Every summer, in the small town of Harpursville, New York, magical forces and mythical beings converge to create the New York Faerie Festival. There, the barriers between human and animal, magic and muggle, dissolve. There, these lost boys wander the woods in search of handouts – or a hand – to devour. This is a wonderful, lush streamside family event with plenty of adult entertainment and brilliant photo opportunities around every corner. Plan to camp out for the best experience.
Geeky Photo Stuff: I went wide for this shot because I love how it distorts the subject. I would have been happier if I had a wider lens on the camera at the time, but 28mm was wide enough for this one.
Nikon D800, Tokina ATX Pro 28-70mm f/2.8 Lens at f/2.8 and 28mm. 1/500 sec. Converted to Black and White in Photoshop Lightroom.
Anyone who knows my work, knows that I love tattoos. So many of my models sport incredible ink, but the average tattoo shot is like looking at a slab of meat. The technique and style leaves a lot to be desired. My photos are more about subtlety and suggestion than that. This weekend, thanks to the powers that be at the PHILADELPHIA TATTOO ARTS CONVENTION – Which will be held February 13th-15th 2015, I will have the opportunity to tweak the boundaries once again with photo subjects that are as defiant about their body art as I am about my photography. I think it will be a good mix.
Musicians are some of the most photographed people out there and it’s tough to come up with an original shoot concept so, like it or not, every shot is going to be derivative of something that’s already been done. The best that you can do is ad original elements of lighting, color or texture. This shot I did of Faerie singer/songwriter Jessica Star is an example. The pose is reminiscent of early Bruce Springsteen, the color, background and texture screams modern digital. The contrast might suggest film. The subject is a classic beauty, and that never hurts.
Techie Photo Stuff:
This shot was taken after a longish studio session. The studio lighting was adequate, but none of the shots spoke to me. After the formal shoot, we walked around the house and explored the gorgeous, diffuse mid-winter light that was pouring though the windows. Serendipity!
“That sense of loss grew within the hearts of the humans who had been left behind, left to live without unicorns. Even the ones who had never seen a unicorn, felt the passing of something sweet and wonderful. It was as if the air had surrendered a bit of its spice, the water a bit of its sparkle, the night a bit of its mystery.”
― Bruce Coville
Techie Stuff: f/2.8 for drama. Natural, diffused light for softness and to leverage the beauty of the subject. A teeny drip of fill. This girl was just too pretty to mess with very much.
Nikon D800 , 28.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ƒ/2.8, 70.0 mm, 1/80, 100 ISO
Sometimes two people meet one another and you know they are twins. They might not have the same look or the same last name, they might not even look like each other or be close in age, but you know, spiritually, they are twins. Sometimes it’s better to keep them separated, for they trouble they might get into. This is the case here, and it is another reason whey you never mess with Faeries.
In the woods, at a distance, a faerie queen and her attendant consented to pose for a portrait, which is a rare honor and a gracious gesture. While the deep woods are full of Fae folk, most people – especially adults – never see them.
Most importantly, this is an example of why natural light, when nature cooperates, is above and beyond wonderful. This was a partly cloudy day where the harsh noontime sun was diffused by both clouds and tree cover. Thanks nature!!!
I have amazing friends. The one on the right is Ruby Chiex who you will see in a lot of my photos. Brilliant and beautiful, she has been one of my photo muses for a few years running.
This photo shows why it pays to get the big lights and demonstrates the serendipity available in every photo shoot. The modeling light of the my AB800 with PLM modifier (aggressively flared) from above produced such a lovely light that I dropped my Nikon D800 and snapped a quick shot with my Fuji Point-and-shoot.
Encountered near Baltimore, this Autumn Faerie was brazen, bold and colorful. Fae cannot be seen unless they want you to see them.
“This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence. Or lack thereof”. ~Neil Gaiman
Technical: Nikon D90, 55mm, ISO 250, 1/160@F/11, wireless Speedlight – off camera, cls controlled. To shoot a faerie in the wild, you have to hand hold your lights.
I mean really, when are they ever going to get a clue that the seemingly innocent child that they are about to devour is actually a bone-breaking ninja prodigy?
This was a tough shot due to the variable light. by metering on the dark area and allowing the bright area to camera right to be somewhat overblown, you can get a serviceable photo, but really, why not just center it on the background and be done with the back-lighting altogether?
Probably because if they noticed me, I’d have been turned into a newt, but more like I was just walking by as these awesome actors were playing this out and captured what I could – there were hundreds of people around and this was the only vantage point. Capture what you can. Fix it later if you must. A fair photo of a good subject is better than no photo at all.
Every year around this time Krampuslauf Philadelphia freaks out the neighbors. And that is very, very good, because freaking out the neighbors is one of my favorite things to do. Here in Philly, Amber Dorko-Stopper, AKA Frau Perchta on Facebook, begs, pleads and cajoles scores of brilliant artists, neighbors and fellow citizens into performing one of the most wonderful and eclectic neighborhood events you’ve never seen. There are costumes, food, camp fires, kids, adults, hot cider, incredible fire dancing, and everything Alpine-mythic for all that care to attend. The costumes are to die for.
For an event like this, you should bring the fastest and widest lens that you have. Available light is the best, but if you bring your own, use something off-camera and well diffused.