Troppo (Part I) / by Mike Stacey

This is Part One of a three part story which covers two separate shoots and three locations.

I had a week in Far North Queensland - a break from an ongoing personal situation and also a chance to catch up my my Bro, his partner Sandy and my niece and nephew - all of whom I hadn't seen in some time.  But of course, the camera was coming along and I'd organised a shoot with the only model in my current network who lives up there - Ros (@dullife_lingerie).

It's always so nice to get off the plane in the tropics - completely different feels. Bro and Sandy had prepared a room in their rainforest home for me, which was so nice of them. Open (shuttered) windows all around and a view straight into the treetops. Complete with some local inhabitants like a very cool little gecko and a wasp in the corner.

Bedroom friends

I spent time just cruising around with them for a few days, sitting in cafes in Kuranda, and chatting to their social group of people, which was really nice. Some lovely folks there.

So halfway through my stay, Bro and Sandy went off to Europe. They left me the house and the car, which was just perfect. I met up with Ros in central Cairns at lunchtime one day and had decided to go out to Crystal Cascades, which is one of many local swimming holes around Cairns. I had a vague idea of some shots that I thought would work - some of which she'd done already in her portfolio. Kind of wild girl in forest thing, intense eyes, nudity type thing. But I always leave space for the unexpected, you never know what will happen on the day, ideas spring up, things happen and you need to be able to quickly adapt.

We walked up the track beside the main creek past numerous waterfalls and waterholes where people were swimming. Too many people around really although at the last waterfall there was a good spot. We shot a set here but after reviewing the pics, they just looked a bit plain. So off back down the track to the carpark and I'd noticed another smaller track before - so we headed up that which went into thicker darker forest and the stream was a small tributary to the main creek.

It was really beautiful in that forest, with it's shards of light piercing the canopy and illuminating patches on the forest floor and creating random splashes of bright green as its bounced of large palm fronds. 

The forest shots ended up pretty much spot on with the idea I'd had before the shoot. Ros nailed these portraits.

There are so many good images from the part of the shoot, these being just a small selection.

We decided to continue exploring up the track beside the stream and ended up only walking another 10 minutes or so to where the track ended at a magestic waterfall straight out of a fairytale. It spilled into a small canyon and a deep clear pool, full of yabbies.

Ros was straight into the water for a swim and we shot a number of images in that amazing rainforest luminous light that I remember from when I was a kid adventuring and exploring with a camera in Blue Mountains canyons. It's like a filtered and reflected and very soft yet quite dark light - but skin really glows in it.

The last shots of the day were some impromptu portraits on film, again, using the late afternoon rainforest light. This is often the best time to shoot close portraits - both photographer and model are relaxed and there is a sense of trust, knowing and comfort by then.

The last shot of the day: "Awesome, that's the best shot of the day". I've actually said that a number of times in other shoots too. There is actually another one almost as good, you can see it in the True Colours series.

Ros is so easy to work with. The shoot was even more casual than many others - more like just a nice arvo out exploring the forest and making pictures. I'll post more images from this shoot over the next month or so when they're edited.