Well, it’s been pretty quiet on the blog front of late, my apologies!
That’s what happens when you have a few too many things on your plate all at once. June was indeed a busy month with our Travel Photography Awards competition closing on the 30th, I was booked to be shooting in Fiji for a full month (followed by only a week at home before heading out again to China), I had three speaking engagements to deliver to different groups within the photographic community and most important of all, my daughter Matisse had her first ever set of high school exams! Whew!
But all is well, everything went to plan and I can take a quick breath before looking ahead to the rest of the year, which is scheduled to be just as busy…
So I thought I’d share with you some of the imagery from my month long of shooting in Fiji. This is a group of islands that I travel to regularly each year to complete a number of shoots for my many repeat and regular clients over there. In fact I’ve been taking photos for clients in Fiji for around 20 years now!!
This trip included work for Raffles Hotel Group, Nanuku Resort and Spa, Warwick International Hotels, Blue Lagoon Cruises and Starwood Resorts Fiji. I’ve included a small selection of some of the resulting images below.
Shooting in the tropics comes with its own set of challenges, particularly keeping your gear clean and free of condensation while shifting from air conditioned spaces to outdoor shots and back again. Exposures can also be tricky when shooting large expanses of white sandy beach, and/or large areas of blue water or blue sky. I shoot the majority of my work on Aperture Priority, and set my exposure manually as required. For “hero” images if needed I will often shoot a twilight image of my client’s main resort feature (swimming pool, entry way) as this instantly creates mood and interest in the image and sets it apart from other images. Shooting at sunrise or twilight is also a good way to create a stunning image in adverse weather when you might not have a blue sky day to work with. For interiors I usually shoot more than one exposure to cover outside, inside and even different lighting areas or items within the room. These are then put together in Photoshop to provide a well-balanced finished image. And on this series of shoots I had access to great looking talent when needed, which makes getting great people shots that much easier!
↑Early morning is a great time to shoot pool shots such as this one. There are no harsh shadows to contend with and the air is usually very still, providing calm water and fantastic reflections.
↑My Blue Lagoon Cruises shoot involved two day’s of helicopter time, a great way to view the myriad islands that make up the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island groups in Fiji.
↑The new Sheraton Tokoriki resort was literally being finished around us as we completed their shoot. It is a stunning new property with rooms and public areas right on the beach looking out over crystal clear Fiji water.
↑This was a two and a half minute exposure to provide the dreamy effect in the water and to dramatise the moving clouds in the vibrant sunset.
↑At Nanuku Resort and Spa I was privileged to work with Denise Keller, a former Ford Supermodel of the World (Singapore) and one of Asia’s most pre-eminent entertainment icons.
↑Blue Lagoon Cruise’s flagship the Fiji Princess.
↑Yup, that’s how clear the water is, made me want to dive straight in from the helicopter!
↑One of the rooms at the new Sheraton Tokoriki Resort. Total beachfront. Shots like this involve multiple exposures to create the desired lighting throughout the room, as well as exposing correctly for the outside view.
↑Guests enjoy the Pacific Grill at the Warwick Fiji Resort and Spa. And here’s a special story for you – I first met the young model shown center of the picture over 15 years ago when she was cast as child talent on a Fiji Tourism shoot I was doing. Her name “Matisse” captivated both myself and my wife (not least because Mati – as she was called for short – was such an amazing and gorgeous young girl), and so we eventually named our own daughter Matisse! So it was fantastic to bump into “the original” Matisse again and to re-connect after all these years.
↑Twilight at the Sheraton Tokoriki main pool.
↑A calm day at the Warwick Fiji Resort and Spa.
↑This shot wasn’t on the client’s shot list, but when I walked past the restaurant at night I realised we had to capture this scene. A few minutes to set up and make sure everything looked spot on, and voila!
↑Matisse and our other ‘talent’ paddle boarding outside the Warwick Fiji Resort and Spa.
↑Monuriki Island in the Mamanuca’s, where Tom Hanks filmed the famous movie Castaway. “WILSON….!!”
↑Denise enjoys relaxing poolside at Nanuku Resort and Spa.
↑The poolside restaurant at Sheraton Fiji. This is a recreation of the same shot I took for them years ago to show the new fire feature they now have. But tonight we also had better skies which gave a bit more drama to the image.
↑Plantation Island Resort. I love the reflection of the palm tree like a “tree burst” (as opposed to sun burst) in the center of the pool.
↑A two minute exposure and neutral density filter helped create this moody image with rich colours out of a fairly stormy evening on Tokoriki Island.
↑Although I also took a more traditional angle of this image, I decided to use my Cam Ranger to shoot from above, to create a more graphical image from an unusual perspective.
↑Poolside at the Sheraton Villas. Wherever there are palm trees your brain instantly says “Fiji”, so if I can shoot vertical and include full palm trees in an image I will.
↑Water feature and main pool complex at the Sheraton Fiji.
All images copyright Chris McLennan. Please do not download or use other than by sharing the link to this blog post.