I collaborated on this shoot with model Ashleigh Joi; she came up with the basic concept and made all the wardrobe & props, I found the location and put everything together. Once again being limited by a lack of permit funds, we did the shoot at a Metrolink Station in Rancho Cucamonga. One of the things that attracted me to the location was that it had both palm trees and pyramids. See for yourself:
We met at my house, Ashleigh had her friend Alexa Camargo do the make-up (which looked great) and an hour later we were on the road. I brought along a small kit, two Acute B 600 packs with heads, a couple Magnum reflectors, a Beauty Dish and a Ring Flash with diffuser. I omitted the light stands to minimize the chance of looking too professional and getting busted either by security or by the police.
When we arrived, I realized at once that the aerial view was misleading and the "pyramids" were not going to look the way I had hoped.
I decided to push on, utilizing low angles to minimize the pyramids and take advantage of the palm trees. This was the basic set-up: ring flash on camera, 2nd light with Magnum reflector (resting on a couple rocks scavenged from the landscaping by my quick thinking assistant Fred) behind the model for an edge light.
As luck would sometimes have it, one of my favorite shots came about when I switched to the Beauty Dish, and fired off a couple frames looking for the right exposure.
There was little value as it was, so I went through my Lightroom library to try to find anything I could use as a background. I found some palm trees from a beach North of Santa Barbara and stripped that in, and it was good, but it wasn't enough to save the image. I looked through my collection of stereoviews, and found a 100+ year old image that had pyramids in the background, and blatantly stole a piece of it.
Together with the previous shot and some more Photoshop magic I pieced together a fairly decent illustration. I'm not sure what the copyright implications are here, if it can be considered public domain, the stereoview was dated 1896. I have some other stereoviews that also from Egypt that have no date or maker, and I could have used those, but I did like this image better. I would like to hear what you think about this issue, feel free to comment below.