The Steampunk Pilot – Rose McGee   Leave a comment

Just under 11 months ago I shot a beautiful young lady called Lauren McGee for a Steampunk themed project originally called ‘The Steampunk Space Jockey’.  The plan was to get her some shots for her portfolio and at the same time shoot the Steampunk theme.

I’d spent the previous few weeks, on and off, building the pilot’s chair and as soon as that was finished I’d intended to move it to the photographic studio. Well, that never happened – the chair was so delicate and flimsy that I didn’t dare move it from the spare room in my home where it had been built. So, plan B. I arranged to shoot the model in the spare room with a make-shift strobe lighting set up. Fortunately the walls were a fairly neutral colour as it was my intention to digitally place the model, chair and console inside a virtual airship amidst a battle.

On the day of the shoot I had to ask Lauren to act the part of a Steampunk Pilot maneuvering a ship under attack without actually putting too much weight on the chair or moving too violently. Poor girl. she coped admirably. I’d agreed with Lauren to shoot some images for her portfolio that I could post process and get to her in short order as I knew the SP Pilot digital manipulation would take some time. I didn’t think it would take 11 months though.

I had several false starts. It just didn’t click. I couldn’t find the right background, the foreground didn’t work and I went through various iterations before putting it aside for a few days. The days became weeks and the weeks months. But these things have a habit of nagging away at me and I was experimenting with a new  ‘grungy’ desaturated pre-set I’d developed in Adobe’s Camera Raw software and I suddenly thought of using it on the Pilot picture. That started me off again and eventually things started to come together, until 20 hours later and with eyes bleeding I finished it.

Below is the beautiful Lauren – who is now in London modelling having signed with an agency and training to be an actress, as herself and as the Steampunk Pilot.


The Steampunk Rose in Colour


After all that messing about with the Pilot’s Chair you can hardly see it in the final pic.


Lauren Steampunk shoot Fur hands MM


The beautiful Lauren having stepped in from the cold of the vacuum of space and space jockeying.


The Steampunk Rose in B&W


The Black & White version, which I actually prefer to the colour version.


Retouch B&W MM

Lauren again, glad to be out of uniform.




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