It always gives me such satisfaction to produce an image exactly as planned. Amie Dodgson was my model. I have only worked with her once before and then it was only a half hour shoot. On Friday I had a whole day and the weather was just perfect for what was planned. She shone all day like a shining star, effortlessly posing and suffering the cold with a smile and a joke. We were able to work through ten different sets and I have some amazing images from each of them. We even gave the postman a thrill on one of the sets. He drove by as Amie was posing topless. He drove by again a few minutes later to which Amie enquired if he would be back, I quipped back that the whole of the south west postal vans would soon be travelling down this secluded lane. If you haven’t worked with Amie you better get in line quick, she is booked solid until November and I can certainly see why. She has also become a photographer and is producing some lovely images already.
My main them for the day was to do a clothed shot in front of a window that was erotic. I had shot something similar with Kyra Mendez at Studlands and someone had commented that it was a great image and almost perfect technically. He was right of course, the balance between the highlights coming from the window and the shadow created by the darker room was not balanced to perfection. The challenge was on, to be technically perfect. I also wanted this image to titillate without being so over and so we chose a soft pastel coloured skirt instead of lingerie.
The image must get the viewer to wonder what the model was reading and what she had been up to.
The Old Inn in Holton was kind enough to give me the run of the place while they were closed in the afternoon
The last time I shot this scene I had only come with camera and reflector. This time I was better prepared. I had purchased an Interfit Strobies kit, light modifiers for my SB900 speed light. The kit contains a beauty dish, diffusion globe, snoot, barn doors and honeycomb. I tried the globe diffuser to start with as a good friend and fellow photographer had said that it was his preference. Not the light I wanted Andrew, sorry. I then moved onto the beauty dish, my preferred choice when in the studio as you will know if you have follow my earlier posts.
I tried the light off camera and in front of Amie but a nasty reflection in the window reared its ugly head and so I positioned it stage left at head height, Amie’s not mine.
Being 3:30 in the afternoon I knew that the light levels were already low, outside light at 400 ISO registered at F11 at 1/60th of a second. I knew that I would get a little noise, even with my D2X but I was prepared to accept that, David Hamilton specialised in it. I was a little worried about the time at 1/60th as I didn’t want to use a tripod, it makes me lose my spontaneity. I would have to rely on the VR lens to reduce any shake on my part, which seems to be more and more as I get older. I set the speedlight at F8 and had it as close as possible to generate the softest light.
As far as the camera I went completely manual not trusting the automatic. I even used manual focusing as my depth of field was minimal and the standard focus points would not be right to get sharp eyes. So camera at F8 and 1/60th sec, 400 ISO.
The image was processed in CS5 Raw editor, tweaking levels and curves, sharpness and vibrancy. I also reduced the noise a little.
Did we succeed? You could let me know here with a comment. I will say that in less that twenty four hours on Flickr it had365 views, received 52 comments, was favourited by 17 people and was added to 2 galleries. All records for me.
Thanks Amie and The Old Inn in Holton.
What are you reading?