Monday, June 1, 2015

Animals Taiwan Calendar Shoot

Last November I was contacted to see if I was interested in shooting a calendar for Animals Taiwan. I have done some video shoots for them before and was keen to help promote their excellent shelter again by raising funds through the calendar and hopefully raising awareness at the same time. Animals Taiwan is an organization that promotes responsible pet ownership and helps rehome rescue dogs in Taiwan.
We had a lot of things to plan as we had dogs, contortionists, drag queens, yoga practitioners and various other colorful people for the shoot. The common theme through the calendar was cars, so we also had a range of awesome cars, including a Porsche, Ferrari, MG, and Morgan. We only had access to the cars for one day, which meant the entire shoot had to be done on that day. We were planning an 18-month calendar, so this was not an easy task to shoot 18 scenes in a single day while trying to schedule everyone to be there when the light was right for the outdoor scenes.

To get everything to run smoothly, I draw up lighting diagrams for each scene. But on shooting day the flash sync ports in two of my strobes stopped working, which meant that I needed to rearrange all the lighting to shoot in slave mode. This changes things a lot as in slave mode, the receptor cell has to be in line of sight of the light that is triggering it to function, which severely limits the positioning of the lights. It also limits how they can be positioned outdoors as the sunlight wreaks havoc on the receptors ability to sense the triggering light.

I used a Canon 6D with a Canon 24-105 mm f4 lens. For lighting I used three Godox SDI 250 strobes in two brolly boxes and one 180 cm parabolic umbrella. The only exception being a shot at the riverside where there was no power, so I went with speedlites. Besides the riverside shot, the other scenes were inside and around Autocheckers, a garage next to Animals Taiwan.

The idea I was going for with the images was an animated painterly style with cinematic framing. The final calendar was launched last month as an 18-month calendar running from July 2015 to December 2016.
Taipei Times covered the launch of the calendar here: Help for the Helpless
If you'd like to support the homeless dogs of Taiwan by buying a calendar, make a payment into the Paypal account at and e-mail Liza Milne at with your delivery details. Prices are below:

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