kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy
kylecassidy

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Keeping up with the Pirates







Someone once told me "They can't say no if you don't ask." And it makes sense to me. A few months ago Veronica Bailey from Storied Threads threw a Hail Mary. She had a limited budget but really wanted me to photograph her catalog of pirate costumes. And it's not that getting me to photograph a catalog is outrageously expensive, especially if it's pirate costumes, it's that Veronica is in Boston and I'm in Philadelphia and paying for twelve hours of travel on top of a day's shooting is daunting. But she asked and what she didn't know was that the stars were aligning.

Novelist Caitlin R. Kiernan (aka greygirlbeast) has a new book coming out called Two Worlds and in Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan, (Volume One) and she'd emailed to ask if I could do her author portrait up in Rhode Island and on top of that, Leaving Dakota was scheduled to be in Boston on April 1. With all these things sliding together, the gravity became substantial enough to get me on the Megabus (I first considered Amtrak, but the bus ride is actually shorter).

So, ably assisted by gandalfgreyhame & dressdragn we met up with Storied Threads, one assistant, two dogs, and nine pirates for a day at Winter Island in Salem MA.



Lighting wise the day was rather relentless. Although we started early the sun was already high in a completely cloudless sky and the island offered almost no shade. It was either going to be direct sun or direct sun with little speedlights kicking out as much wattage as possible from four feet away and that's how we did it.


Here's me looking like I did for most of the day when I wasn't laying in beach sand. Photo by gandalfgreyhame.




In some ways it was a lot like shooting film again. The sun was so bright that I couldn't see the LCD screen on my camera -- it made me really wish that I'd invested the $80 in a Hoodman loupe, but the loup is so big I probably wouldn't have packed it. Someone needs to make a hood loupe that folds flat. Or I guess I could bring a giant black scarf and sit under it like photographers used to do in Ye Olden Days.




Clickenzee to Embiggen!



I wish I had a photo of myself carrying all the gear I brought. I used a Lowepro AW Photo Trekker backpack that had, I think, about 50 pounds of gear in it. (I have this photo of myself with the same backpack a few months ago, but it doesn't have the tripod, light stands, or umbrella's strapped to it and I don't have the other bag I was carrying too.) I'll admit now that I watch all those "this is how I pack my gear" videos on Youtube and I'm impressed at how much you can cram into an AW Trekker but one thing I wonder is "where do these people keep their clothes?" You're packing enough photo gear for two weeks but you're not bringing any socks? I found that a pair of pants and three shirts pretty much fills up a good portion of your camera packing space. I think i need flimsier clothes.




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One thing I didn't pack on the trip up was water, which I realized as soon as I sat down on the bus. I would have been fine if I hadn't thought of it, but suddenly all I wanted was water, all I could think of were the hours in between me and the nearest water cooler. I packed water on the way back and didn't touch it. Go figure.




Clickenzee to Embiggen!






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After the shoot Veronica took all the pirates and all the photographers out to dinner. The whole day was fabulous & fun. More about the other shoots later. Yarr!




Clickenzee to Embiggen!




This is the sort of thing that we're going to be doing at Kake's workshop in San Diego on the 17th. So if you have a dress you need yourself photographed in and you're near San Diego, that's the time to do it. Also the whole thing has inspired me to do a photography workshop for Renn Faire dress makers in Philly on the 23rd. More on that later. (Email or comment if you want to participate.)






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