Beyond the concrete





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Behind The Lens

I took this photo in Victoria Park in the east end of London. A beautiful park which serves as an oasis in what is otherwise a built up area.
This was an afternoon shoot. I was watching for a week driving pastvat different times to see when the shadows fell on the buildings and hoped that when I came to do the actual photo the sun would come out. Checking and checking my hopefully reliable weather app. I’m sure you have all done that right?!
I only used a fill flash on this but I was close enough to the subject so I knew it would add a small amount of light. I was ok with that because I wanted to get a really good exposure in camera where I could expose for those long Dramatic shadows on the building while keeping my subject lit and not a silouette. The sun had moved past the subject which is why I added in a small amount of extra light.
I used my Nikon 24-70 lens which was mounted on the Nikon 610 camera body. With the SB900 flash. I had a step ladder because I wanted to try from a few different view points and see what I felt was more dramatic. The subject was up in a tree log so I wanted to play around and see what angle worked with this scene.
Living in London is a little like sardines in cans! It’s highly populated with people and buildings. I wanted to show the contrast. That wherever you are you can find peace that amongst the concrete there are magical moments and beauty to be found. I wanted my subject to be whimsical and peaceful and I wanted the composition to be striking and dramatic which is why I needed the sun to bring those giant shadows into play. The birds again bring a contrast of peacefulness and maybe letting go and just breathing!
I love Lightroom. Those sliders are my little buddies and sometimes I go to town! But there were subtle adjustments for this image. Just really bringing out the parts of the image that I wanted the viewer to focus on. Colours are very important to me but with this image the tone was already there so again I just tried to bring that out. I always add a little grain for texture and my favourite think is radial filters. I masked off my subject and dropped exposure around her to make her more the focus. Tada!
In my camera bag
I Actually bought the 24-70 for weddings but I actually use it a lot for portraits. I just love the flexibility that I get from being able to focus in on my subject and then drawing away sonthat the camera takes in the whole scene and without me moving an inch off the same spot! ( maybe it’s more my laziness then?! ) then I have the trusty nifty fifty which is a must have prime in my humble opinion. I have alot of love for it. My other favourite is the Nikon 105 mm. People trust me the creaminess is a beautiful thing. I use this lense for a variety of things from details to close up portraits. Those are in my bag at the moment along with two SB900 flashes and two Nikon D610 camera bodies which I am really happy the moment!
Mm. I think planning ahead is serving me well. Thinking of the details, the time of day for the positioning of sun and shadows, what you want the image to represent and what you can do to achieve that. For this image I thought a lot about the dress and the pose of the model. The small things matter don’t they! The dress had layers and I really enjoyed the interest it bought as opposed to something that hangs straight. I think you can create a simple image but still have interest that keeps the viewer noticing more and more. I have a lot of fun from the planning stage through to the final edit. I feel like if I enjoy creating it then people will enjoy looking at it! :)

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