Phil Noir…

So, despite my best efforts to keep my blog more up to date, it seems it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Wedding planning (two weeks to go!) has taken over somewhat and work has been pretty crazy too. I’m not complaining about either of these things; quite opposite in fact. However, that doesn’t excuse the fact that this blog has been neglected and I need to put that right…

To kick things off, I thought I’d share a few photos from a (not-really-all-that-recent-now) shoot I did with my mate Phil. I a concept idea that I wanted to try out which was inspired by some cool photos of David Lynch that I’d seen and as Phil was one of the few friends I had who smoked, he seemed like an obvious choice. However, he informed me shortly after I mentioned the idea to him that he was in the process of giving up smoking! He was using a stop smoking book written by Allen Carr which, luckily for me, tells you to continue to smoke while reading the book. He only had a couple of chapters to go, so I had to act fast! We managed to find a date in the diary which worked for the both of us, and set to work. Here’s what we produced…

The shot above was *the* shot I really wanted to get, and I’m pleased with how it came out. I wasn’t totally sure how I needed to light it to get the look I wanted, and as it turned out, I could have really done with another light. My 430ex-II which to begin with was camera left had to be moved to the right and behind Phil to light the smoke in the way I wanted, which then left me with nothing to lift the other side of Phil’s body and face. I currently only have two Speedlight flashes, and because of the short notice of the shoot, I didn’t have time to hire one. Annoying, but not the end of the world. All part of the learning process, I guess.

Below are a couple of shots which taken with the original setup, which I think came out really nicely. We took all of these shots on Phil’s roof terrace out the back of his flat and it was DARK out there! This made focussing a real nightmare, so I also had to end up shooting everything on a tripod, getting the focus as close as I could with the small amount of light available and hoping for the best! After a couple of false starts though, we pretty much nailed it.

After getting the shot I wanted, we decided to flip the set up round and shoot a few more against the lovely exposed brickwork of Phil’s flat. Again, focussing was tricky, so these were again shot on a tripod with my Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM giving me the luxury of being able to zoom in and pull out wide to get some different compositions…

 

Here’s a shot of the set up I was using for the second set of shots. The Westcott Apollo soft box I have on my 580ex-II has been on of the best recent purchases I’ve made. I love that thing, and the quality of light it gives out is beautiful. I’m toying with the idea of getting the 60″ version too…

So, that was it. After we finished up, we went and enjoyed a really nice dinner which Phil’s wife Stacey was preparing while we were outside messing about with cameras in the dark. Good photos; good food; good wine and great company: a pretty perfect evening as far as I’m concerned!

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