A day at Madame Tussauds

Albert Einstein at the Madame Tussauds, Sydney

Yesterday I spent the day at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Sydney. It had been years since I’d been to any wax museum. I think the last time I was at one was the Museo de Cera in Mexico City probably over 5 years ago and before that I vaguely remember the Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam maybe 15 years ago.

I have no idea why I left it until today, but I’m glad I went. I had a great time and I was pretty impressed by the quality of the was sculptures. The guys that do them sure are talented. Some figures are so life-like it almost feels like they’re looking into your eyes.

Look at Albert Einstein above. Doesn’t he look real? I can even sense some emotion in his eyes. Weird.

I had a blast shooting them, although as with most museums, the light is awful for photography. It’s mostly pretty harsh and coming directly from above, which casts horrible shadows below the nose and the eyes. Mix that with other lights of a million different colours coming from every angle and it sure gets challenging. Colour correcting is a major pain, but I think they came out ok.

As you’d expect from a Madame Tussauds in Sydney, several of the sculptures are of Australian celebrities and local prominent figures. I actually enjoyed that and thought it was a great idea. It gives it a local flavour and I’m sure sets each museum apart.

For those interested, they were all shot with the Fuji X100S and post-processed in Apple Aperture using a beta version of Rob Boyer’s Portra Presets For Aperture and a lot of manual white balance and curves tweaks to correct colour.

People of the Globe: Jessica – Part Australian, Part Thai

Jessica for People of the Globe

Keeping with the recent theme of posting old photographs, this one is from 2008. I photographed Jessica in Hyde Park, Sydney in a relatively informal and very quick session.

Jessica was born in Australia from an Aussie father and Thai mother. A combination that worked perfectly. She’s beautiful.

Kaylee in 2008

Kaylee from Australia for People of the Globe
Another old one. I’ve been going through my library and finding a bunch of photographs that I don’t think I’ve posted before. It’s fun looking back at old photos.

This is Kaylee, she’s Australian of aboriginal descent and has very unique features. I shot her for the People of the Globe project back in 2008.

There’s something about Kaylee that I found intriguing. I’m not sure exactly what it was. She’s obviously beautiful and distinctly photogenic, but there’s something else that I can’t quite make out. I haven’t seen her since but I sure hope I get to shoot with her again.

Photograph of Janey from Vietnam for People of the Globe

I shot this photograph of Janey 3 years ago for the People of the Globe project. The shoot was fairly informal, it was just Janey, a friend/assistant helping with reflectors and lights, and myself as photographer.

We shot pretty fast as the sun was setting and the light was quickly going away. The plan was to do three sets to get three different looks. We started with a swimsuit series, of which I got several great photographs, then a fashion set, and we finished with this night shot for People of the Globe, which was the main goal.

However, Janey is such a beautiful and amazing model that we decided to combine them and did a series of swimsuits at night. Those also turned out great.

Janey needed minimum direction. She’s a natural model, extremely photogenic, and very comfortable in front of the camera. I ended up with so many keepers after this shoot that it was difficult to choose my favourites.

Anne from Canada for People of the Globe #3

I’ve published photos of Anne before (here and here). All three were part of the same shoot a few months ago in a place near Sydney, Australia called La Perouse. It’s where a few scenes of Mission Impossible 2 were filmed. Obviously, it’s a pretty cool area to photograph. Anne is a friend, so shooting with her was fun and informal. We didn’t use any lighting equipment or modifiers. It was as simple as it gets. Of course, she’s exceptionally beautiful and the location was great, so that made it easy. All photographs were shot with available light using a Panasonic GF1.

Fatima for People of the Globe

I may have posted this one before but for some strange reason I felt like putting it up now. Fatima is from Venezuela and she was actually the first person I photographed for the People of the Globe project back in 2005. In fact, it was after shooting her the first time that I decided to do the project. I haven’t seen her in a while, but hopefully we’ll shoot together again.