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Getting Back to Basics

I am now lining up an increasing increasing amount of wedding work, not only off my own back but also assisting other excellent wedding photographers such as Martin Hillary and Stancliffe Studios and when I'm not worrying about living up to their expectations and keeping the good name of their businesses I like to relax by, well, erm... taking photos. Photography clubs and group shoots are great places to get some practice in and meet with other photographers and models. Recently I've been nipping along to Tally Ho Studios in Wigan for their "club nights" and would recommend any photographer interested in studio work to check out their facilities. When you get over the initial awkwardness of working in front of your peers the opportunity exists to practice and hone techniques and improve skills that can be applied to all assignments.

Image of Nicey taken on a recent photoshoot.

One of my main areas of interest recently has been lighting so I've built up an array of studio lights and also have been experimenting with Nikon's Creative Lighting System (CLS) to extend my photography repertoire. This is all going very well except recently I've had a few frustrating shoots when I just couldn't get the atmosphere from the shot that I was after. It was then that I realised what I needed to do was put this technology to one side and concentrate instead on composition and interaction with my model. My model on this shoot was the very patient Nicey. You can see one of the resulting images from that shoot here in this post. Notice the leading lines directing focus to Nicey and this is further enhanced by zooming my lens as far as it would go (70mm) and opening my aperture as wide as possible (f2.8) to get a shallow depth of field that kept Nicey nicely in focus and the clutter nicely out of focus. Because there was less technology being dealt with that gave me more opportunity to get to know Nicey a bit better and focus on the pose and the look for the shot. Now the resulting image is not what you'd consider a traditional beauty shot but I love it all the same because of its impact and character that comes through as a result.

Oh yes, and the lighting? Just evening light in a completely shaded corner giving me vary flat unteresting light which in this instance didn't let the shot down at all.