Photographer Spotlight: Daniel Chase – Winner of the Dark Beauty Magazine Creative Composite Photography Competition

Posted by: on Aug 29, 2016
The Awakening
The Awakening by Daniel Chase Photography

Tether Tools and Dark Beauty Magazine teamed up for the Voter’s Choice, Creative Composite Photography competition. We were overwhelmed with the hundreds of quality submissions that showed such creative vision. The winning photographer, Daniel Chase, won a Tether Tools Starter Tethering Kit and profile in both Dark Beauty Magazine and!

His photo “The Awakening” was incredible, and usually received two reactions from voters: HOW? and WOW!  We caught up with Daniel Chase and asked him about his photography and how he brought “The Awakening” to life.

Daniel_Chase-SM-e1395265801434Bio: Daniel Chase is an award winning freelance and fine art photographer, his work has been published internationally as well as numerous magazine covers. He has worked professionally in commercial film, photography & post-production for more than 30 years.

Daniel started his career in the music video industry working for such notable names as Eddie Money, The Tubes, Billy Satellite and many more. He worked as a photojournalist traveling around the world, his underwater photos have been published in numerous diving and travel magazines, including a number of covers.

Today, Daniel specializes in Underwater, Fashion, Editorial, Portrait and Glamour photography. Daniels work appears in several magazines every month. His 1400 square foot fully equipped studio is located in Benicia, CA.


I would describe my style of photography as… 

I’m a minimalist at heart, I like strong contrast with interesting shape and form. Also a compelling narrative. 

My dream gig would be…

To shoot the cover for Vogue Italia! 

My favorite piece of gear is…        

My 30″ x 60″ softbox, I use it all the time.

What’s on your photography gear shopping list in 2016?          

I would really like to add a Canon 85mm f1.2 to my collection of lenses.

The best advice I can offer a fellow photographer would be…

Don’t get to hung up on your equipment, or lack there of. Add to it as you can. I hear way to often I would like to do this if I only had that. Shooting more makes you a better photographer, not your gear, gear just makes getting the shot easier most of the time. Just shoot.

“The Awakening”

Can you describe the concept behind this shot?

Andrea/Sativa Grace (the model) and I collaborated on the concept together, We wanted to do something supernatural with multiple layers of composites, we finally both agreed on a levitation theme.  

What was your biggest challenge bringing “The Awakening” to life?

The model, background and some of the elements in the final image were all shot separately. When I would check the frames, I had to view them on the camera, it caused a slight shift that I had to correct in Photoshop, also wasn’t completely happy with where I had placed certain objects. Also adding in shadows took quite a bit of time.

What lighting did you use to achieve this shot?

I used a Paul C. Buff Einstein with my  30″ x 60″ softbox turned horizontal for my key light and another Eisenstein with a small octabox for fill light.

What type of compositing was involved, what tools do you use?

My main go-to camera is a Canon 5D MKIII, I used a 24-70mm f2.4 lens on it. I shot Andrea against a plain wall, she was on a pedestal I had to remove in post. I then added the other elements to the the same wall. I hand painted the shadows on another layer. I used Lightroom for basic adjustment of contrast and color correction and Photoshop CC for compositing and final touch up. When I finished the composition, I felt the balance was off, so I found another image of Andrea from a previous shoot, I composited her into a picture frame and place it into the image.


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