5 minutes. That’s all you get before your perfect lighting window closes and the sun literally sets on the photo you’ve been imagining and planning meticulously for weeks.

That is the reality of on-location shooting for fine art photographer and artist Alexia Sinclair. If you want to capture a scene out of a fairytale, your photo must be captured within, as she describes it, “that 5 minute window where the ambient intersects with the artificial and creates something otherworldly.”

This is the challenge she faced when capturing her latest photo called Kissed by the Moon:

As usual, every tiny piece of this photograph was meticulously planned; no detail could be left to chance when you’re trying to recreate a scene straight out of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Alexia explained the technical challenges in her blog post about the shot:

The scene would be inspired by Titania from Shakespear’s “A midsummer night’s dream,” and Titania queen of the faries would act as the medium between the two worlds.

Our scene needed to look moonlit, yet register all the detail in the shadows as an eye would. We’d be shooting at ISO50 on a Phase One IQ280, coupled with a reasonable shutter speed as to not register movement from the tree. We’d be using the sun to create artificial “moonrays” and strobe lighting to give my hero a dewy sheen. Couple all the above with a decent DOF and we’d need to time this just right.

And that’s just one part of it. The rest—which she explains in detail at this link–included scouting a dreamlike location, plotting the sun’s location, finding the perfect model, and using a home-brew focus-stacking rail (she’d never actually attempted intricate macro photography before) to capture the pattern that would become the cape her hero wore.

All of this, together, produced the final image… weeks of planning culminating in just 5 minutes to capture:

You can dive into the details behind this shoot over on Alexia’s blog, where you’ll also find links to purchase the final print.

And if you want to see even more of Alexia’s fine-art work, check her out on 500px, visit her website, give her a Like on Facebook, or say hi on Twitter.