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Dance photoshoot behind the scenes

Feat. Axelle Chagneau at the Château la Louvière

This will be the last Behind the scenes video from the sessions made inside the Château la Louvière. I really enjoyed working there, we experimented a bit, I changed my approach from time to time and learned a thing or two, but above all, I had a lot of fun.

Another photoshoot with a dancer, with contrast, deep shadows, and motivated lighting on the menu. What is "Motivated lighting" in the first place? It is the use of lighting in a scene to imitate a natural light source. The word "natural" makes this confusing. "Motivated lighting" is a bit like practical lighting. We are simply going to replicate the presence of practical lights on a scene. The idea is to make you believe that what is lighting our subject comes from (a visible) practical light in the shot or one that might be slightly out of frame. I have been doing this more and more lately, trying to find that "in-between look”. A lot of my images were too artificial in the past, and unnatural. I was aiming for a specific aesthetic that was perfect for commercial work or fashion. But this was not what I was looking for here. The advantage of using strobes is control, and the option to bend reality, or to make it your own. I wanted to place myself somewhere in-between, I wanted to keep that dark mood look and in some scenes, like the following, I wanted people to feel like the light hitting my subject was coming from the chandelier. This is why my light was placed on top.

Axelle Chagneau (Château la Louvière - Léognan France) Fujifilm GFX100s - GF 23mm F4.0 R LM WR 1/125sec f/4.0 ISO 200

Something, I would generally avoid in most cases because of the shadows it creates in the eye sockets. But when you think about it, this is how light may look like on people in most interiors because it generally comes from the ceiling. If you look back at the other sessions we made here, I tried this light placement a few times, with different results. For this same scene, we added a stool to make her taller and simply hid the stool with a long black fabric unrolling and continuing past my camera. No crazy movement with the dress this time, we made it simple for a change, something you can easily do in your own work without even the need for an assistant.

Axelle Chagneau (Château la Louvière - Léognan France) Fujifilm GFX100s - GF 23mm F4.0 R LM WR 1/125sec f/4.0 ISO 200

Remember the images we did in that marble bathtub, with my camera hanging from the ceiling and with that long white cloth? We also made this shot here but with a different lens and without the white fabric. We went from a 30mm lens to a 23mm with the GFX100s. I removed the walls and windows in post to make the room bigger and to further isolate my subject.

Axelle Chagneau (Château la Louvière - Léognan France) Fujifilm GFX100s - GF 23mm F4.0 R LM WR 1/100sec f/6.4 ISO 200

This last shot was a tough one to make! I always do my best to make things look simple and easy to create. That room is rich in details, in objects. This old scale hanging from the ceiling, the boat in the far left, the mirror, the clock on top… so many things I really wanted to include in the shot. Lighting this scene wasn’t easy, in terms of room space, and with the reflection in the mirror, it was tricky to actually hide the flash. I wanted a lot of shadows so from the start we placed the light on the left backside.

Axelle Chagneau (Château la Louvière - Léognan France) Fujifilm GFX100s - GF 30mm F4.0 R WR 1/125sec f/4.0 ISO 320

Such great memories, this feels new for you, but for me, this was a long time ago. Because of the embargo on the Fujifilm GFX100s, I wasn’t allowed to share these earlier. I really hope you still got your dose of inspiration today. Rendez-vous in my next post folks.


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