Category Archives: Test Shoot

AWAKENING – PART I – Finding Your Anchor Point


When working on a new concept, especially at the early stage I always look for something what will drive my idea, something that will provide ‘the Grip’, or what I call The Anchor Point.

It is not necessarily the most important part of the story, but it is a prominent enough element of the puzzle to give you a reference to work around it!

In some cases it might be your model, sometimes it is the location, but this time it is a prop – a part of our future set…

But let’s start where we left the Quest last time.

What we have managed to collect was a pile of pallets and a trampoline. Plus I’ve thrown in a few hard boards.

I know that it is not clear for you to see where we are going with this, and it’s because you haven’t seen the storyboard yet!

We will get to that too, but you don’t want to know the ending just yet… do you?

To build something, we had to dismantle all the elements…

… and this is how we made it happen.

This is what I had in mind:

… and that is what we came up with:

Obviously the pod is not finished yet. We will add more detail, but what we got is our ‘Anchor Point’!

Now when we have our central object – we know what size / kind of the space (indoor location) we need to find / prepare for the shoot.

From proportions and those references we can easily work out rest of the elements, look for props and move to another stage!

But more about that in the near future!

Please stay tuned, there is a lot more to come!



AWAKENING – PART I – Finding Your Anchor Point

AWAKENING – PROLOGUE – Seeing beyond the obvious…


Halloween: Trick or Treat !

so… Trick it is!

The Ghost:

It’s been a while since I last shared some of the Photoshop tricks and this is a great occasion to do that!

Here is the image I shot last year, the concept was a Deadly Dinner, and we have made a series of illustrations, the one below is one of them.
You can find the full story Here.

Let me take you through the Ghost Effect I used above.

First note is that like in case of our Liquid Illustrations all the elements were photographed on the same day with the same lighting, and camera locked on tripod.

This is essential to keep the right perspective and values when working on composite.

First step was to pick the right frame with Olya (on the left), Deona (on the right) and desaturate it.
The second step is a simple treatment of that layer with the GLOWING EDGES photoshop Filter.
Depends on your base frame sometimes it is good to bring back some of the details to our ghost figure!
I did that by adding the mask with a smoke pattern on it:

The final step is to add more smoke layers to create convincing fading effect.
I used simple black and white smoke photographs and placed them above our composite in SCREEN blending mode. To match your smoke layer and the ghost figure you will have to play a bit with the LIQUIFY filter or WARP transformation tool, and voila!

The Blood:

One of the downsides of this test shoot was that even though we had a fake blood we couldn’t use it on the day. So all the blood had to be done in postproduction.
So… how?

Here is the final frame of the Vampire:

and here is the Before and After:

We photographed the blood afterwards and just layered those frames over the original illustration using the MULTIPLY blending mode.
This example should help to understand the general idea:


The MULTIPLY blending mode helps you to match the different skin tones – you can always lift or tone down the brightness using the LEVELS in photoshop, then it is a simple matter of masking out the unwanted portion of the blood layer.

And here you can see a few more illustrations where I used the same technique:


“DEADLY DINNER” by Aurum Light Studio

I hope everyone had “interesting” Halloween this year!

We had scheduled a test shoot with a great bunch of models, MUAs and photogs organised by great Folks from London Strobist Meetup Flickr Group,
So… we decided to take advantage of the mood at that time…

Instead of typical portraits we asked the models to act a little bit for us.
We are always looking for great individuals for upcoming projects and I thought this could be a great exercise to check we can work together and are on the same wavelength…

OK, the idea was simple, but there were a few obstacles…

First – the shoot wasn’t at our studio – no problem – we took the gear and the props with us…
Second – because we couldn’t check the location I couldn’t predict what type/size of space were going to find there.
Third – we had to shoot with people we never worked before i.e models/MUAs so we couldn’t actually select the wardrobe and styling – but we wanted to make a consistent set of images… I know it is piling up…

Fourth, and the most difficult was that we couldn’t get all the models at the same time for the shoot because there were a few other togs doing their shoots in different rooms and settings…

Solution – we came up with the idea of a few concepts and if we needed more than one “actor” on the set – we were shooting Composites.

Because of that, we setup the camera on the tripod, fixed the lights, the props and we started from there…

It’s funny when you need to explain to someone how to act and there is a vampire next to you…

Here are the results of this hectic shoot, we hope you like it!









P.S. No Models Were Harmed During This Shoot !

Please watch this space there is more to come!


Hi there,

It’s been a while since my last post…

Last weekend I went to meet a few good people from the London Strobist Group and I did a test shoot with a  few of the models who attended the event hoping to find the right person for our next project…

The weather was fantastic so I abandoned the studio and we took the advantage of the accessible rooftop and played with and against the sun.

The day went smoothly and the models were great. I will add that in the near future I will work with one of the girls from the photos below on my new up and coming project…

…well as soon I’ll finish the storyboard ;-]  I am very excited! …About the story board that is and project that is ;-]

So watch this space

C&C Welcome!


1. Rianne

2. Cristina

3. Negin


The Milky Tunik

Today I would like to share an image from a liquids series.

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to work under the eye of a great guy and amazing photographer Andrey Razoomovski from I was looking to hear about his approach and to improve my techniques. It is great when someone can share with you their experience and help you to avoid making similar mistakes.

I have always been thrilled by his work, but to experience full speed action – it was really something …

Getting back to the topic…
Since the image is published, after long hours of the postproduction I can finally post my version here.
Todays picture features the amazing Marta in the Milky Tunic!

Before you ask – The Milk is not photoshopped… well it is actually … but no, it is not… ;-)

Preparation is always eating time, but this kind of shoot requires a lot more than usual. You need to consider the studio space, health and safety, remember that in the end it is liquid and electricity – a combo which might be not the best for the model if something goes wrong…
… and one more thing… you can smell the milk for days after the shoot… and it is quite an odd scent…

Stay tuned, more to come soon!