An urbex shoot with Chloe Jasmine Whichello

Dec 20, 2011 | Continuous Lighting, Location | 32 comments

1.

It was a bitter wind that worked it’s way through the abandoned asylum. A wind that chilled us to the the core. The light was constantly changing as the clouds and occasional sunlight raced by. I was nursing a blank unthinking state that I inherited from the Christmas bash I’d been to the night before. My Canon seemed overkil for what I wanted to shoot so I opted to shoot with my Fuji X100 instead. There are a couple of Canon shots here but like the Quadra kit my 5D seemed to invasive for the moment.

I was joined on the shoot by my friend and fellow photographer Brett Symes. Between us we managed to direct and construct several scenarios. Chloe Jasmine provided the level headed thinking and the fabulous palette of emotion that I’ll never tire of shooting. This really is the result of a team effort. Enjoy

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Shooting in locations like this is more of an ordeal at this time of the year but as these buildings will have probably been flattened by the Spring we decided to shoot now anyway. Never ignore the need to feed the soul with ideas and inspiration. We often spend so many hours shooting for our customers we neglect to make the time to shoot for ourselves.

Please feel free to comment.

32 Comments

  1. James de la cloche

    I’ll be taking some Quadras with me:)
    Maybe we can arrange a workshop in Chiang Mai one of these years.
    All the best
    James

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi James,

      I’d love to supply the Quadras or any kit you may need. I’m keen to see Thailand so I’ll keep my options open re the workshop. We can sort out some export rates for any equipment we ship outside the EU to avoid VAT. You can always email Blaise if you have any questions. I wish you all the best with your new life.

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Dallas Wedding Photographer :)

      Reply
  2. James de la cloche

    Hi Damien. Did you use any off camera lighting? I got the impression that you didn’t but I’m not sure from the shots. I love them.
    I’ll be relocating from UK to Thailand later this year and picking up my new career as a photographer. Exciting, daunting but, I love a challenge.
    Cheers
    James

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi James,

      I used a splash of Quadra in a Chimera softbox for the curved corridor shots numbers 2 & 3, but I just used natural light for the rest.

      Enjoy Thailand. What an adventure! cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  3. Jamie

    Hey! My X100 must be broke; my shots don’t look like that :( I best get back out there and practice again….and again….

    Great shots as usual Damien.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Jamie,

      Haha, It’s not the camera. Get out there and get praticing :)

      Enjoy your photography, invest in your passion and reap the rewards. Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  4. Richard Hart

    smoke bombs again!

    I love the textures in 10,11!

    Did you have to jump over any barbed wire to use a place like this!

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks, and yes smoke again :) We had to enter the compound via an agricultural route and yes that involved barbed wire and stealthy tactics etc. It all adds to the excitement and the rewards. Something to chat about in the pub :)

      Cheers,

      Damien.

      Reply
  5. Chris

    Hello Damien I like image 1 with reflection of broken glass.
    I like the soft light through the fog in images in images 13, 14, 15. Interesting thou this is a portrait session I could imagine images 10 & 11 being used in a totally different photographic ‘context’ like ‘advertisement’ for a ‘skin cream’ product as the ‘juxtaposition’ of peeling paint ‘against’ the ‘smooth’ skin of Chloe Jasmine ‘contrasts’ so well to ‘imply’ that using such a skin product’ would make your skin smooth too like Chloe Jasmine. The ‘context’ of an images are very important. Portraiture, Fashion and advertising often use the same models but Portraiture, Fashion and Advertising use images in ‘different context’ to each other. Lastly, if Chloe Jasmine used any of these images for her model portfolio what images would she use from these shoots? Personally, I would have chosen images 2, 7, 10, 12 as they show how brilliantly Chloe Jasmine can pose so well and naturally!

