Saturday, 28 March 2009

Location location loc…


It’s been a mad week with a shoot of some sort every day since last Sunday!  It’s been good though as my new year’s resolution this year was to shoot more.  So far so good!

Had a job on to photograph a portrait for a full page regular feature (Artist Focus) that we run.  The brief was to get an ‘edgy’ portrait (thanks Leah!!).  However, I went into this one blind as I hadn’t had time to see the location or do any research on it.  When I arrived I found a very nice but very small shop.  Plus the subject was in the middle of fulfilling a large order so could only give me around half an hour!

Luckily, I noticed that the panels of fabrics and paper at the sides of the shop were on runners and could slide out into the middle of the room.  We pulled a few colourful ones out and placed a cool chair in front of them so the subject would be nicely framed.  Since the shop had large windows that were right behind me I had to stop down to f7.1 to darken the rest of the shop.  I also had to use the 10-20 at around 18 to get the framing I wanted.  I wouldn’t normally use this lens for portraits but I used my spirit level hotshoe thingy to get it dead straight which helps with the distortions.

I set up a flash with a grid on it to camera right pointed at the subject’s face but I think I need a tighter grid as it spilled out a touch more than I wanted.  I also set up another flash behind the chair pointed to the right at the red panel to keep some colour in that part of the frame.  I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a lensbaby so I thought I’d try getting the effect in PS and the shot at the top of this post is the result.  Here’s a copy without the processing…


And here’s a wee shot showing it without the lighting…


Have to admit I was a bit nervous going into this job with no idea of the place but it certainly teaches you to think on your feet.  I had a back-up idea for a nice black & white shot in the alley next door but unfortunately we didn’t have time.

I’ve a couple more posts to stick up soon, including a few pics from Adam’s great group shoot last weekend.  I just haven’t had time to process many of the pics this week!



  1. nice work Ian, i prefer the Photoshopped version and it's pretty close to what you would get with a lensbaby, other than the sharp bits are generally quite soft on the original as it's a plastic lens. The new ones can come with glass lenses and double glass lenses which would give an effect like above though.

    If you had a canon i could have loaned you mine for a wee shot of :)

  2. Thanks Tom. I prefer the PS'd one too. I think it spices it up a bit. Wouldn't mind trying out a lens baby at some point. Knowing me though I'd probably end up over-using it :)

  3. if you could bear using a canon for a test just give me a shout and we can arrange to meet up and let you have a wee test of mine and you would get an idea of it?

  4. Last time I tried to touch a Canon my hands started burning! But aye that'd be cool thanks. I'm hoping to arrange a couple of car night shoots sometime over the next month or two so I'll give you a shout. Might be fun to try it on those :)