The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Tomb Raider...

Problem one - costume.
Well that turned out to be the easiest bit for me because Gina created it herself, including painting black some bright blue toy guns.

Problem two - location.
In the original games, the action mostly takes parts inside underground tombs in tropical countries. This corner of Scotland is hardly tropical. However, I realised all we really needed was an old stone passageway, and ruined castles are more commonplace round here than Aztec pyramids. After asking around and investigating a few places, I found the ideal spot.

Problem three - a flaming torch.
If you're going to be exploring underground passages, you can't call yourself an adventurer if you don't have a flaming torch. I had no idea how to create one. However, half a day on YouTube and various experiments in the kitchen and back garden led me to discover one way that worked:

Take half an old cotton t-shirt and soak it in some melted wax. Wrap it round your stick and bind it on with garden wire. When you're ready to use it, dribble lamp oil over it. Result: about 10 to 15 minutes of reasonable flame time. I made 3 of them.

Problem four, five, six, etc... getting the rest of the lighting right in a narrow stone passage; getting the right composition and angles in a narrow stone passage; stopping the model getting hypothermia on a cold, wet day in a cold damp tunnel, with cold water dripping down while she is wearing a costume is designed for tropical, not Galloway, conditions.

Earlier in the year, when we were wondering if Spring would ever actually arrive, I did a photo shoot with Gina of Gina Lillycrop Designs, which required a whole series of problems to solve.

It was coming up to her husband's 40th birthday and she wanted to present him with something special. Her idea was based around the fact he is a huge Tomb Raider fan, and even had a poster on their wall of Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft - the heroine of the games/films.

Would it be possible to photograph her as Lara Croft, so she could create a poster of her in the role, which she would then swap on his birthday?

Despite barely feeling her extremities by the end of the shoot, Gina was determined to keep going so we could make the best photos.

And huge thanks also have to go to our friend, Heather, who held flash units, jackets and gave moral support in abundance.

Here are a selection of the photos.

The image that replaced the poster

Finally, heartfelt congratulations to Gina and her husband who have just revealed they are expecting a baby next April. Looks like we got the timing right for the photo shoot then - the images would have had quite a different look with a pregnant belly...


Anonymous said...

The sequence works beautifully! Makes the difficulties easier to remember. I love the third one..the look of disappointment.

Pat said...

What super fun. The results are great.
It's a shame to exclude that magnificent torch. She should have two posters.

hope said...

Love the torch effect in the first photo...and in the last one, Angelina Jolie better watch out, she has competition. :)

Congrats to the parents to be. Applause to the talented photographer.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Just like in the movies! Well done, Kim and 'model'.

Both you and Pat have castle posts. And here I am, reading an old romance book called Cloud Castle.

Kim Ayres said...

Allen - thanks, it was a lot of fun :)

Pat - she made up a wee book of all the other photos we took at the time :)

Hope - I was really pleased with the torch and the red glow it cast :)

Guyana-Gyal - you'll have to come over to Scotland - there are loads of castles to visit :)

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