EMERGE! and Couture Fashion Week – can a Canon 60D handle it?

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This is a guest post from Kahleem Poole – you've seen him on planet5D before (“Kahleem Poole rocks the Blackmagic Cinema Camera” and “Beautiful Fashion Photography BTS HDSLR video“).

Special thanks to Brigid Turner from Dopeshoes Ent. for giving me the all access invite and Tirusha Dave from Bravura Magazine for letting me go bananas at Couture Fashion Week. I met Brigid a while ago for the Slummy Mummy production I was photographing and she’s such a progressive person. Little did I know back in Sept ’12, she was the production organizer for Emerge!, so it was a pleasant surprise.

I was probably the only fool metering the stages to see what f-stop to stick to on my digital and film cameras, but it worked out for the best. Great shows overall.

EMERGE! and Couture Fashion Week

[tentblogger-vimeo 60146079]


The main HQ. The main courtyard area was nuts. Photographers stalked the entire area, hunting for shots of all sorts. I arrived there to capture some timelapse instances and HDR shots (thank you Magic Lantern) to integrate into the promo film. But, it was really distracting with the amount of gorgeous folks moving in and out of the venue.


I had an idea to shoot several locations to frame the promo spot around. However a main location needed to be within a studio. Spot, hard pools of light was an idea I wanted to go forward with as it gave the shots a glamorous feel similar to being in front of a paparazzi parade. This was meant to be a fast paced image to go alongside the craziness that NYFW brings with it.

Sabrina Lorena by Kahleem Poole

Sabrina Lorena by Kahleem Poole

I wanted model, Sabrina Lorena to work with me again on this. Well actually, this would be the first time we’ve worked together on a full project. Awhile before, I shot a spec for DKNY alongside my partner in crime, Robert Billings based off of a crazy brief inspiration I had from seeing her face. I guess I immediately knew I wanted to work with her again on another shoot, but had no ideas at the time.

Once NYFW came up, I immediately contacted her and luckily she was gung ho about the whole ordeal. Later, Sabrina gave me some info on her friend, Christina Marie (aka Tina) who wanted to jump on board as well (probably to make sure I wasn’t a mad stalker creep). I wasn’t sure at all until I saw some of her work and Sabrina’s “she’s redhead!!” statement. This would end up in my eyes as a beautiful contrast to Sabrina’s darker beauty qualities. Needless to say, both girls were completely awesome on set.


Now for this shoot I used some simple lighting. An Arri tweenie (650w) and Lowel Pro pepper (250w). I didn’t want to cover a huge range of area, but as mentioned before, more of a spot concentration, especially in the back-lit scenes.

For camera body, I stuck to my trusty Magic Lantern equipped Canon EOS 60D (using a recently “nightly build”, no less). It’s still been going strong, plus with my post-color cocktail, I’ve learned to work around its obvious sharpening and codec setbacks, pushing toward a super 16mm look. Additionally, I used Vision Tech picture style as my primary and VisionColor for when I want a bit more punch in the blacks.

My lens package? Nikkor AI and AI-S 28mm f2.8, 35-70 f3.5 and Samyang 14mm f2.8

Kahleem Poole

Christina Marie by Kahleem Poole


The original idea included the use of 35mm film captured stills of BTS segments of the runway shows. I snapped quite a few from Couture Fashion Week, Emerge! and so many others. Then the problem hit. Somehow the film didn’t capture any of the shots at all once I saw the developed negatives. Possibly a problem with the loading on my end, but I was so disappointed with how that turned out. Lesson learned: load the film correctly next time, dummy.


While the “paparazzi shoot” vision didn’t pan out how I intended, both girls gave off such a sultry look that I changed the idea and slowed its pace down a bit. Happy accidents are always welcome with me, which included that and the gigantic window in the studio that I finally got to express my “Nine And A Half Weeks” homage to. I used a mix of settled smoke, soft daylight and dramatic focal lengths to set things up. It all turned out awesome and I sincerely hope the girls would be as enthusiastic to work with me again for another shoot in the future.”

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(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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