sarahallegra PRO+
sarahallegra

The Court Of The Dryad Queen



These photos have been so long coming, with months of work and planning! They're really kicking off my DreamWorld series and I'm so excited to be able to share...
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These photos have been so long coming, with months of work and planning! They're really kicking off my DreamWorld series and I'm so excited to be able to share this character with you guys!

The costume and crown are completely imagined and hand-made by me. There is a lot I have to say about these, so I wrote a huge blog post about how I did it: http:--sarahallegra.wordpress.com-2013-03-03-creating-a-dryad-! I talk about the creation process of the photos, and added tons of behind-the-scenes photos, so please read more about it there! :)


Model: Dedeker Winston


To the person requesting this be available as a print, it is for sale here! :)
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23 Comments | Report
ShawnAHodder Platinum
 
ShawnAHodder March 11, 2013
WOW you continue to amaze me with your creativity,absolutly stunning picture
charlena Platinum
 
charlena March 11, 2013
Amazingly fantastic work, in imagination and composition.
GordonD
 
GordonD March 13, 2013
Lady you are awesome
tjambga
 
tjambga March 24, 2013
Stunning!
Mar
 
Mar April 01, 2013
Stunning work, voted and good luck...Mar
kinavk00000
 
kinavk00000 April 04, 2013
Amazing!
SophieJane
 
SophieJane April 05, 2013
amazing work!
adoptedone
 
adoptedone April 06, 2013
Really great work. Voted.
Blue-Maddness PRO+
 
Blue-Maddness April 09, 2013
Just Stunning!
Angela_Lewry
 
Angela_Lewry May 15, 2013
fantastic photo :)
tristigiddensogden
 
tristigiddensogden May 15, 2013
I dont even know what to say about this picture because it's that good.
KristiMBrewster
 
KristiMBrewster June 02, 2013
Amazing!!
Hari_Subagio
 
Hari_Subagio July 05, 2013
Fantastic .. Imagination , job
foto3la11
 
foto3la11 August 01, 2013
Awesome work. Great skill and imagination.
disneymamom PRO+
 
disneymamom September 15, 2013
I have to say.. I love birds.. I crown princesses and queens with tiaras.. I love this image combining the two. Excellent. just excellent. blessings..vote.
disneymamom PRO+
 
disneymamom September 15, 2013
ut oh.. vote not open yet.. will return..
rachelstandring
 
rachelstandring November 18, 2013
great photo, love the effect
rachelstandring
 
rachelstandring November 18, 2013
Anyone who likes this shot should also head over to the sarahallegra.wordpress.com blog - just to appreciate how much work has gone into this. Spectacular results Sarah and incredible efforts
ntgreen
 
ntgreen December 07, 2014
Another outstanding image!
icey1962
 
icey1962 April 09, 2015
Awesome!
Mulice
 
Mulice April 24, 2015
awesome
ntgreen
 
ntgreen October 30, 2015
Beautiful work!
raquelmorla
 
raquelmorla June 12, 2018
Amazing, so creative, this is very stunning! Just wow!
See all

Behind The Lens

Location
In a forested area not too far from my home on the inner edge of Los Angeles.
Time
This was later in the morning, between 9-10am. We were having a rare cloudy morning which meant we could all sleep in a little later than my shoots usually require!
Lighting
I adore natural light, especially natural light on a cloudy day. To me, there is nothing more beautiful or magical, and nothing that gives my images an instantly other-worldly feeling. For this image, I simply let the sky and the clouds do the work for me, I did not modify it in any way (except perhaps in post production, but you always tweak that a little!)
Equipment
I shot this with my Nikon D5100 and a Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens. I made a few bird stand-ins out of thin foam and wire to attach to my model, Dedeker Winston, to cast appropriate shadows. That was pretty much it though! I crawled around the forest finding the perfect place to shoot from, and even tumbled off a log - but I managed to land with my camera in the air and unharmed so all was well!
Inspiration
This image is one of the foundation pieces for my DreamWorld series, which explores the characters and creatures who inhabit the land we visit in sleep. Creatures living in harmony with nature is a recurring theme, and who better than a dryad queen to exemplify that idea? One of the important things to be with this series is to do as much in-camera as possible, and this was the first big example of that mindset that I put out. I made her crown out of sticks in my yard, wire, spray paint and a small plant pot. Her dress was hand-made from muslin and tea-stained to give the gradation from lighter brown to darker brown. Each and every leaf on her collar and cuffs was hand-cut from lace, glued in place and painted. The creation of the costume took months, but only cost about $40-$50, most of which was spray paint.
Editing
I ended up having to replace the sky behind her and add in the branch in the top right corner of the image. Sometimes you have to work with what nature gives you; in this case the best spot to shoot did not have clear sky behind it. As a result, her crown was getting lost in other branches behind her. It took absolutely forever to do, but I'm very glad I did as it made her crown so much more prominent! I had been stalking the birds (and squirrels) at the feeder and in my yard for months, knowing I'd need them for this photo. It took a ton of patience, luck and planning to get just the right shots of the birds, but I did get them all eventually! Adding them into the image in post was fairly easy, it was just a matter of finding a pleasing composition. I did some tweaking with colors and light but not as much as you might think. The shots looked quite ethereal straight out of camera, so while I enhanced that mood, I didn't have to do a ton of work in that regard.
In my camera bag
My Nikon D5100, the 50mm 1.8 lens, a kit lens from my previous camera which is a 35-70mm zoom, a very lightweight tripod, and several cheap remote shutter releases.
Feedback
This is the kind of image where the more work you put into it beforehand, the better the end result will be. Don't be afraid to really dive into a project, even if it takes months to put together! Challenge yourself to see just how much you can do in camera, and how little you can spend doing it. You'd really be surprised at how far you can go if you just open yourself up to the idea!

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