Otters, Rocks and Water Lilies

Just in case you don’t notice, I’ve now re-jiggled my blog here to have its very own stand-alone ‘Travel Plans, Schedule & Events’ page (see the new tab at the top!). Pretty snazzy, eh? I’ll be attempting to keep it regularly updated with dates and locations, so it’s the place to glance at now and then if you ever find yourself wondering about my wanderings.

I’ve also added a widget on the right hand side which enables you lovely readers to enter your email address into the box to get immediate notifications directly to your inbox every time I update this blog with news and new images. You might find you like it. (And if not, you can unsubscribe at any time.) Do it! ­čÖé

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At the end of July I went on another two-day adventure with Perry (Imagesse) to Pembrokeshire in Wales.┬áI annoyed myself throughout the trip by having a cold which meant I couldn’t breathe amazingly well (urgh), but apart from that it was another very enjoyable adventure! I had my own beautiful little self-catering converted barn in Lamphey, so that was a nice treat (although I vaguely remember demanding that Perry remove a spider from my bathroom shortly after arrival. I am such a girl, it’s embarrassing).

We visited various locations which Perry had thought looked interesting, and as usual there were some beautiful and striking scenes involved.┬áSometimes a shoot is a bit like a nature-spotting hiking trip in disguise. ­čÖé┬áWith thanks to Perry (and hoping to shoot again sometime!), here are a few of the results:

With my dance wings let loose like a cape…

In a tiny old chapel set in a cliff:

Down near the water…

And in a huge lake filled with beautiful water lilies. It was quite difficult to find a spot to photograph here, as to be honest, the lake wasn’t exactly very private, but we took the risk… I love the inky hues of Perry’s mono conversions here, but will also add a couple in colour to show off the amazing vibrant blues and greens!

And of course, I promised otters. Well, aside from joggers of the picturesque-location penchantery, this location was also a hit with otter-spotters. One poor man told us all about his efforts to witness their existence, with little success, before moving on. Around three minutes later, we saw one repeatedly popping its little brown head up before swimming around to a slightly different part of the water, sending ripples and bubbles everywhere and popping up again… We were totally spoiled with otter omnipresence! So obviously Perry grabbed a quick snapshot or two (though he hadn’t got the most appropriate otter-watching lens on at the time!):

Cuuuuute! I really hope the man we spoke to saw one or two before he went home.

I love my job.

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Mirrors

Hellooo.

Hope everyone’s having a nice weekend so far! I’ve had some really fun shoots recently, including modelling (dancing/leaping) in a full authentic, beautiful Japanese kimono for a west-meets-east art project (it was sooo heavy; amazing to have worn and the images looked so cool, though they are non-publishable until Jan) and a stock shoot which involved blowing on glass doors, crafting with pipe cleaners, dry-leaf arranging(!), gazing out of windows with mugs of tea, upholstering and lying down on a bed of autumn leaves taking photos of myself with my phone. (Hence:

)

I’ve had such a nice day today so far, indulging in a marathon of recorded Merlins from Saturday nights and also going to hobbycraft with my Mum (yep!) to accompany her sparkly wool buying, and I bought a massive glass-fronted board from a nearby shop which will shortly be smothered with some amazing postcards I have amassed over the last year or so from art galleries and museums all over the world, since my current one is full. I will probably divide them into colour and monochrome and make two boards. I am also going to be asking very nicely for a few prints from some artists/photographers whose work I’ve admired online, since my lists of favourite images over on my Model Mayhem page (quick plug there; it’s recently updated…) are full of some amazing stuff I want to possess for my walls.

….Also, there is more dividing and conquering to announce: I have a new updated website! Well, it’s the same website, but with long awaited newness in the way of THREE new galleries. So with the addition of Pisces, Luxe and Video┬áthere are now 15 fully distinct galleries on my website. Take a look!

I already have ‘Elemental‘ for nudes amongst striking landscapes such as rocks formations and earthly arrangments, but now have ‘Pisces‘ for anything to do with water (pisces being the most wonderful astrological sign, obviously…). I really do love modelling in water, by it, near it… it’s so expressive, and makes me extra expressive too maybe… Meanwhile, I already have the ‘Figurative‘ gallery for studio work focusing on body form, abstracts and shapes in monochrome, but now also have ‘Luxe‘ for nude figurative work made in wonderful, glowing colour! I love the connotations of ‘luxury’, which is a mood some of those images suggest to me, but there are also more airy, bright, and whimsical nudes there too. Video is still being created and is self explanatory, including dance work as well as some ‘show reel’ style snippets such as the piece I recently blogged. Will do it soon!

What else…?

Oh yeah, I’ve agreed last minute to step in for a model who’s pulled out of a studio day at Eye for an Image Studio in Banbury on Sat 15th December, so you can book me there in 2-hourly slots to work on some fashion/arty/nude/dance/bridal/whatever you like imagery there if you like – just email me at ellarosemuse@live.co.uk. I think half the day has gone already, but there is still available time and I’d love to hear from you.

And here are some images recently sent to me from Neil Snape made in Paris way back in March. Neil was lovely to work with, and an excellent photographer, letting loose with this ‘raw’ mirror series, and I’m so glad I can now show these extra shots (I blogged a couple earlier, after the shoot: ‘Lionness Lightplay’). I think my favourite is probably the last one. Neil’s hoping to exhibit his work for this series in an exposition sometime next year.

A-flitting and a-fluttering

I loooove these new shots from Brian (Martinphoto), taken up in Fife earlier this year. Brian had been feeling really unwell in the days beforehand but heroically endured the prospect of shooting with me nevertheless, instead of cancelling last minute, and we ended up having lots and lots of fun in the local camera club studio, despite the flu-induced lack of game plan!

