Lanterns and Stars

17 Apr 2019

Liana of @findingfemme in Review Australia shimmering dress

I'm always looking for ways to stretch myself as a photographer. Recently, Review got in touch to collaborate with what I thought would be a shoot for their April collection. It turned out that they sent me three outfits to play with. The one I had the least ideas for was a stunning purple beaded dress. It was perfect for an elegant cocktail party for an engagement or wedding, but that gave me no ideas of how to shoot it. When playing with the fabric my brain came up with something... very bold.


Liana of @findingfemme in Review Australia shimmering dress

I haven't really touched photoshop extensively since school when I studied digital art. Nowadays it's only for occasional fashion shoots or cover shots for magazines. The rest of the time I don't ever play with it for me. One of my favourite photographers is constantly using it to create what I would call fine art photography. I'd love to get to that level and that's never going to come without practice and without pushing myself.

Sophie looks over the water


My brain formed a picture in my head of this sparkly dress, under the stars, surrounded in lights. I roped in a buddy to help with button pressing and keeping me entertained during the hours it would take to shoot it.

Liana of @findingfemme in Review Australia shimmering dress

Liana of @findingfemme in Review Australia shimmering dress

Dress: Review
Photo assistant: Sophie

Liana of @findingfemme in Review Australia shimmering dress


Step one was to find the right location so I went to an old favourite spot. The weather charmed us by giving us a perfectly clear sky. Then we set up the tripod of the camera in a single spot and began building the plates of images I would use to compose the final piece.

Liana of @findingfemme in Review Australia shimmering dress


I took a single blank background photo first. I waited until the sun was just down for this. I didn't want shadows complicating things. Then I tried a bunch of different poses in front of the camera in the hero dress with one of the lanterns. Then we moved the lanterns about taking dozens of photos that I could then combines together to make it look like we had more than two lanterns. Then we figured out we could take some long exposure shots with the lanterns trailing light. I really liked this so I made us walk in a pattern until we got what could be seen like northern lights for me to trail into the sky.




Finally, we took some long exposure shots to get some stars. On the best shot, we managed to capture a shooting star which got me really excited. Then I brought all the shots into photoshop and begin waking up muscles I'd forgotten how to flex. It's fairly basic, but I'm so proud of how it turned out. It doesn't look like a fine art masterpiece, but I will get there and it's exciting to try and new thing even when we had no idea if at any point in the process we would spectacularly fail.


Liana of @findingfemme in Review Australia shimmering dress


6 comments

  1. This is so impressive! And very interesting to hear about the whole process and the steps taken. Most inspiring! X

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    1. Thanks Porcelina! And thanks for your loyalty as a reader! I hope you found the new commenting format since Google+ was cancelled nice and easy.

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  2. What a fantastic image- so cool seeing your process!

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    1. Thanks Nicole! I did a bit of a step by step on Instagram as well. I've got to think of another one to do now.

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  3. What a fun project and a great way to challenge yourself!

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