"Ivy" themed shoot / by Neil Alexander

Natalie by Neil Alexander

 As my Friday last week was spent dealing with the horror of a financial year end, and fortuitously I had a completely free Saturday, I arranged for another couple of testing shoots. In the morning I shot the delightful Linda on the beach by Hoylake (details in a future post), and in the afternoon I arranged to shoot Natalie (who is also training to be a make-up artist) and her 9 year old cousin in Buile Hall Park in Salford. A few days prior, Garry, a fellow "tog" from Twitter had commented on my work, and asked if he could join me on a shoot to see if he could get more of a handle on the whole off-camera flash thing. Well I was a little flattered (I'm a lot more comfortable with strobes than I was 12 months ago, but still so much to learn), but also delighted to be able to try and help. However as the light was constantly changing, and I also had a few more technical issues, I struggled myself to get what I wanted. So I hope that Garry managed to get something out of it. Natalie and her cousin arrived with stunning ivy themed make-up. I decided fairly quickly that some dramatic lighting was required. For the top shot, I dialed out the ambient almost completely (1/250 at F11). I had one SB900 and a shoot through umbrella to her right, and one smaller one slightly off-centre to her left. I had also placed a snooted strobe behind her head to try and lift her jet black hair from the background a little. It was working well, but she moved around a little and keeping her head between the lens and the snooted strobe was a little tricky. Just by happy accident then that this occurred. I really quite like the way the flare throws a little rainbow into the picture that ends with green on her cheek to match the ivy.

All in all, it wasn't a bad day's shooting, and I've since ordered a couple of replacement hotshoes from eBay for the princely sum of $10 to prevent any further technical difficulties.

Natalie by Neil Alexander

Natalie by Neil Alexander