I have always found mixed genre costumes interesting in their own right: Bunny Avengers, gender-bent PSwG, maid Naruto…you get the idea. It just so happened that my friend Lauren Abundis planned a steampunk Poison Ivy costume for herself, so of course I did not pass on the opportunity to photograph her in this awesome mix of a cosplay.
The original plan was to conduct the photoshoot at an off-trail area I knew about which had an unused railroad bridge and some sort of machinery that seemed abandoned. It’s a very interesting area that would be perfect for Steampunk photos. Sadly, dirt and torn down wood beams were all that was left when we arrived at the location. As frustrating as that was, it is important to recognize the fact that sometimes, these things happen unexpectedly and the best course of action is to just work with the newly discovered constraints.
In our case, finding/moving to another area was not an option. Instead of going for the Steampunk themed shoot that incorporates machinery as I planned originally, we opted to focus more on Ivy as a character instead.
The Lighting setup for this photoshoot was fairly straightforward: one Canon 580EX II speedlight and a silver reflective 43″ umbrella paired with a diffusion panel. One thing I had to be mindful of while shooting was keeping Lauren in a relatively evenly shaded area so the lighting, particularly on her face, was not disrupted by the sun seeping through the leaves.
Once the photoshoot was done there was still much work to do. The following are few things that I focused on fixing in post for this set, in addition to the standard process:
– Raw stacking (highlight fix & detail enhancing).
– Light smoothing on skin (due to sun leak).
– Toning / coloring (an inspiration from our recent interview with Andy Rak).
That’s it for the photoshoot! I hope you enjoyed the short read. Feel free to shoot me a message if you have any questions, comments, or feedback.