Angel Wings | Design & Shoot

I am used to making newborn baby outfits and miniature beds and other newborn related props for my own business but never made wings before. So this is going to be a challenge and i love trying new things i haven’t done before.

Not one for taking my time with anything i was just planning on going straight into making the full size wings. Thankfully Karen Heald suggested making a a smaller model first…. which makes much more sense, no doubt there will be lots of mistakes to make along the way.

Here is my mood board for this project:

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The wings i plan to make are folded not outstretched as in flight, because when Sophie is wearing them she will be sitting or still in the images so the wings need to be relaxed.

I found this image from Deviantart and printed it on a piece of A4 paper so i could build a template:

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Once i was happy with the template i cut it out of thin card, i didn’t want to use anything too thick because it was important that i could bend and shape it.

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The next step was to sort out the feathers into size order, the ones i had were all around …..cms with a few longer ones which were going to be for the Primaries.

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Using the reference images on my mood board and my helper Rolo

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i carefully set to sticking on the feathers (and making a royal mess with hot glue everywhere) and soon realised that the 100 feathers that i bought for this were quickly running out. I wasn’t going to be able to finish both wings at this rate so i decided to sacrifice a wing and concentrate on making one complete one…as this was only a gauge anyway.

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This was the final wing, covered on both sides because this will be required on the large set.

This is why it is good to do a dummy run because it makes you realise you don’t know what you’re doing… in this case, i had totally under estimated the amount of feathers this was going to use. The large feathers that i purchased for the large wings cost ….. and will barely cover 1/10th of the wings.

So unless i can find a big bird to donate its feathers to me i am going to have to think of another idea!!

 

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Composites Series 2 | The Plan

For the past month since doing my 7 Days Of Composites Challenge I have been working almost every day on client work, which has consumed all my thinking time except for the odd idea for a composite that would pop into my head only for me to later research on the internet and find that it has already been done before….which then leads to a very deflating feeling. Thanks to the internet everything that anyone has ever shared is at our fingertips to find and you quickly realise that you are a very tiny droplet of water in an ocean of talent.

THE PLAN – Composites with a fantasy figure that look as real as possible

One thing that I was sure on was that I was going to feature my daughter Sophie in the next series of images, she amazes me & inspires me, she is full of goodness and is so clever and I love the way her mind works. So she was always going to be the focus….but I still wasn’t sure of the concept, but knew it would come to me. And it did the other day, I was driving and the images just flashed in front of me, just like it always does for me when i’m driving it’s like my mind just feels free and things happen. The 2 images that I seen I started scribbling them down on a piece of paper that I found in my handbag ever time I stopped at traffic lights…they are the worst drawings in the world but it was a log I had to make right there and then.

drawing

In the first one there is a tree, it’s a tree that I drive past every day and for years i’ve thought how beautiful it is, even with its broken branch, I love the light at different ways the way it falls on it, it’s sits alone and the farmer ploughs the field around it and leaves it sat in its own little piece of grass. I don’t know why but it fascinates me, i’m always drawn to trees, the farmer could have cut this down but he hasn’t, he drives his machinery around it, is it a sign of respect, maybe he isn’t allowed to chop it down, maybe he loves trees who knows. **research into old folk law about tress / different cultures**

Then there will be Sophie in two forms, as herself and also as a giant angel, not a white sparkly ‘typical’ angel but more like Maleficient in the 2014 film, she has incredible wings like those of an eagle, earthy rustic colours. I want her to look like she belongs in the surroundings.

I will have a play around with the narrative but my first thought was to have Angel Sophie attempting to hide behind the tree (awkwardly due to size), it could be their first encounter so they might be timid or wary.

It will be shot in the early morning or evening, the light will be warm from the low sun and will be coming from the right corner of the image so to cast enough light on both their faces.

KEY POINTS:

  • Not surreal, but edging on fantasy
  • Every part of my composite will be original I will not be using stock footage of anything.
  • EARTHY | BROWN | WARM | MUTED TONES | HEART WARMING | MYSTICAL | BEST FRIEND | ANGEL | NATURE | PLAYFUL | KINDNESS | LOVE | INNOCENCE | FASCINATION | DREAM | IMAGINARY | GUIDANCE | CHILD | WONDER

INFLUENCES:

  • Drop Dead Fred – Little girl has an imaginary friend called Fred, who eventually leaves her once she finds happiness and doesn’t need him anymore.
  • A Monster Calls – A young Boy dealing with his mothers illness becomes controlled by a tree monster who comes to him at the same time every night and has 3 stories to tell him, these 3 stories all have meaning and are relative to the problems he is suffering with and by the time he reads the thirds story is when the little boy realises that he has to let his Mum go as well as the guilt of wanting all the suffering to end. Was the tree monster real? Was it his conscience? Was it his imagination?

