Rainforest Revisited

It’s bad of me to revisit old work when I have so much wonderful new stuff to show on here – or is it? Sometimes looking back and being grateful for some very special moments is rather nice! The series below, recently put together as a montage for my website (Faerie gallery; and do go and check out some other galleries I’ve recently updated there, by clicking here) is a definite contender for one of my favourite collections of all time. These serene, natural images were shot by Dave Aharonian in ancient rainforest in BC, Canada.

My explanation of how these images came to be (recent facebook conversations): ‘He had some kind of magical camera-box which he disappeared behind and went under a cloth; everything was upside down and miraculously these images happened.’

His, slightly more helpful, explanation: ‘I shot these on a 4X5 view camera with a 6″ Darlot Petzval lens. The shallow depth of field and swirly background is a characteristic feature of these antique lenses.’

So there you have it; the truth behind the hocus pocus. What an incredibly peaceful place to have been able to experience. I am very lucky!

Siiiigh… Looking back at these is really making me crave another visit.

So far this year I’ve stuck mostly to my plan of scheduling in just one short trip per month; plans now include France, Germany, Holland/Netherlands (um…), Norway and possibly Belgium. At some point I might think beyond Europe… Will let you know when I do!

Blue Skies and Dagmar Falls

Some new images for you by the absolutely excellent Cam Attree, RAWards Australia Photographer of the Year, excellent host, provider of excellent comedy films and bringer of mango sorbet.

These are from a tiny 5 minute thing we did near Byron Bay, after another shoot he worked on (during which I mostly sunbathed). Kinda missing that blue sky at the moment!

Later, I shot with Cam again at the beautiful Dagmar Falls:

…. Where I was joined by the beautiful Ivory Flame (my good friend and wonderful listening ear), for some of my absolutely favourite shots ever taken of us together:

And in colour:

Thank you Cam!

Fee Tree

Well, Italy was amazing. Utterly Italy-ish. Rolling orange hills, chickens, a LOT of granita (Sicilian Spirit, lemon, mint, peach…), grapes plucked from vineyards, Botticelli and Titian – I can’t get enough of wandering around in wonder at the talent, myth and stories in the Uffizi Gallery. And Michaelangelo’s David (in the Accademia) really is a sight to behold (is it weird to fancy a sculpture? Hmm). I really must go to Italy again as soon as possible.

In other news, I am now gearing up for my trip to Vietnam, Australia, Japan and Bali. I leave in a couple of weeks! So much to organise it’s insane. It will be an amazing trip. Email me at ellarosemuse@live.co.uk for details!

Anyway, update time, and the following shots were taken in the south of Germany a couple of months ago. I stayed with Peter Gruener and worked with different photographers over two days for this part of the trip (I’ve included links on the first instance of each photographer being credited). We had a good time, despite heat and mosquitos, and I really love some of the images below. Thanks photographers!

Copyright: GSXF5

 Copyright: Peter Gruener

 Copyright: Peter Gruener

 Copyright: Peter Gruener

 Copyright: Stefan Engler
Copyright: Stefan Engler

Copyright: Arnold Line

Copyright: Arnold Line

Copyright: Arnold Line

Copyright: Arnold Line

Copyright: Arnold Line

Copyright: Arnold Line

Copyright: GSXF5
Copyright: GSXF5

Copyright: Peter Gruener

Copyright: Peter Gruener

Moss, Kicks & Lochs

Back when I started modelling, Alex Ingram‘s work was way up there at the top of the ‘inspire’ list; I saw his beautiful work everywhere and hoped I might work with him one day. I had been in touch with him ever since (and we have the message history from 2009 to prove it!) but I never quite made it to his high-up land of lochs and glens until a couple of weeks ago, when I finally met and worked with him. And what a good thing I finally made the journey! Alex is a wonderful host, taking such care to keep me comfortable and happy during my 2-night stay, and even packed me off with a surprise packed lunch afterwards (he did his absolute best to use up all the remaining peanut butter in my rolls since he hated it so much – fine by me, the peanut butter addict!). During a shoot, his way of working comes from years and years of experience and understanding; he is able to visualise a shot (or work with the visualisation of the model), set up, and take only a few frames in order to capture the image – which, in Scotland’s unpredictable weather conditions is an invaluable skill! Despite changing weather (sunny-ish at first then downpours!), we managed to get some great images! I’m so looking forward to seeing what we can come up with on location in Iceland this July!

Alex sent me images from the day in multiple versions, but I’m leaning towards sepia for most. I think sepia is under-used!

Alex wrote this about the high-kick shots above: As we were walking between locations in a remote scattered deserted village high on a hillside I mentioned to Ella Rose to say if she saw anything as a potential location, and within seconds she said this tree. This high kick is totally free standing although it may not look that way, she had to be well away from both the trunk & branch to avoid their shadows. Take into account the rough ground which was soft, and a bog just a few feet away, it was an amazing feat to achieve.’

Also, don’t let the blue sky in the colour shot of the tree above fool you too much… It was beautiful at that point, yes, but torrentially raining for much of the rest of it!

