Yulia ~ The Kep sessions

Sep 7, 2014 | Continuous Lighting, Location | 20 comments

01. High on a mountain with the clouds rolling into this abandoned palace Yulia and I make magic.

01. High on a mountain with the clouds rolling into this abandoned palace Yulia and I make magic. I aligned the light sources, styled the look, directed the action and used the flip out screen on the Fuji X-T1 to save me from lying in the water. I would have done it, believe me, the shot had me fizzing with excitement.

I think that this is probably some of my best work to date. Certainly Yulia and I sparkled, we are like peas from a pod, she could easily be my younger sister (much younger) Darren her husband is a fab guy too and together they made my trip to Cambodia ever so special. Here are 60 of our creations. NSFW after the jump or fold.

02. We started shooting in the abandoned villas in Kep. There were mortar holes in the walls and grenade holes in reinforced concrete floors.

02. We started shooting in the abandoned villas in Kep. There were mortar holes in the walls and grenade holes in reinforced concrete floors. The villas were overgrown with creepers in places and the textures were amazing.

03. One of my favourite shots of all time. I suggested to Yulia that she could use the creeper to stand on and the dynamic pose she struck it just right for the space.

03. This has to be one of my favourite shots of all time. I suggested to Yulia that she could stand on the tree roots and the dynamic pose she struck it just right for the space. ISO 800, 10-24mm zoom at f/4 with image stabilisation, 1/15th second with the lens set to 20mm.

04. Several

04. Several other shots were created in the same scene with the 60mm lens (left) and the 14mm (right).

05.

05. Raw beauty, power and intensity.

06.

06. Softness and sensitivity.

07.

07.

08.

08.

09.

09. The jungle is encroaching on the abandoned structures. We have to be careful not to stray off the beaten track because of the possibility of land mines.

10.

10.

11.

11.

12.

12. We headed up to the mountains to a fantastic location that had been sourced and secured by Linda from Essential Explorations. Linda is excellent at advanced planning and has great negotiation skills. The rest was up to me.

13.

13. The location has a super tonal balance to play with but the lighting direction is critical to maximise the opportunity. The shot on the left reminds me of the classic Athena poster of the 1970s with the tennis girl scratching her bum. It’s not explicit but plays on the mind in a mildly erotic way. The shot on the right it a timeless classic.

14.

14. I used classic two point lighting to highlight Yulia’s cheekbone and jawbone.

15.

15. The clouds were wafting into the building and they gave the shot on the left that black level lift.

16.

16. My lighting strategy for the majority of shots in this building was to work at 90 degrees to the source or sources.

17.

17. Soft and hard. I’d love those walls in my studio.

18.

18.

19.

19. Back on the ground and out and about in Kep. Kep is a coastal town with a modest beach just 3 hours drive from Phnom Penh.

20.

20. The last shots that day were taken on the jetty at the sailing club as the thunder clouds rolled in. ISO 400, 56mm lens at f/1.2 for 1/180th second.

21.

21. Style and elegance.

22.

22. Cheeky fun.

23.

23.

24.

24.

25.

25.

26.

26.

27.

27. These nudes were shot at an abandoned church in the mountains by Kep. Cambodia is rich in shoot locations and we have barely touched the surface.

My thanks go to Darren, Yulia’s husband for help with logistics and security at our shoot locations. I’ll be back to see Darren and Yulia in 2015 when I run my last Cambodia tour. The shots from this set are featured in next months edition of Ladies Cambodia’s No1 women’s lifestyle magazine.

Allergy advice: These shots are free from Photoshop. They were processed in Lightroom on a computer that contains Photoshop but can guarantee Photoshop free.

If you have a spirit of adventure and want to shoot a mix of travel, landscape, street and portrait photography then email Blaise my PA or Linda at Essential Explorations There’s talk of photography adventures in Bali and Cuba too.

20 Comments

  1. Sergey

    You devilishly skillfully own work with light!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Cheers Sergey. I like to keep it beautifully simple and simply beautiful. Regards, Damien.

      Reply
  2. Kevin Murphy

    So inspirational Damien. Many thanks for posting. Love it.

    Reply
  3. John Horner

    I think your comment hits the nail on the head. Long live the liberation from heavy, lumpy cameras

    Reply
  4. Joseph Estrella

    Very nice set, did you just use the 10-24 lens?

    Reply
  5. Sean

    1. Those gritty blacks in 24-27 remind me of classic Dob McCullin.

    2. Cleanly measurable geometry throughout… especially in 18.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Sean, Praise indeed. The gritty feel is, well gritty. Hot, steamy, grubby, sticky, raw beauty captured through a prime lens with virtually no intervention. It’s a delightful way to work and reminds me of shooting many thousands of rolls of Fuji Neopan 1600 mono film back in the 1990s.

      I’m just loving photography right now.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  6. Rhonda Perfitt

    I’m looking at that camera to replace my Canon 60D..I just do candids so not sure which lens…interesting to see the lovely images you have taken..

    Reply
  7. Patrick Taylor

    Awesome photos. Lighting, photographer, model, locations all great. I need to get out and shoot!

    Reply
  8. Patrizia Henderson

    Outstanding
    Bellissimo, molto catena…x
    So beautiful… :-) x

    Reply
  9. Andrew Frost

    Ditto, there was never any doubt you would get here.

    Reply
  10. Ben Evans

    This chap really is tremendous

    Reply
  11. John Okeefe

    This is why I follow you Damien…and I do my best to copy you also Sir!!!!! I miss the mark more then I hit it!!!!! But i’ll keep trying!

    Reply
  12. Gabor Monos

    Yes, I fully understand the Master :)

    Reply
  13. Luis Aguirre

    Sumptuous lighting, glorious location, exquisite model and beautiful phtotography. Loved it.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Luis,

      This shoot moved me. It just felt so right. Exciting times to be had in Cambodia :)

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  14. sielgaudis

    Wonderful photo session and very beautiful model! Thanks for all these technical details, very interesting and useful.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Sielgaudis,

      It was a wonderful shoot and I’ll be back to shoot with Yulia again next year. You can come too?

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply

Ask a question or leave a comment. All comments get a reply.