Revisiting the Lady of the Lake

After doing a spontaneous photo with Katy that later became known as Lady of the Lake, I decided to do a more literal depiction of the Arthurian legend. I purchased an Excalibur replica sword, a sheer vintage wedding dress from the 1930s, and I had a chain mail headdress piece I got in trade for taking some photos for the chain mail artist. That was the props.

The location is one of my favorite go-to places, which I call Matt’s Pond, simply because it is so remote it doesn’t appear to have any other name on any maps I’ve seen. I enlisted the help of one of my favorite models, Ayrica, to play the part of the mystic lady who rises from the waters.

The thing is though, is that the location is so remote I tend to go there for a full day of shooting. I had saved the Lady of the Lake for the last shoot, and by that point Ayrica had already been in and out of the water, in other wet clothing several times, so by the time we got to the final shoot she was shivering. So I only took a couple of shots before we called it a shoot.

When I got back home and looked at the photos, I loved everything about them except in both shots her eyes were closed, no doubt from the water running over them. I still love the photo, but that one small detail always bugged me.

So I recently decided to try it again. Ayrica is now living in Illinois, so Margo took her place. This time I made sure my lady wasn’t shivering when we started and we were able to do many more takes. Margo suggested the shot from behind with the dress trailing and it was one of my favorites. I stressed to Margo that she needed to keep her eyes open and she did great at that. However, one other problem showed up in editing that I didn’t notice while taking the photos. I wanted to see the flat side of the sword, not the edge so I showed her how I wanted it held. In the sunny shot, it ended up reflecting the dark water, not the light sky, so it looks like a black piece of metal. With a bit of Photoshop I was able to at least make the sword look grey, but it’s not the glistening sword I had hoped for. Oh well, that just leaves open the possibility for yet another Lady of the Lake sequel.

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