But first, back to the good weather, some restful nudes on moss:

Squeaky clean (and more sepia!) portraits in Alex’s lounge – aka temporary rain shelter:

With these next few (the last of the day’s output!), I thought we could go for a rainy/misty beautiful/desolate effect, and Alex knew what I meant and found the perfect spot. His amazing home location meant it would have been a crime not to have posed next to the loch near the bottom of his driveway, and we decided we could just go for it and shoot in the rain for the last few, walkie talkies ‘n’ all! Amazingly, my hair doesn’t really look wet. The physics of weather makes no sense sometimes. 🙂

Nearby (a few steps away) the local sheep were gathered, soaking wet, and wondering what on earth we humans were doing. Throughout my trip to Scotland I became besotted with all the tiny lambs I saw (I saw some which seemed only a few days old; I’d held a lamb before but never seen such tiny ones!!). I really really want a little lamb as a pet. It would be the most loved lamb in the whole wide world, without a doubt. Siiiigh. I could walk it and everything.

Thank you Alex!

Twigs, Sticks and Weaves

Afternoon! I had another highly creative play-around in the studio (Unique Capture, in Milton Keynes, this time) with Karen Jones at the weekend, and have already been sent some shots I think are sooo lovely. Karen and I have worked together a lot on quite a range of styles and settings, and these latests shots are way up there with the best of what we’ve done, I think! It’s really nice to work on ‘themes’ with Karen, and it’s always good teamwork.

The original plan for this booking was something completely different, a ‘part two’ to a theme we’d already started (and which had resulted in some lovely shots, I think) but on a bit of a whim Karen decided to abandon that idea, for now, and work on some other ideas, including one set using twigs in the studio. Funnily enough, this had been on my ‘to do’ list for a while, and was also the plan of the photographer I worked with the just day before (luckily the shots are quite different though)! I have modelled in studios and outdoors in nature (as the eagle eyed among you may have noticed), but I hadn’t before brought these two disparate tropes into synthesis before, and the idea of bringing nature inside and posing it against an indoor, modern studio setting, makes for all sorts of connections about both life and death, joy and sadness, doesn’t it? We did a bit of classical ‘mother nature’ style stuff, and also some more ‘messed up’, ‘earthy’ portraits  for which it seemed only right to backcomb my hair into an enormous tangly state (it needs little encouragement, to be honest). Those came out kind of glamorous (which was nice) though. Karen had made a necklace using moss. So clever (and a tinsy bit itchy, after a while…)!

These twiggy ones were done with natural light, which is often very flattering, I think.

Karen’s soft processing and the luminous light here reminds me of the film 300, somehow:

And one we liked without the twigs:

Then, another idea Karen had was inspired by an ‘oriental’ accessory. I remembered that I once bought a Thai hat on the floating market of Bangkok (why have I never used that on a shoot before?), so I whipped it off my shelf and brought it along, braided my hair and put on this rather funky jumpsuit Karen had brought along and kindly donated to my modelling wardrobe afterwards! I’m not usually one for wearing orange, but I do love it and I think it made for some cute, bright fashion-y shots. I really like the slightly retro tint in this first one especially!

Some monochrome nudes, for a different feel…

And a ‘Black Widow’ experiment:

Thank you Karen! Looking forward to the next one!

Charcoal Metallics & Garden Gates

Hot off a high from starting to learn this piece by Liszt (Liebestraum/Dream of Love)…

(Press play and listen all the way through… So far I’m up to the 1min20 mark in the video below. I’ll be sure to update you once I’ve mastered it, since I’m sure you’re all on the edges of your seats about it.

Such a classic, but always surprisingly beautiful every time I hear it.)

… I bring you these images by Steven Bruce. I really enjoyed modelling for Steve – he got some gorgeous stuff and he and his wife are such nice, bright and warm people. We shot mainly in the garden of the place they were staying at, in California. The images are from one part of the session; the other involved a double act; I have been promised more and can’t wait to see them too.

I just think those mono conversions, depths of field and textures, especially in the last two, are so lush; kind of fluid but retaining sharp details. I think they look charcoal-y metallic! 🙂

Blue Sky Desert

Aaaah, Joshua Tree National Park. How we enjoyed you. 🙂 I have such good memories of this place – I was soooo excited to see it! In particular, one happy (but cold) evening was spent lying on top of rocks staring up into the dark sky, watching for shooting stars, huddled under layers and hiding whenever the (very occasional) car came through, pretending to be rocks. Haha. And I have a clear memory of someone sighing in the dark, saying they’d just yawned and hurt their jaw, and we laughed when I pointed out the importance of ‘warming up’ before yawning. Looking forward to hanging out with these friends again!

The following images are more daytime-orientated, evidenced by that unfamiliar (to Brits) azure hue in that-there upward space. You can probably get a sense from these images of how bright the sun was, even early in the morning. I saw two coyotes in this desert!

Taken by New Zealander Brian Connor, with thanks for taking me there.