The other week I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of working with the lovely Anna again. We did 3 separate location shoots, though the last one was a complete disaster for one reason and another, but the less said about that the better..... Instead I'm going to give you a quick insight into how I made the photograph below.
We met up around 11am and headed down to a spot on the edge of Ashley in Cheshire by the banks of the River Bollin. It's an area that I'm quite familiar with having shot many landscape images there before - this one being my favourite. Knowing the area helps hugely when I'm trying to pre-visualise the final image, and this in turn aids me with composition and lighting at the time of making the image as I already have quite a clear vision in my mind's eye of how I want the finished product to appear.
I had Anna turn sideways on to me with her back to the tree and then lay her arms along the branch behind her to provide a leading line into the frame. I then lit her with a Nikon SB900 flash inside a 76cm Lastolite Ezybox HotShoe softbox camera left and a grided SB900 camera right. It was one of those days when the sun was constantly in and out of the clouds, so the purpose of the softbox was to provide a soft controllable light on Anna, but it meant that I only shot when the sun was behind the clouds. It gave me more control over the amount and direction of light that fell on Anna, though to be honest most of the time the sun was behind the clouds it diffused the light so much and so smoothly that this light didn't really effect the final image very much. It was only when the sun went behind really thick cloud that I noticed the light visibly decrease and then the Lastolite came into play. The other light behind Anna did generally make much more of an appearance. To this light I applied a small home-made grid which focused the beam coming from the unit and allowed me to direct it squarely at the back of Anna's head. This gave me sufficient light to bring out her hair and to separate her head from the tree more. All shot TTL and the above was made using the 70-200 at 1/250 sec, F2.8 ISO 400. The final images was then imported into Lightroom and processed in Nik's SilverEfex Pro2.
Here's the set up shot:
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And FINALLY....... If you've visited the site lately, you'll undoubtedly have noticed a wee change...... I've moved over from my previous theme to a Graph Paper Press theme and will shortly be incorporating this into a new PhotoShelter site (It's all part of my grand plan...). However in the meantime, things are liable to change, shuffle about, fall off, go back on and generally get tweaked here, there any everywhere, so apologies in advance. Obviously as many of the changes as possible will be done offline, but sometimes the only way to change bits and pieces is whilst stuff is running live.