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Exposure: Sabrina Wong

Photographer Sabrina Wong creates stylised scenes and exotic backdrops to highlight her unique take on portraiture and character photography on this month's Exposure.

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Lexy Savvides
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1 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Searching

(Credit: Sabrina Wong)

Biography: Sabrina's obsession with photography began after the purchase of her first digital SLR in September 2007. However, Sabrina has always enjoyed creating art in some shape or form and has previously dabbled in drawing, illustration, web and graphic design, becoming intimately familiar with Adobe Photoshop and experimenting with composition and colour theory before picking up photography as a hobby.

Over the last year and a half, Sabrina has had the pleasure of working on production stills for a short film, a couple of fashion shows, a wedding, promotional photographs for a theatre production, many portraits, personal projects and collaborations with a handful of models, make-up artists and hair stylists in Perth.

From September 2007, Sabrina juggled photography research and experimentation alongside full-time work. This year, she has returned to university for full-time study, beginning a second bachelor's degree. She hopes to acquire a film camera this year and focus more on a journalistic, documentary style that will work better with her intense course load.

Equipment: Canon EOS 400D, Canon 24mm f/1.4 L, Canon 50mm f/1.8 MKII, Canon 85mm f/1.8, Zuiko 21mm f/3.5, Canon 580EX II, Vivitar 285HV, Canon 430EX, Elinchrom universal triggers, Manfrotto umbrella swivels, Manfrotto nano light stands, Photoflex ProDuty BackDrop Support Kit, assorted umbrellas, reflectors, Omni-Bounce, gel sample packs, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom.

Ann put together the outfit from her wardrobe, I armed myself with a remote trigger and flash, and we went on our way to the jetty. We were lucky to have such a stunning sunset that day.

I used Photoshop to bring out the pretty colours and give the shot a bit of a retro feel. This is one of my earlier pieces, about three months into my photography obsession. I have always loved to digitally post-process, a subtle colour theme injects a sense of the surreal into a photograph and brings out particular emotions.

Settings: 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, 24mm

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2 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Australian outback

I took this on the way home from a photographic retreat in late 2007. I have always been inspired by cloud formations in the sky. Unfortunately, I did not realise at the time that my camera was still on ISO 800 from the night before!

Settings: 1/800s, f/22, ISO 800, 24mm

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3 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

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4 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Light as air

My first photo shoot using a make-up artist (Jane Wong, Beyond Aesthetics), featuring my friend, Suz, as the model. We shot this in Suz's bedroom which had plain, light blue coloured walls and enough space to shoot with my brand new Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens. The fan we had sourced was broken, so Jane was manually swinging an old drawing pad around to fan Suz’s hair just before I pressed the shutter.

Settings: 85mm, 1/200s, f/6.3, ISO 100

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5 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Backstage at Leona Edmiston

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6 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Rock attitude

This was intended to look like an edgy rock band album cover or promotional photograph. I decided on the location and lighting and Alyssea Nicole turned up in these fantastic clothes, sourced from her wardrobe. My friend Kien assisted me, holding onto one of my lightweight Manfrotto nano light stands so it would not blow over in the Perth breeze.

Settings: 1/100s, ISO 400, 21mm

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7 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Portrait of a princess

Part of a series shot with Princess Skye (of Princess Portal), titled

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8 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

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9 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

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10 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Dark doll

In terms of styling, I bought the black feathered neck piece and Shasta Jaime (model) sourced the dress. Jane Wong (Beyond Aesthetics) did the make-up and hair for this shoot so it was truly a collaborative effort. We used an unfurnished room at Jane’s house to shoot this. I brought along my strobes, light stands and umbrellas for the lighting.

Settings: 1/100s, f/8.0, ISO 100, 85mm

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11 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Battle for the crown

A project between Christiane Krapf (model left), Natacha Bruder (model right) Lily Webb (Beauty Contour) and myself. I came up with the concept, picked clothing from Christiane's and Natacha's wardrobes, sourced weaponry from a friend and brought jewellery for this shoot. I never intended to do so much styling, but I made the most of what was available to me. We shot it in Lily's lounge room using some red organza I bought from a fabric store and black cotton hung over a backdrop stand.

Settings: 1/100s, f/8.0, ISO 100, 24mm

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12 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Hime Gyaru Princess

"Hime Gyaru" style is a popular fashion trend in Japan. My friend Cheryl helped me research and style this to look as close to a genuine Hime Gyaru as possible within my budget. Cheryl and I made the accessories from craft supplies. We hand sewed the satin bows and hot glued them to hair clips. Marlene Lim (model) and Jane Wong (Beyond Aesthetics) also added their talents to this project, it was great fun. I edited this photo to make it look like the cover of a magazine.

Settings: 1/100s, f/6.3, ISO 100, 24mm

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13 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Launceston

Taken during a trip to Launceston, Tasmania in 2008.

Settings: 1/40s, f/16, ISO 400, 24mm

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14 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Escape to her garden sanctuary

Kerry Edmonstone (model) and Jane Wong (Beyond Aesthetics, make-up) were on board for this pictorial sequence. I sourced the skirt and butterflies, and we found some great angles in Kerry's backyard. Taken fairly early in the morning, I used a flash through a white umbrella to lighten the shadows a little.

Settings: 1/640s, f/2.8, ISO 100, 85mm

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15 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Aviator

When I found these vintage aviator goggles and cap on eBay, I had the compulsion to buy them and use them in a photo shoot. Haylee Cowling modelled these items and Jane Wong (Beyond Aesthetics) created the make-up look for the shoot.

Settings: 1/100s, f/7.1, ISO 100, 85mm

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16 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Survival horror

Tahlia (model) found a wonderful fake blood recipe and bought some dispensable clothes in preparation for this shoot and we went adventuring to find this location. Applying fake blood was probably the highlight of the day! There are more photographs in the series, and it has a loose Silent Hill theme to it. My partner came along and held the reflector for me, we used the gold side for this particular shot.

Settings: 1/125s, f/8.0, ISO 100, 24mm

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17 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Conscience

I volunteered to take production stills for

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18 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

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19 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Help us

These chickens were on display at the local library. I tried to photograph these chickens the same way I would photograph people. I especially like this photo because it captures the feeling of being helpless and trapped.

Settings: 1/200s, f/1.4, ISO 100, 24mm

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20 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Jessica Cupit

A collaborative project between Kirsten Ashton (Addicted to Glamour, make-up), Jessica Cupit (model) and myself (photography). I wanted to produce a set of professional images that Jessica could use to update her model portfolio.

This was my first time renting a studio. It was very exciting to finally try out the quality of light from a softbox. Fortunately, it was not too daunting as I could still use the knowledge and experience gained through frequent use of my strobes to position the lights; however, they take more time and strength to move, especially the light that was on a huge boom.

Settings: 1/125s, f/13, ISO 100, 85mm

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21 of 21 Sabrina Wong, www.sabatomic.com

Nesting peacock

Another collaborative project, this time between Rana Mosleh (Pink Makeup Artistry, make-up), Tenielle Larson (hair styling), Gemma Taylor (model) and myself (props, photography). The idea was to achieve a clean, high fashion, peacock-themed image.

Settings: 1/100, f/11, ISO 100, 85mm

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