12 November 2010

Some autumnal parkland and urban portraiture - part 2

Following on from yesterday's post which covered the first part of my recent shoot with AnneT, here is your final installment from the session.....

As we were finishing up in the park by the 'green wall', the weather took the turn that it had been threatening all morning and it started raining.  Luckily we'd got all the outdoor open air shots we were after so we dived into the cars and headed into Watford's town centre to our second location.  I'd got the inspiration for this location from a fellow member of the Watford UK Photographers flickr group who had posted a shot taken there a few weeks back.  Knowing that my shoot with Anne was coming up I went down and checked out the location a few days before we met up to make sure it was what I was after.  It turned out to be even better than I was expecting with lots of potential areas to shoot in for a good range of looks.  Best of all - especially given the weather we were now experiencing, the area was totally under cover and allowed us to stay dry!  The location was on quite a busy route from the town centre to one of the main retail parks in Watford so we got our fair share of interested onlookers here too but Anne took it all in her stride!

Once I'd worked out where we were going to shoot first of all, I went about setting up a couple of flashes on stands - one of which I was using a red gel on to give a bit of interest to the flyover we were shooting underneath.  This gelled light also ended up giving a very funky red 'rim light' to Anne in a few of the shots to balance the light from the main flash I was using.

Anyway, here are a few of the shots I captured:
Anne gives a moody look to the location

A gritty urban location brightened up by Anne and a splash of flash

Just enough of a hint of the red glow behind Anne to give added interest to this shot
By moving Anne just a few yards to one of the other pillars, I was able to take advantage of the little ambient light that was available to get some great, naturally lit portraits of her.  A simple boost of the camera's ISO and a bit of exposure compensation let me achieve the look I was after - beauty in the urban chaos:
A simple mono conversion gives this shot the look I was after.

A bit of cross-processing to give more of a gritty, urban look.
Overall I was really pleased with how well the morning went and I know that Anne enjoyed the shoot and loves the pictures.  Mission accomplished I guess!

My recent urban portraiture shoots have given me added enthusiasm for getting out of the studio setting and experimenting a bit more with what is there on our doorsteps.  Hopefully I'll be able to undertake a few more of these style of shoots soon and I already have a couple more potential locations to scout out which I think could give really interesting backdrops.

You can view a complete set of my favourite images from the shoot with AnneT on my flickr photostream.

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