Project: Lambertz / January 21, 2014

Hel – Croatia



Working with Fel as the model again the challenge was set for day two. We had to head into the ice caves to shoot two looks but as it was day 2 we had to carry all of the equipment via the 3 cable cars once more to what was in fact a prefect day weather wise. Sunny and warmer we were on for look one. It was with that that we headed down into the depths of the glacier.

Logistically this was the most challenging

The location was very wet and dripping water was everywhere. The challenge was lighting it with LED lights all with a timed exposure. Model
would need to keep still as would James. Once we all added crampons and were at the location James and the model had to climb into the ice cave and onto it’s floor which in itself was frozen in time above a great deep lake under the ice floor. Health and safety did not feature here.

How it all mapped out.

Onwards our journey took us to the warmer climbs of Slovenia, after a short spell spent waiting at the border whilst a somewhat conversationally challenged patrolman tapped our windscreen it later transpired we hadn’t acquired the necessary sticker/pass to display.
Thankfully we all used walkie-talkies so could communicate with the rest of the team and promptly acquire what we needed.

The countryside was beautiful, basked in history and fabulous local cafés!
We trekked deep inside the caves where the temperatures dropped nigh on to what felt like we’d become accustomed to atop hintertux.
Agnes worked brilliantly in portraying goddess hell and has such an amazing look!


CROATIA: The  Caves of Barak

The Caves of Barać (Croatian: Baraćeve špilje) are located near the village of Nova Kršlja in the municipality of Rakovica, Croatia. In 1892 the caves were opened to visitors but subsequently abandoned and forgotten following World War II. In July 2004 the Upper Caves of Barać were reopened to visitors.

The caves are named after a certain Barać who was a fighter against the Ottomans. According to a legend the caves bear the name of the victory of Barać at the caves. The surname of Barać does not exist anymore in this region.

Video: James talks about The Goddess Hel shoot

In the video

You can see James working with the team and models to create the fab look for Goddess number 2 SKADI . Watch how he shoots though the streaming water and dampness and works with the model to achieve the look. One of the most testing and challenging of shoots creatively and of course technically.

goddess hel caves


  • Temp: 0.01c
  • Camera: NIKON D3X
  • Lens: Nikon 24-70mm
  • Shutter: 1/50
  • Aperture: F11
  • ISO: 800
  • Any Problems: Freezing, Damp, lots of dripping water, danger to camera


  • Model: Fel (Czech)
  • TeamNader – James & Phil + Mary
  • Producer Marco – Lambertz
  • Styling – Andrea
  • Makeup – Chris
  • Other team members x15


goddess hel by james nader fashion photographer

In this image of Fel as Goddess SKADI there is a little more grain by using the Nikon and not the Hasselblad, however it allowed a good timed exposure in a very wet environment and allowed me to compose effectively on the fly without worrying that much about water damage to the camera which may have been the issue with the Hasselblad. The has been compositing to complete the look and colour balance. I remained in the hole after the shoot and the model had gone so I could shoot many images of the ice cave and any items that i needed to complete the picture. This was particularly for the foot and knee as she was kneeling on a dressing gown.

we had a total of two BOWENS LED lights powered from a Tronix battery pack and two smaller hand heldl 300 LED units held to illuminate the cathedral stele ice stalagmites and stalactites

A single light source powered from a battery pack created the mystical lighting that was required by the client and technically it gave me enough contrast to pull her out away from the background and create a little depth even though using a wide-angle lens.


Some other shots used in the Lambertz Calendar 2014

goddess hel

James Talks a little about the shots to be done and how teamnader went about delivering and with what

You can see below a generic video which was used in the Lambertz marketing campaign in Europe and UK it was featured in Stern magazine and in UK the Mail plus numerous news and online blogs. James was interviewed many times and in fact think did over 16 interviews and opinions on the shoot and how it all went.

James runs though some of the images at a daily client review and talks about the shoots done on the mountain in Hintertux and we also add in a few behind the scenes en route to Slovenia and Croatia


Some great Behind the Scenes images from the day in the caves. It shows that we do have a laugh now and then on our shoots



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