Today’s excuse for posting so many images is my theory that if you scroll down the page really really fast and perhaps squint your eyes a bit to add to the already-very-cool effect of flash + slow shutter = movement blur, you can watch a little fairy/angel dance! ­čśë

Also, I’ve had a few emails before asking me about this skirt – it’s one of my bellydance skirts that I customised, perfect for sheer delicate movement and swishing!

…And the ‘ta da!’ finish!

Ourania ascending Mount Wilson

I have some stunning new artwork to share with you this early Friday evening before I go out, courtesy of photographer and digital artist Jeff Wack. Based in LA, Jeff’s work has been used in some major international advertisements and campaigns, and his personal work includes this ‘Sensuous Muse’ project, which depicts a variety of muses and goddesses from various mythologies, more of which can be seen here. With me on this shoot was the delightful Aussie model Anoush Anou, who will be heading to the UK in the early summer time… (photographers take note!). ­čÖé

The image below is inspired by the painting ‘Ein Wiederfinden’ (A Reunion), by Eduard Veith, along with the stories of Ourania, one of Zeus’ daughters who became known as the goddess of astronomy.

As for the significance of the LA landmark, Jeff tells me that there were some important astronomical discoveries made there long ago.┬áThe growing city lights obscured the viewing and the older observatories there have long taken a back seat┬áto the more modern communication towers you see in the scene. The area is prone to bush fires, and in terms of intent, the idea is to play on releasing the past with ties to the present…

So, here I am as Ourania, ascending Mount Wilson.

Cracked Earth, Sleek Fashion and Tumbleweed

Very excited to show you these, from my most recent photographic adventure with photographer Jeremy Howitt. As you may have noticed, we do end up shooting in some fun places, and when I mentioned to Jeremy that I’d be in California in October he took the opportunity to visit too! I am having a bit of a dilemma here about which images to post first, but think I’ll go for the ones taken at Lucerne Valley dry lake bed. (Edit: I might be lying; I’ll probably post everything.)

Jeremy had in mind some images he’d seen of some dry, cracked earth, and I jumped at the idea, as I have never shot in a location like that before – one where you can literally see the ground splitting apart – and I knew it would make for some amazing shots! Luckily, we found an absolutely perfect spot and also managed to coincide our jaunt with a storm which was making its way in over the San Bernadino mountains, which made for the incredible sky you’ll see below. (No, it really wasn’t photoshopped in!). Jeremy has already posted a thread on PurplePort about the trip here, if you’d like to read his version of events.

As always, I’m very grateful to Jeremy for choosing me to model for him yet again, and in such amazing places! Some of these images are just so spectactular – a wonderful combination of landscape photography and figurative art. In this area we focused mainly on keeping the pose(s) simple while Jeremy experimented with perspective. I especially love the fourth shot here (which I then go on to post a million versions/crops of… sorry!… Help?) I think this amazing place deserves to be seen in both monochrome and colour. Any preferences though?

Previous to this set, we had visited El Mirage, another dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert, but one whose landscape is completely different. I really love how simple these shots are – in such a vast, empty space the poses are everything.. all the world’s a stage, etc., etc., and I love the dusty tones on the horizon. (Clothes provided by Jeremy.)

I like to call this the ‘Batwoman’ set:

And we also managed some quick nudes, despite having to chase the black fabric half way down the desert at one point. That wind was fast!

And finally, a quick set we did with some tumbleweed found on the side of the road. We were pretty determined to do this (dappled light = goodness!) and again the wind played its part; it took great restraint and gravity control not to be pulled around while lifting it up. They are surprisingly heavy. And utter wind traps. Pretty amazing little (big) things, tumbleweeds!

So, I’m afraid this has been another bumper blog post… I have been spoiled with images again (I also have square-crop versions of most, and the colour/mono debate is evident once more…) so please do declare your favourites with any comments! Thank you!

Beetroot and Rocks

It is completely and utterly unnecessary, not to mention irrelevant to the purposes of this blog, to let you know what I had for dinner this evening, but I think what I just made needs to go down in history.

Beetroot, walnut and goats cheese spelt risotto.

Method:
– One onion (or a few shallots) in butter in big shallow pan
– Add garlic
– Two chopped cooked beetroots
– One courgette
– Handful of walnuts
– 100g wholegrain spelt (serves 2)
– Sizzle briefly (that’s the food, not the cook, though I was wearing an indecent amount of glamorous eye make up from today’s shoot)
– Add about 450ml of vegetable stock, and a splash of white wine for luck
– boil/simmer until the spelt absorbs most of the water
– grate in hard goats cheese
– Inhale gorgeousness
– Grind in a load of black pepper
– Admire the bright pink concoction as it bubbles away
– When liquid is absorbed, serve into shallow bowls and top with a handful of fresh watercress.

Delicious.

In other news, I’m happy to say I’ll be modelling for the Yerburys at the SWPP Photographic Convention in January (8th-14th at the Hilton at Edgware, London), for their two ‘Superclasses’, ‘Boudoir to Nude’, which has just three places left (on Tues 8th) and a portraits/creative lighting class (on the 11th) which has already sold out. It’ll be my first time there, and I’m sure will be a lot of fun! Maybe see some of you there, so come and say hi!

And finally, here are some shots made by the very lovely┬áBob Freund, taken in the stunning, surreal, wonderfully spiky Joshua Tree National Park in California. I spotted a coyote there one day (I was lucky enough to go there several times in the course of a week) and spent one evening lying against rocks in the dark watching the amazing star-ful sky! Very very peaceful and eerie. Bob found a particular spot in the park that he’d been searching for years, since photographing it once and wanting to go back; that’s not an easy feat, when the park is so huge, and required an initial detour to a patch of deceptively beautiful, violent cacti. Luckily, they didn’t get us! Thanks Bob!