Up on the Roof





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Behind The Lens

This was taken on the rooftop of a new building that was under construction in Chisinau, Moldova. The model, Vladlena, just so happened to know the owners and was able to get us access to anywhere we wanted to shoot! Unfortunately, because it was a new building under construction, the elevator was not yet installed, and there was no electricity. We had to walk up to the stairs to the roof, over 13 stories. It was grueling, but worth it!
This was taken in midday at approximately 1-2pm. I usually lose track of time when I am working, and this one we spent about 4 hours doing different shots and outfits after everything was set up.
The lighting was key to this whole project. The harsh sun was exactly what I was looking for to do this high fashion look for this outfit. The midday sun created the lighting of a studio, and saved on the batteries of my flash units as a bonus, so I was able to spend more time shooting on other scenes and indoors locations in the building. For this particular shot, I wanted the harsh shadows to add the drama and contrast to the image. Having Vladlena face the sun, while shooting from a low angle, gave the the image the perfect dramatic high fashion look I was looking to create with depth and dimension.
Hand held Nikon D810 camera with a Nikon 24-70mm 2.8f lens. No flash or tripod.
The inspiration for this photo came from many years of looking at shots that I liked. I wanted to do my own version of similar high contrast shots, but wanted to add a little something extra. We have all seen millions of photos that have a look like this, but usually are two dimensional. I wanted a more 3-D look to accent the outfit in a different way to give it more length, as well as depth, in order to fit the mood of such fashion. The type of woman who would wear this style of fashion are bold, professional, stylish, focused, and unapologetic about being sexy.
With this, I had to correct a bit of the sun's "yellow" on the wall to keep it white and not looking "dirty". It was newly painted with bright white, but since I had to adjust my camera setting to be able to catch the wall detail, it made the wall color come out more yellow than I wanted. It was an easy fix in PS RAW to lower the yellow from the white in the image without lowering it too much to lose the warmth of the natural sun.
In my camera bag
Nikon D810 camera, Nikon 24-70mm 2.8f lens, cleaning rags, lens brush/pen, plastic bags to cover everything in case it rains.
A low shot like this to add drama and depth can be done very easily. I would suggest when shooting any fashion that you try different camera positions and angles in order to have a variety of images a client can choose from, or just for yourself. Roof tops are a perfect place to be away from people, and at the same time, you can get great shots using the sun as your light source, while having and interesting backgrounds to choose from all in one place.

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