My shoot with Laura Hollick the other evening was a multi-purpose one. We were aiming to get three things out of this evening’s shoot: a video, a “magazine cover” photo and a more artistic photo. Sue Upton did a great job with hair and makeup, transforming Laura into the field fairy.

We shot all of this at “Golden Hour,” which is that magical period just before sunset when everything looks like a fairy tale. Unfortunately, because of cloud cover, golden hour didn’t materialize in quite the striking way it usually does at this time of year. However, it was still a good time to shoot. When it’s a little overcast, the brightness of foreground and sky are close enough at this time of day so you can get some nice sky details in your backgrounds rather than boring white.

The video is a visual poem. It was fun shooting this, because it really challenged me to find new and interesting ways to frame shots and move the camera. This was the first attempt at using our new Blackbird DSLR camera stabilizer. It was a challenging test. The Blackbird has a piece that dangles down beneath the camera. That piece has a crossbar on it. While moving through the field, the crossbar would constantly touch or impact on grasses and other plants, often making the shots waver unpredictably. In the end, because we didn’t need a lot of footage, it wasn’t a problem. However, my arm was so numb after holding this stabilized rig steady for about an hour, I could barely operate the camera for the regular photos! Using this thing regularly is going to make my left bicep humongous.

Admittedly, I’m relatively new at shooting and editing video, but today’s tools make both so easy and intuitive. It wasn’t hard to get a result that we were both happy with.

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Feel free to watch this over at Youtube in HD if that is more to your liking.

Here are the cover and the artistic shot that we also took the same day.

To see how Laura used these things, run on over to her blog and have a look.