Action Hero Series: Jungle Hero
On Saturday September 21st. I took a crew of people on a all day photo shoot. We shot ten different scenes with singer and model Steffen Hughes. The ten sets we shot was inspired by the toy line Captain Action. The Ideal Toy Company released the Captain Action toy line back in the mid to late sixties. This toy figure came in a plain jump suit but you could buy all these different accessory packs for him and make him into any kind of action hero you wanted, sort of a “Barbie” for boys.
For the first set we did our jungle hero. Using the movies from the fifties and sixties as our reference we assembled costumes and props. I had scouted the location about a week earlier and knew it was going to be a great place to do the scene. Steffen would play the role of our action hero through out the day, but I enlisted models for various sets and even had a contest for someone who does not model come and be in one of the sets.
For this particular set our make-up artist, Amanda Thompson, served double duty modeling our heroine. She created her own costume and styled Steffen’s wig, while I made the loin cloth and knife sheath. I called in a favor from cosplay costume designer Phillip Chalker for the spear and vine rope to complete the ensemble. Shooting started at around 6 am with the models, two assistants, and myself standing in very cold water. The water fall was located in the middle of nowhere Georgia and had taken around forty five minutes to reach. Though it was very remote the creek bed actually served as the location for two other sets which allowed us to shoot three of our ten just by changing wardrobes and walking just a few feet to the next scene.
To get to this location from the road there was a short hike of a only a few hundred yards but it required a good bit of climbing and maneuvering over logs and slippery slopes to get into the creek bed. To make the process of getting there easier I kept my gear as simple as possible. Light is provided by two speed lights with the key light in a 24” softbox on a hand held pole to camera left. The second rim light is hand held to camera right aiming at the models backs. I drug the shutter a little in order to bring in the background and to get some motion blur on the water. I decided to use a med range f-stop to help keep both Steffen and Amanda in focus. After several test frames and calculating what I could hold the camera steady at my final camera settings were f11, 1/30th, ISO 400. With no electricity to rely on I used smoke bombs from a local fireworks store for atmosphere effect in the background. This only lasted for about three minutes and went from thin, to thick, to thin again quickly.
Post required removing distracting elements from the background, general touch up of the models, and working the smoke to get the overall look I wanted. I completed the image adjusting the color and contrast to give it a warm feel of an old Hollywood film. The last thing I added was some noise which will be in every photo from the series to help tie them all together as a set. This is the first of ten images. I will release one each day Monday through Friday for the next two weeks, so be sure to check back and see what is coming.
A hint for tomorrow’s picture…..
“Tune in next time, same __________ time, same __________ channel!”