Last Friday evening I had the pleasure of photographing Model: Hazel Clarke for the second time. The shoot was part of a Friday night event at a local studio (Ian's Studio) owned by a Friend of mine, the studio has events run most Friday nights as well as workshops (I have run a few). It's handy as the studio is local and if I fancy shooting on a Friday but have no model booked I can see what's happening at the studio.
Back to Fridays shoot.. the location was Vernon Park in Stockport which was also part of the location for the following days shoot with my right hand man Mark Boadey but I will save that for another post.
Vernon Park is relatively small park but has plenty of potential for backgrounds and portrait locations like Stairs, Bridge and small tunnel to name a few. Having photographed Hazel before in the Park I wanted to get a few different shots this time round using different elements in the Park. Traveling fairly light for me I took a small back with the following kit.
Canon EOS 500D
Canon EF 50mm F1.8
Canon EF 85mm F.1.8 USM
Canon EF-S 18-55 IS (this lens has to go, more on that soon)
Canon 430EX II
Westcott 28” Apollo Softbox
Opteka 1/4 and 1/8 Grids for the speedlites.
Whilst listed like this it may seem like allot, trust me its light compared to what I can take on a location shoot.
I also had access to a few other Canon lens since Mark and a few others were part of the shoot.
So what did I manage to get out of all this kit? Thanks to Hazel some great shots.
First up is a set up shot for the next few images in this post, Mark doing his thing as a VAL (Voice Activated Light Stand) and Hazel ready to rock the poses. In the shot you can see the Westcott 28” Apollo boomed on a light stand, inside the softbox was a Canon 430EX II triggered by a Cactus V4. Oh I also want to say thank you to friend Kevin for the loan of his Canon 24-105 F4L for these shots.
Here are a few frames from this set up. (No 1 & 2)
Hazel has a great look and I love that red hair.
When shooting lit stuff against a sky background remember you always have the option of turning the light off, or in this case removing the Cactus V4 trigger off my cameras hot shoe.. the result a cool silhouette. (No 3)
Using the same location in the park we set up a few more shots using the bed of Fern but I moved position to the top of the hill. (No 4 & 5)
Needed a bit more light in the eyes. So I re-positioned the light for the next frame.
Then one final pose in this location before I let Hazel move to the other photographers set. (No 6)
Whilst the others were shooting I was watching the sky/sunset waiting for it to get to where I wanted it in exposure value. The next set of images were shot on a hill top in the park (near the bridge) again the same sky, you will notice how the sky changes throughout the series of images in not a great amount of time. All the images were lit using the Westcott 28” Apollo, Canon 430EX II using either the Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM (head shots) or the Canon EF-S 18-55 for the wide shots.
First was a test shot to dial in exposure whilst the Model was on another set. Thanks Mark for standing in
1/200sec, F7.1, ISO100 and I was dialled in first try. sorry Mark not only did I post this on flickr I also put it on a blog post. (No 7)
The first shot of Hazel was a head shot (I always shoot head shots on a shoot) against the amazing sky during sunset. The Softbox was camera right slightly higher than the model. (No 8 & 9)
Same set but two different shots due to the change in expression. The one on the left is my Favourite and made Explore on flickr.
A quick change of lens and a rather dramatic change in the sky and we have something a little more dramatic. (No 10)
A change in pose. (No 11)
Then finally for this set a a change in perspective/angle. I simply moved around the light stand and tilted (Dutch Angle) the camera, not something I do that often. (No 12)
The final set was shot at against a hedge, which met to form a corner. As soon as I saw the hedge I know how I wanted to frame the shot and I also had the Idea of shifting the white balance to tungsten to make the sky go a deep cool blue. Problem was I needed a CTO gel to colour correct for Hazel after the white balance shift, rats left mine at home! Luckily Kevin had one with him (thanks Kevin).
These next few frames were shot using a YN 460 speedlite (the 430EX II was in the Westcott) with a 1/4 Opteka Grid modifier which restricts the light in to a focused beam, a little softer than a snoot (which has a harder edge) I love these grids. I have only posted 2 images from this setup but I did shoot more, thing is I have found it hard to pick my proffered frames so may be you can let me know in the comments. I decided to just post the 2 which grabbed me most. Thanks must go to Mark for VALing the light on this one also.
Thanks everyone for a great evenings shooting, and to Hazel for her work on the night. I am looking forward to working with Hazel again soon on a personal Natural Light only shoot.
Let me know your favourites in the comments (images have been numbered)
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