“Aurora, the Goddess Of Dawn. She ties the bonds between day and night, the sun and the moon, while at the same time being inextricably bound by the two. With serene beauty, she dances on the stage set by the sun and the moon and enjoys her short moment of glory, each day anew.

We conceptualized this photo for an upcoming Flamenco Nuevo show Aurora by the very talented Ladina Bucher. For this project we had the rare occasion of shooting inside a small theater that is in fact a ship!! This truly unique houseboat is floating on the Lake Zurich, docked to different towns depending on the season. After a long discussion with the theaters charismatic director Federico Emanuel Pfaffen, it became apparent, that shooting here would need some careful planning. Due to the constant motion of the waves, using light stands was out of the question, as was the use of big and heavy studio lighting equipment. The danger of falling equipment was just too high. Luckily, a process I’ve been developing over the last couple of months called “zone-lighting” enabled me to light the location with a single flash in order to shoot a background plate, that would appear to be lit by the two lanterns, who depict the moon and the sun. Zone-lighting means concentrating your lighting on a zone inside the scene and simulating the light occurring and reflecting in that very spot. It’s a mixture of different techniques, multi-exposure, light-painting (with strobes), background plate shots. In my tutorial about zone-lighting I compare it to painting in a traditional sense, from the background to the foreground. If your interested, the tutorial is on my blog: http://obsoquasi.ch/zone-lighting-tutorial/.

After lighting the background separately, we continued with the model herself who had been in make-up during my zone-lighting. As you can see in the final image, it appears as though Aurora is flinging these two lanterns wildly about. The delicate nature of our location allowed for absolutely no wild flinging though! So first of all I shot the lanterns separately in my studio. The two white bands however were fixed on to broom sticks which could be held up in position by two helpers, who also held a beautydish with a yellow gel. Myself I held another beautydish on the left and triggered the camera with WIFI (thank you Canon for that feature!!). A third light, was a CTO-gel’ed speedlight inside a lastolite hotrod stripbox, purely a fill light to wrap the light from the right side a little more. Luckily this modifier is extremely light-weight and we could therefor put it on a lightstand carefully making sure that if it would fall, there would be nothing in its proximity that could get damaged in any way. We then tried different poses attempting to follow the pentagonal shape and flow of the space. I’d have wished to have more time to experiment with poses, but in the end we found something that works for the concept.” - John Flury

F/5.6, ISO 160, 1/125s, WB set to “flash”

Photographer: John Flury
Model: Ladina Bucher
Make-up and Hair: Anja Meli
Location: Salon Theater Herzbaracke (http://herzbaracke.ch)
Wardrobe: Luna Muñoz


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