The shot: Dust
The concept is credited to my amazing makeup artist, Walter Fuentes, and the inspiration came from the feather dusters used in Beauty and the Beast. He wanted to show Christie Gabriel awakening from a stagnant state and shaking it off.
The shot itself was done with a Canon 5D Mark II, using the 70-200 4.0 lens (my gear of choice). The settings were f10, ISO100 and 1/125 shutter speed. For lighting, I used my Alien Bee 1600 and a 24×32 Photoflex softbox at a 45 degree angle. This is my usual lighting when trying to convey a slightly more moody image. The dust in the shot was actually achieved by throwing flour on Christie from a low angle, and me shooting just as it made contact. We had a lot of trial and error, but it paid off in the end.
Post-production was actually very minimal. I removed the hand throwing the flour, and used a contrast filter to bring out more detail on the feathers, and also a light de-saturation filter to lighten the skin.
The end result is great and I am very happy with it. The photo was very well received, getting accepted to my portfolio on the Vogue Italia website, and will also be published in November’s photography issue of Solis Magazine.