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Chris,

      I like your observations. I expect Chloe would like to use shots 2 and 12 however her portfolio is full of far more wonderful images than these. It was a fun shoot although it was very cold. I love image making first and foremost and when there is no client the narrative in an image can be abstract. I happen to prefer shots that are often less than flattering to a fashion model but show a character and depth. I see beauty where others see flaws.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  6. Cyclopedia Brown

    Thanks Damien. I always wondered about entering abandoned buildings and the risk factors. The wonderful pictures make it worth it I guess. Perhaps I will brave one in my area some day.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Cyclopedia,

      I think life is too short to miss out on all the adventurous stuff. I feel I’ve achieved some things by taking risks and I’d hate to live with regret. Have a great 2012.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  7. Mark Betts

    Loving the shots,,, i have scouted a similar location and now will take your advice and shoot there before its demolished.

    You are spot on with “feeding the soul”,,,, as a Portrait and Wedding photographer i get so bogged down with day to day shoots, sometimes its good to something for ourselves just to get our “Mojo” back.

    Thank You

    Mark

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Mark :)

      Reply
  8. damien

    Thank you Richard,

    I know what you mean about the intimate head shots. I’d never normally shoot at 35mm eqv focal length for this shot size but it works so well. I’m loving my Fuji X100 with its fixed lens more and more as a portrait camera.

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

    Reply
  9. Richard (Wales)

    13 and 14 for me. Chloe has superb bone structure and these shots show to her strengths.

    A cracking set as usual.

    Reply
  10. Sona aka Lila

    I am in love….. again…. You are so amazing! Your work is such an inspiration to me. And of course Chloe Jasmine is absolutely stunning as usual:) My favs… 1,4,5,13,14.

    Reply
    • damien

      Ah Sona,

      Your appreciation means a lot to me. It’s always a previlege to take pictures that are enjoyed by others.

      Thank you, Damien.

      Reply
  11. Phil Sewell

    Great set of pictures, black and white really suits the location.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Phil :)

      Reply
  12. Cyclopedia Brown

    First I must say that you have some amazing images and a great talent. Love that you use B&W and flash techniques together to make magic.

    Observing your surroundings, I was a bit worried that you may have exposed you and your model to asbestos though. That nice textured wall looks as if it may be riddled with the stuff.

    We have a similar building here in my area and after trying to gain entry I was told that for my own safety that I should stay out if I don’t want cancer causing asbestos to enter my lungs.

    When entering a building like this do those kinds of thoughts enter your mind?

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Cyclopedia,

      Thanks for your kind words about my pictures.

      We always make an on the spot assesment of the dangers and risks of our locations. We have been to this venue before so we knew the dangers. The risks at this location are numerous from broken glass, dark unllit stairways, unsound floors on upper levels and colapsing ceilings etc. Asbestos is at it’s biggest risk on dry days and when the walls or ceilings are being disturbed. Those are the conditions when dust can just hang in the air. We didn’t disturb or break up any asbestos and everything was very damp and not dusty at all. The location was being used as a NHS run hospital/ asylum until 2006. I’m sure the demolishers wil have to wear masks etc if there is asbestos present. It’s always worth assesing the risks and making a judgement call. For workshops we have another level of responsibility that requires us to have written risk assesment forms etc. This venue is too far gone to run a workshop at :(

      I hope this helps, Damien.

      Reply
  13. Gary Perlmutter

    1 & 12 are amazing Damien. Pic 1 looks like a street photo, love the reflections and 12 with the smoke is captivating too.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thank you Gary,

      12 is my favourite too ;)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  14. Brett Symes

    the more I see them the most I love them. The first shot just keeps drawing me in, the pull of it is amazing.

    What an afternoon! You opened my eyes still wider!

    Thank you Damien

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Brett,

      It was great to have you along on the shoot. I won’t forget that cold damp shoot for quite sometime. We must have more adventures like this.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  15. Andrew Billington

    Love the shots. Stunning black and white and GREAT textures :)

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Andrew :)

      Reply
  16. Alex miller

    Hard to pick a favourite out of these as I love them all!! 4, 7, 11, 13, 15 are smoking – literally! I’d absolutely love to shoot in a derelict building / warehouse like this – any advice on how to find and gain access to such places?

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for your compliments. To get some info on the Urbex scene try Googling the word Urbex blog. Many sites will come up including ‘28 days later‘ etc. Good luck and have fun.

      Reply

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