08 November 2011

Walking night photoshoot in London

Something I've wanted to try for a long time is a night shoot, using available light (ie street lighting).  So while I was in London recently with some spare time in the evening I took the opportunity to invite a couple of my favourite models to shoot and made it happen.

After a long day of shooting at Hooks Gym in Royale Park I made my way over to the meeting point, the Park Plaza Westminster Hotel.  Silly me for thinking that traffic on a Sunday evening in London would be fairly light.  90 minutes and 10 miles later I finally arrived.  I hate being late, but on this occasion it worked out just fine, as both models were running later than I was.

My two models for the evening were Ina "talks alot" Gutowska (who I'd recently worked with on the Gaspari calendar shoot) and Emma Burrows, who I'd been shooting with 13 other girls at Hooks Gym for most of the day.  Just so you know who is who, Ina has dark hair, and Emma is the blonde.

Technical bit...  I used the Canon 5D Mark II with a 50mm f1.4 lens for the shoot.  I had it wide open the whole time at f1.4, and went from ISO 400 to 3200 throughout the shoot depending on the levels of light we could find.  As mentioned I only used available light "stolen" from street lamps, shop windows etc.

Trying to auto focus black on black was not easy, next time I think I'll bring along and use a torch to aim at the subject while I'm focussing the shot.  I tried this technique on my experimental self portraits a few days ago and it worked rather well.

I've never done a walking photoshoot of any kind before, but it was rather interesting.  We walked almost 3 miles and stopped to shoot at anywhere we found that we liked the look off, from alley ways, to a Christmas tree in Covent Garden. 

Ina & Emma were great, and thankfully it wasn't that cold (for a Novembers evening).

Most amusing part of the shoot was while we were shooting by the door that "James Bond" walks through on the film "Die Another Day".  He disappears down to an abandoned fictional underground station.  I'm not sure who got the bigger shock when the door opened, the guys coming out, or the girls!

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