocean is not something we get to do very often and our access to sea creatures is limited. We had to take the opportunity while we could.
Weeks later, driving from Townsville to Mission Beach, we procured ourselves the largest frozen octopus we could find, with the help of a very bemused fishmonger. This was Octavius.
He was so big that, once thawed in a bucket of iced water, we needed an assistant just to keep him in position. Plus rubber bands, several chairs and afterwards, a lot of soap. But we worked it out and Octavius turned out to be a pretty decent model.
There is nothing quite like seeing an image youâ€™ve had in your mind, exactly as you saw it, finally come into being on the preview panel of a camera or a proof sheet. It was one of the best moments at Mission Beach and something Iâ€™ll never forget. The feeling of having a large octopus draped over my face has been largely blanked out, so thereâ€™s nothing but happy endings to this story. Oh, and some pictures.
Have I told you all how much we loved Mission Beach? I can still feel the ocean breeze and humidity in my mind. Our house didn’t hurt the vibe one bit. I still wish I had video of Rei dancing her Bollywood dance. So I could post it here! She’d probably throw a smack my way all the way from Canberra though! All in good fun. I’ve known Rei for years and we worked together in 2004 for the first time with successful results. Many book publishings and magazine publishings with a few of our images. Now from this time working together I’ve already sold one of our prints. What a great feeling for both of us to know that someone wants to own a fine art piece from our work together. One of the prints from this session sold… the “Jim Morrison” pose. 😉 I was excited when we peeled the negative back and saw the unique destruction of the print that you only get with the Holga/Polaroid back combo. Nice. I hope the owner of the new print enjoys seeing it on their wall for a very long time. Thank you.
A selection of favorites from a batch of recently processed and scanned medium format slide film.
Just trying to keep the love alive here. More shi, I mean stuff. Life is art!
I made two excursions to Babinda Boulders.Â It’s located in a park in the jungle midway between Cairns and Mission Beach, Australia.Â Rapids run through beautiful curvy rock formations carved by the river as well as rain erosion.Â The first visit was upon arrivalÂ in Australia. Claudine and I were anxious to shoot and stopped by there on the way to Mission Beach after flying into Cairns from Auckland, NZ.Â There is about a mile of paved paths running high above the river bank to give you several lookout points over the beautiful rocks.Â We reached the end of the trail overlooking a vast stretch of boulders with rapids running through them and cascading in small waterfalls.Â Kids were everywhere jumping from boulder to boulder and over the stream as well.Â Danger signs were everywhere – “Extremely Slippery, People have died here !”Â Â Â With all the kids jumping from boulder to boulder, how dangerous could it be?Â So we ventured out.Â Of course, I find a wet patch and proceed to fall on my ass. It was like walking on ice! The signs were not joking.Â So we gingerly wandered among the boulders trying to find private places to shoot.Â In most cases, we had just a few minutes opportunity to shoot before onlookers materialized.Â However, even with those limitations, I love the images we got – especially the ones of her curled up in these gorgeous womb like carvings in the rock.
The next day I went on a scouting trip of some locations for shooting later in the week and Rebecca came along for the adventure and also some shooting if we found some places.Â Josephine Falls was gorgeous, but too crowded.Â We were near Babinda Boulders and thought Rebecca might enjoy seeing it. Plus, there was a whole section I had not seen the day before, and it might not be as crowded to shoot in the areas I had been. We went back to the area Claudine and I had shot in.Â It was not as crowded as the day before and we wandered around looking for shooting locations.Â I warned Becca about the slippery rocks.Â She thought it would be cool to shoot by the water by jumping down about 4 feetÂ into this cubby hole by the water. I was nervous, but off she jumped…..annnnd slipped right off the little rock ledge and into the rapids.Â She was caught in a shoot of waterÂ barely clutching the rock walls before being swept down stream. I jumped down in the same cubby hole, slipping myself and it took all my strength to steady myself on the slippery rock and pull her out against the current. Miraculously, the sarong she had on didn’t get ripped off her by the current.Â So now we are holding on to each other stuck in this cubby hole, just big enough for the both of us, with the rock ledge we need to get out 4 feet up.Â So, I steadied myself and pushed her up the ledge and she was out.Â But now I was stuck. It was too slippery for me to get any kind of footing to get out. Luckily two Aussie teenagers came the rescue. One holding on to me to pull me out and the other holding on to his mate to prevent him from slipping down into the hole with me.Â Without them, it would have been a loooonggg wait because nobody was around.Â So we were both bruised and banged up, but nothing major.Â We had lost the confidence in remaining safe in the area, so we departed for the upper part of the river.Â Here, the water pools into a small lake before being channeled into the rapids below. Rebecca went swimming in the pool with me shooting at a distance with a 300mm lens.Â I couldn’t get closer due to the danger of slipping on the rocks to get to the pool and going swimming with my camera gear.Â I think Rebecca enjoyed her skinny dipping and swimming except for one time putting her hand on a rock and finding a spider larger than her hand in a cubby hole. I love the ones we got with the light highlighting her form while swimming.Â Later in the week, we visited a crocodile farm and learned that crocs are known to habitat bodies of water like the one Becca was swimming in.Â hmm. That’s one bitey thing I’m glad we didn’t meet in the wild!