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Behind The Lens

This shot was taken in Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand. This location is close to Weta Workshop, where lots of props for movies are created (like Lord of the Rings). Luckily I know a few people making props and costumes (I worked at Weta myself for a while), so I had access to some of those. This image is part of my Game of Thrones series.
This image is facing due East, close to sunset. That's why the sword reflects the sunbeams so conveniently in the light-dappled landscape. The area is littered with some abandoned ruins of fortifications from both world wars, grown over by moss and tree roots.
This is all natural lighting. As mentioned before, this was around sunset and I had the sun at my back. Some of these sunbeams catching in the landscape and one reflecting on the steel of the sword. This is pretty difficult lighting, with some extreme contrast, which had to be compensated for slightly in Photoshop. However, there was not much editing involved in this one.
This was shot with a Canon 6d, first generation, one of my favorite cameras (I still have one, even though I own a 6d mark 2 as well now). The lens was a Sigma 50mm F1.4 ART lens, an incredibly sharp lens and great piece of equipment.
During some Winter time, miserably cold and wet weather, I did a lot of reading. Being a great fantasy fan, I read the whole Game of Thrones series, and also watched a big part of the program. I found some differences between books and program (yes I'm pretty fussy about this), and decided to create my own series, interpreting the books in a slightly different way. This image was one part of my results.
Due to the difficult lighting, I had to compensate for the extreme contrast in some areas of the image. Post processing was done in Photoshop. Apart from recovering shadows in those areas and some slight Orton Effect, there wasn't much editing involved in this one.
In my camera bag
I usually go with minimum gear, one body and one lens. My preference atm is a Canon 5d mark 3 and a canon 70-200, F2.8, mark 2. But it really depends on, for planned shootings I might take much more.
Be creative. Try to envision what you actually want to capture, then scout appropriate locations, watch the weather if outdoors. And be flexible, if some conditions don't meet your expectations, give it a try anyway. The results might be a pleasant surprise. After all, photography is a lot about being in the right place at the right time.

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