Shooting a Goth Fantasy - under the harsh noon sun

Only mad dogs and Englishmen.... and the Iron Relic Entertainment crew - a group of extremely talented (and fearless) actors/athletes who specialize in authentic sword fighting - would be photographed under a noon sun, in an empty back yard, in the Northern Valley..... Here's what it looked like on an iPhone:

We had one soft box with a strobe in it - and a full orange gel - to try to compete with the sunlight (and I shot from below, against the sky, to keep the faces shadowed, and to try to underexpose the sky compared to the strobe-lit face). This is Straight-Out-of-Camera:

And this is after shifting the color way toward blue, and going crazy with micro-contrast in Photoshop (as well as overlaying a partially-visible black&white layer):

And a few more images from the shoot - to see the rest, click HERE!!!

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Thank you to Victoria, Alex, Bryan, and Carolyn for performing, to Moranne for assisting, and to Beata for keeping it all organized! Questions?