Motherland Chronicles #39 - Underwater

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Motherland Chronicles #39 - Underwater

Photography: Zhang Jingna
Makeup: Lindsey Rivera
Model: Jessica Dru Johnson
Photo Assistants: Tobias Kwan, Alex Stoddard, Diana Chao, Sophia Chang
Dress: Michelle Hebert
Choker: Harlequin Romantique
Housing and strobe rental: AB Sea Photo, LA



My second underwater attempt! I had to deal with equipment all on my own this time and holy cow it was so freaking stressful. ._.

I use a 1Ds Mark III which may be old now, but cost me an arm and a leg when I bought it in 2008, so I was epically nervous each time I had to open up the housing then go back down into the water again. Thank god it didn't flood.  >_<

Camera in the housing!

I had to practice opening/closing the housing and changing the ports/domes for like 2 hours at home to make sure I'd remember everything haha.

Someone also randomly asked me on Instagram how much this weighed so I did a quick google and added the weights together, it totals up to roughly 5.3kg/12lbs! A lot lighter once underwater of course, but still pretty hefty!

 
Anyway I really liked this picture. ^^ I haven't been doing as much person-in-motion photos compared to my early work, so I thought it's a nice change and addition to the series. 

Also definitely a little influenced by Toby's work since we bounce ideas and sketches back and forth a lot in the project. Check out his triptych that pairs up with mine for this week - 


Motherland Chronicles #39 - Triptych II: Waterwalker by Tobias Kwan

On the technical side -- I think I'll have to update my underwater tips post now -- I've definitely learned a couple new things doing everything on my own this time. 

Here are some things I've done differently from the first shoot:

Lens

The first time I shot underwater I used a Tokina 10-17mm on a Nikon D300. But even with the sensor's crop factor, it's equivalent to about 15-25mm on a full frame, still a really wide focal length considering my usual lens is 70-200mm. This time, as I rented my own housing, I got to use my own camera so I tried shooting with the 16-35mm and 50mm. Both worked out great, but the 16-35 probably worked the best for full body. I can definitely see 50mm being perfect for something like beauty though. 

Assistants

I felt that one assistant wasn't enough the last time, so this time round I got four! :D It may sound a little excessive (it totally did to me) but it turned out just right. I had 2 assistants help with everything that needed adjustment underwater: fabrics, dress, strobe cords, etc. And the other 2 for the strobes (one in water and one above). 

Staying in Position/Sinking

Remember how I mentioned it was difficult to sink on my own? Having weights last time was cool but it still required quite a bit of swimming as I tried to chase my angles. Apparently I found out this time, that it's actually pretty nice to have an assistant press me down into the water so I didn't have to think about pedaling while trying to work against floating at the same time. It allowed me to get ready better in the first couple seconds instead of having to make sure I was just focused on sinking properly, and when I found a spot I liked, it was a lot easier to stay in the same place for a short while with the help. 


So overall cool experience once again and it was a lot of fun! Thank you my awesome team for the hard work! And a super mega kudos to my model Jessica who was still on crutches and wearing ankle brace after breaking her foot, you're such a trooper woman!

       

Anouk van Kleef by Zhang Jingna

Thursday, November 14, 2013









Anouk van Kleef by Zhang Jingna
Fashion Gone Rogue Exclusive, Nov 2013

Photographer: Zhang Jingna
Stylist: Michael Tucker
Hair Stylist: Shinya Nakagawa
Makeup Artist: Fumiaki Nakagawa
Model: Anouk van Kleef @ Muse
Manicure: Casandra Lamar
Photo Assistants: Deborah Baik, Tiffany Liu, Morgan LaForge


New editorial for Fashion Gone Rogue!

Can't quite believe how I've never done something quite so clean and straightforward these past years. o_o
       

Exhibition: Marc by Marc Jacobs & Vulture Magazine - Obsessions: New Generation

Saturday, November 9, 2013



With the support of Marc by Marc Jacobs and Vulture Magazine, I had the honor of exhibiting some of my Motherland Chronicles pieces last month in Singapore.

The show was held in conjunction with the celebration of Marc by Marc Jacobs' new store opening at ION Orchard and Vulture Magazine's one year anniversary, and took place at gallery space 72-13.

Thank you Marc by Marc Jacobs and Vulture for having me, everything looked so amazing, I wish I could have been there to experience it in person. 

From left: Celosia, Winterland Fairytales II, Self Portrait in Water
From left: Ascend, Book of Roses, In the Secret Garden

Looking at these make me anticipate the day I can hold another solo exhibition again. There are only 12 weeks left in the first part of Motherland Chronicles now, I can't wait to see the series in print and share the book with you all once it's done. ❤


Follow Motherland Chronicles:

Homepage: motherlandchronicles.com
Tumblr: motherlandbooks.tumblr.com
Facebook: facebook.com/motherlandbooks
Twitter: twitter.com/motherlandbooks
Instagram: instagram.com/motherlandbooks

Photos by Ren Rong, thank you for the beautiful pictures! :3
       

Motherland Chronicles #38 - A Prayer

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Motherland Chronicles #38 - A Prayer  

One for every soul lost.

Photography: Zhang Jingna

Hair: Junya Nakashima
Makeup: Tatyana Kharkova
Model: Germaine Persinger
Photo Assistants: Ngoc Vu, Linda Chow, Cong Lu

Dress: ArmStreet
Circlet & Choker: Harlequin Romantique



There is something a little more European about this image than the rest of my Motherland Chronicles pieces, I thought that was kind of nice. Then I realized that the pale hair and lashes reminded me of Ayami Kojima's work a little, which I thought hey, was pretty cool too, didn't see that when I was shooting. 

On set I had one of my favorite artists Lucong hang out and assist which was super sweet and kinda made me nervous, because omg someone I admire is watching my ghetto set where I take 10294828 hours just to get one picture. But, it turned out to be a really pleasant experience and we chatted about ways we work, old forum days and all that. :D

Super backlogged with posts and stuff but working on it! Excited about BlizzCon tomorrow!
       

Motherland Chronicles #37 - Masked

Friday, November 1, 2013


Motherland Chronicles #37 - Masked

Photography: Zhang Jingna
Hair: Junya Nakashima
Makeup: Viktorija Bowers
Model: Germaine Persinger
Photo Assistants: Ngoc Vu, Ernie Chang, Tiffany Liu

Mask by Casin dei Nobili

I was working on a behind-the-scenes post for this, then it kind of turned into a thorough entry on how to conceptualize a photoshoot @_@ Almost done with it now~ Hopefully posting next week! :D

Gonna be in LA for the next 2 weeks through BlizzCon!