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Fantasy Photography Props: How To Make The Oil Lantern For Bella Morte

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There were a couple of fantasy photography props that needed making for Bella Morte, my recent Fine Art Fantasy Photo Shoot. If you want a behind the scenes look you can check that out here. The final images are still being edited but will follow soon.

Bella Morte marks the first in a series of self-portraits I’m working on, using fantasy elements to depict aspects of Bipolar Disorder.

fantasy photography props - oil lantern for Bella MorteThe oil lantern is actually the simplest fantasy photography prop I’ve made so far, there was very little to it other than painting an existing lantern. I bought a cheap Hurricane Paraffin Lantern on Amazon. I wanted a larger one, but in the end got a 12″ which was still a good size. After a bit of research I determined that the majority of cheap lanterns for sale arrived in a nasty looking cheap silver, even when the product photos indicated nicer colours. Given the prices this isn’t surprising. There are lanterns out there that are genuine antiques, or styled to look like antiques, but these vastly exceeded the shoe string budget I had for this shoot.

fantasy photography props - oil lantern for Bella MorteArmed with my new nasty silver lantern and two cans of spray paint I set about making this a real fantasy photography prop rather than something that looked remarkably like I bought it in Ikea. I had already painted the horns for this shoot in black with gold accents. Rather than weathering the lantern to make it look old, which was my original plan, I decided to match it to the horns. I gave it a strong base coat of black before dusting it (if you can call aerosolised paint dust) with gold. I didn’t want a lot of gold on it, just a light coating on a few choice areas and a very slight sheen elsewhere.

The finished lantern wasn’t quite what I had in mind originally, but considering I had a budget of £10 for the whole shoot, I’d say it turned out pretty darn perfect!

I’ll be posting a look at how I made the horns later in the week, and the final images should be up soon too. For daily memes and updates on all my projects as the happen, follow me on Insagram @bipolarbearwrites!

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Published inPhotography
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