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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in a area in Bristol called the Bear Pit, we really loved the location and wanted to really try capture the grittiness of the location and found this great area where light was falling and grabbed this shot.
This was towards the end of a long day shooting indoors and I had promised Zoe that our next time shooting that we would do location stuff. luckily we both knew a local photographer called Hatch who does a lot of urban portraiture and he took us out for a quick hour.
The lighting was all natural. I remember when I first got into photography I read this book about using your environment and what the weather was to your advantage and how to create different lighting "setups" with this knowledge. Granted I very seldom shoot natural light I do enjoy the challenge and always try use the tips from that book, sadly I cannot remember its name.
I was using my Nikon D800 and a 24-70 2.8 nikon, otherwise all was by hand and using the elements and environment.
That beam of light and the ever incredible model Zoe
I always do some slight corrections in Camera Raw, then a bit of frequency separation, split toning, dodging and burning and finally a high pass which I mask out the areas that I don’t want to sharpen, (i.e. skin) in Photoshop. This process tends to take up quite a bit of time, but it is worth it.
In my camera bag
I have my D800, a Nikkor 85mm 1.8 prime, my Tamron 70-200 2.5 a 25-70 2.8, a grey card for white balance if the location proves to be a bit tricky. These are my go-to’s and I then add extra gear depending on the location. My latest addition is a 24-70 2.8 which very seldom leaves the body of my camera.
Make the shoot fun as much as you can. It was the middle of winter and Zoe is a small girl but struggled through. If we did not make it a fun shoot the mood would not have been right and we would not have gotten this shot or it wouldn't of had the same energy. Feed off your model, find where their strengths lie and then try different angles and positions. It is our responsibility as photographers to get the best out of our models. Sometimes we are lucky: the models are experienced and we have little to no guidance to give. With more inexperienced models it pays off to help them find their strengths and coax it out of them. I spend time researching modelling just as much as I do my own craft (of lighting, equipment etc.). In shoots such as mine and Zoe's, where you have no real idea of what the location looks like before, keep an eye out for complimenting colours in the background, sources of light , shapes or patterns to bring attention to your subject.

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