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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken whilst I was on a trip to Jimbaran Bay in Bali. The place is a magical mix of tropical beauty and raw nature. One of the most relaxing holidays I've ever been on.
The evenings in Bali often provided perfect conditions for photography. All the other guests at the resort had retreated back to their villas, leaving the pool area to us. It was so calm and quiet with a slight evening breeze.
The sun was fairly low and soft by this point of the day but still bright enough to create a lovely and powerful element of contrast, exaggerated by the use of black and white. Luckily the sun set in the perfect place which enabled the model to sit at the edge of the pool, catching the evening sunlight on her left and emphasising the hands behind her back.
As I was on holiday at the time and I didn't have a lot of equipment with me, so this was shot simply by hand with a Nikon D60 and a 50mm lens. I guess I got lucky with the perfect conditions.
Inspiration for this photo started in the morning. The model sat at the edge of the pool and it looked so peaceful. As it approached evening her and her sister were both trying to do this pose and the sun hit them in such a beautiful way that I asked her to sit in the same location as that morning but in the pose her and her sister had been trying to perfect for the past half an hour. Nobody else was around making it such a peaceful time of the day with only the sound of the waves below and her sister giggling. I took quite a few photos that evening of both the sisters but the wind caught this one at such a perfect time.
As the lighting conditions were so great in Bali, there was minimal post-processing that needed to be done. I always shoot in colour as I find the camera presets lack depth so the black and white filter was added on my computer. In addition to this I increased the contrast, as I wanted to emphasise the different tones created by the low sun.
In my camera bag
I don't normally carry a lot of equipment with me. I love to take my camera around so many places and I don't want to be carrying around a heavy bag. All I carry are two lenses, an 18-55 VR and my favourite, a 50mm, I carry 2 spare batteries as the last thing I want is to miss a perfect opportunity and two filters, a UV and a circular polariser to bring out the richness of the sky. I would love to carry a tripod with me but I think it's time to invest in a lighter one.
With photos like this, a lot of the magic was in the lighting. Capturing perfect natural light can mean waiting around for a while but it's worth it when you get that perfect snap. Also, if using a digital camera, don't be afraid to take lots of shots of the same thing. Sometimes a little gust of wind can add all the difference, something that could be missed if you stop too soon. With this photo, where there is a close subject, as with portraits, 50mm lenses really shine making the model stand out from the background.

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