by John Denton Published 01/07/2016
Monday proved to be cold, then warm. Rainy, then sunny. Classic British spring weather in fact. Matilda and I had decided on a 'Bridal and Boudoir Theme' for the day. Not least because she'd brought a beautiful wedding dress with her, the one worn by her mother on her wedding day so I was duty bound to showcase it, no pressure. The room we'd been allocated to work in was oak panelled and had great natural light so we put it to good use. It was the first time many in the audience had shot nudes, it's always a moment of tension in the room at first but just wonderful how quickly delegates become at ease with the genre and appreciate why we teach it as a core part of understanding light and pose. The cross lighting provided by the windows gave great modelling on Tilly's body. Spot metering for the highlights gave consistent exposure at f2.8, ISO 640 and 1/640s. Shot on Nikon D300 with 70-200mm lens. A silver reflector was used to bounce a little light in on the dark side of Tils.
The rain finally eased so we took advantage for a run outside. The blossom tree had been a little beaten up by the weather but still looked beautiful. There was sunshine coming from behind the tree and I wanted to shoot through the blossom on a shallow depth of field. Using only natural light it would have meant that either the flowers were exposed for leaving Tilly dark, or Tilly exposed for and blowing out the blooms.
The solution was to expose for the flowers, using a wide-open aperture to preserve the shallow depth of field. That gave me ISO 200, f2.8 and 1/1,250s. Normally my Quadra's would only work up to 1/200s but the brand new Elinchrom high speed synching triggers allow us to shoot up to 1/8,000s. I added a single head to camera-right, put a strip-box on to soften the light and fired some light in on Matilda, just enough to make it look a natural balance between ambient and flash light.
There are 196 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 20th January 2021