 

I think these influences inspired me for my images, is the angel real, is it Sophie’s conscience, is it her imaginary friend….

Kids imaginations are incredible, every day I am entertained with how they look at the world and the way they see things. My little boy today just like everyday with his random questions breaks the normal conversation at dinner “Remember when we went to the North Pole?” to which I try to hold in my giggle and reply “I can’t remember, when did we go? He rolls his eyes “We went when I was little when I was 4 remember (he is currently 5) it was really cold” Oh yes I remember now, why did we go? “To see Santa Claus of course!!” in his matter of fact voice. Without their wonderful little minds full of memories through their eyes and funny untainted opinions on the way everything works….life would be so dull!!

PHOTOGRAPHER INSPIRATION:

Composite Photographer | Rhiannon Logsdon:

https://www.demilked.com/magical-baby-children-photography-rhiannon-logsdon/

Brings Children’s dreams to life

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COLOUR & EDIT INFLUENCES:

Brooke Shaden

 

Tracey Willis

 

EMOTION & DETAIL:

https://inspi.com.br/2016/03/fotografias-incriveis-brinquedos-imaginacao/

miniature-toy-photography-felix-hernandez-rodriguez-9

Incredible attention to detail in all of his composites.

PLANNING BEFORE I SHOOT:

I wanted to create a Mock-Up of this composite before i start so that i could experiment with how i want it to look in regards to shooting & editing so instead of drawing it i made a composite using stock images i found on Google:

Stand-alone

Tree: http://www.wallpapermania.eu/wallpaper/one-tree-on-the-field-spring-wind

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Wings: http://getwallpapers.com/collection/angel-wings-wallpaper

3 images of Sophie that i already had from previous shoots

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COMPOSITE MOCK UP:

Angel 1 Mock up

None of the lighting is right because i didn’t shoot for this image, this was merely an exercise to get an idea of how i should shoot & edit.

One thing that by doing this it has made me aware that if i am shooting the tree landscape allowing for room to fit the Angel & Sophie either side then Sophie is going to be really small and i’m hoping she won’t look too small and insignificant in the frame. The stock photo of the tree that i used is also leaning over which worked quite well for the Angel looking around, you get to see the profile of her face, the tree i plan to shoot doesn’t lean so i may need to position the Angel slightly differently.

In the second Image there will be a house, I have this vision of a house on a hill, not a modern house – Pre 2000, Angel Sophie is naughtily sat on the roof of the house and little Soph is standing nearby pointing to the floor to get her to come down (again this narrative I will explore further)

WINGS

 

I plan to make the wings myself……. WHY????

  • To buy a real set it is too expensive –

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  • To use a digital set will restrict me in what i have Sophie doing so that’s no good plus that goes against what i don’t want to do – use stock images.

And why not make my own, half of me is saying this is a stupid idea because i’ve never made anything like that before and if they look rubbish then the photo will look rubbish! And then my other half is telling me that if other people can make them then so can i … plus it will be 100% original!

It’s a path of discovery for me, i constantly want to try new things and really want to experiment and see what i can create whilst being totally original. I might find that it doesn’t work and that i’m not getting the end result that i’m hoping for and then i might have to use Stock Images but …. i won’t know till i try!! 

There is a Graphic Artist – Rafy Alfazri ….

big bear photoshop manipulation tutorial rafy Afloating2

He creates fantasy composites that i would only dream of making (and hope to one day 🙂 ) BUT as he is not a photographer he uses all stock footage, and that’s where i want to be more like Brooke Shaden and photograph/make everything myself.

Making the wings for Sophie is going to be the first stage in creating these images, the wings have to be right. I may have to make more than one set, wings can show emotion whether they are up or down, so I may need to have different ones depending on the image. Once I have made the wings I will then decide on the rest of what she will be wearing, it has to match in style and colour which is going to be natural and earthy and I feel it should be very simple because the wings are the focus.

Wing Anatomy

I will be looking at Wing Anatomy as it is important for me to get the wings looking realistic.

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I haven’t ordered the feathers yet but i am looking at some like this, i really like the dark brown because its very earthy and resembles the maleficent wings the only worry i have is that they will just look flat if they are all brown so perhaps i need different shades of brown mixed through the wings so that they stand out:

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In the meantime of getting my feathers i will be continuing my research on composite photographers & how to make wings!