Canon Ambassador Eliška Sky
's work always begins in the same way – with an idea for something she wants to say. Where it might go after that is anyone's guess. The Czech artist, fashion photographer and art director has a richly surreal imagination and a dogged determination to turn the fantastical images in her head into reality. "I like to be innovative, to create things that haven't been seen before," she says. "Making something unique and unexpected is always challenging. It takes a lot of planning, big teams, complicated set designs. But if it's too easy, what's the point?"
For one shoot, she filmed a model on a specially-constructed two-metre-high plexiglass plinth. Eliška used a wind machine along with props such as scarves and colourful balls to build the exact atmosphere she was after. "There was one point where I was lying down under the plexiglass table, and you could see my reflection in shot, so I had to get someone to cover me with a black blanket and shoot from underneath it," she says. Working with the Canon EOS R5
she found the autofocus tracking made a huge difference. "It kept the focus really nicely on the model as she was moving. The 4K video capture and frame rate of the R5 were also great features as I was trying to get slow motion footage of the balls in the air."
Working on another campaign in January 2021, Eliška built a 6x6m swimming pool inside a studio. "It was unheated, on a concrete floor, and in the middle of winter. We only had two days, so we had to get the shots," she recalls. To make sure the models were comfortable, Eliška and her team ran back and forth boiling kettles and topping up the water. Another example of going to crazy lengths to get a shot was on an editorial shoot inspired by Picasso's blue period, when she laboriously painted all the models and the entire studio bright blue. "I'm inspired by everything around me," she says. "Literature, film, photography, everyday situations, even something as simple as light and shadow."