Test shoot in Clevedon ~ Pictures & techniques

Mar 26, 2011 | Flash, Infrared, Location | 16 comments

1. I shot this frame on the beach at Ladye Bay in Clevedon. I was looking out to sea and had a home made diffusion filter on my 100mm lens.

1. I shot this frame on the beach at Ladye Bay in Clevedon. I was looking out to sea and had a home made diffusion filter on my 100mm lens. The exposure was right off the scale in my viewfinder. Probably plus 4 stops. Interestingly you have to shoot a Canon 5D2 in Manual mode to achieve this.

Hold onto your hats

Every month I have at least one test shoot where I can try out new ideas, new models and develop my photographic skills without a risk of failure or having to stick to a tight brief. A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to have a day of shooting with former Evolvers Chris & Claire Hanley. Chris suggested a pier shoot and Blaise my PA set about getting the various permisions etc. The plan was to have a leisurely shoot on the pier, a pub lunch and a beach shoot to finish the day. Here are my pictures:

2. We started on the Victorian pier being blown by a constant chilly wind on an otherwise sunny day. This was my first frame taken on my Canon 5D IR camera.

2. We started our shooting on the Victorian pier. We were being blown by a constant chilly wind on an otherwise sunny day. This was my first frame taken on my Canon 5D IR camera.

Model & Stylist: Sarah Beesley
Make up: Vicky Waghorn
Assistant and guest shooter: Cat Hepple (an Evolve 3 delegate)
Sparring Partner: Chris Hanley assisted by Claire Hanley

I started the session with my infra red converted 5D camera to further explore how it responds to sunlight and portraiture. I know very well how it works with foliage and grass but I think there is a further use of the infra red camera I have yet to discover. It will probably be interior etherial portraits, but that is for another test shoot.

3. The slatted peir deck had iPhone 4 sized slots with a big drop to the ebbing river Severn tide below.

3. The slatted peir deck had iPhone 4 sized slots with a big drop to the ebbing river Severn tide below.

4. It was windy. The infra red camera bleached Sarah's dark red lipstick.

4. It was windy. The infra red camera bleached Sarah's dark red lipstick.

5. Chris set this shot up with a bare faced Nikon Speedlight on a Gemini bracket so I parked a Canon Speedlight in the spare slot alongside it.

5. Chris set this shot up with a Nikon Speedlight with a full orange gel on a Gemini bracket so I parked a Canon Speedlight in the spare slot alongside it with a similar gel.

6. I just used sunlight for this shot.

6. I just used sunlight for this shot.

7. By changing position the flag went from left of frame to right of frame.

7. By changing position the flag went from left of frame to right of frame.

8. I found some shade for Sarah and lit her with a single Speedlight using 1/8000th second and f/2.8

8. I found some shade for Sarah and lit her with a single Speedlight to simulate the naural light shot above.

9. This frame was lit with sunlight and I reduced the exposure to create this low key look in camera.

9. This frame was lit with sunlight and I reduced the exposure to create this low key look in camera.

10. The pier has many cast iron railings and features. I used one Speedlight to light Sarah.

10. The pier has many cast iron railings and features. I used one Speedlight to light Sarah.

11. With the super effecient flash timing of the Pocket Wizard TTL system it is easily posable to compete with the sun and create dramatic pictures.

11. With the super effecient flash timing of the Pocket Wizard TTL system it is easily posable to compete with the sun and create dramatic pictures. Marko chose to be led by my 10,000k in camera white balance setting and give this shot a warm look.

12. I used 2 Speedlights on my Gemini for this shot. Using 2 Speedlights greatly reduces the recycle time.

12. I used 2 Speedlights on my Gemini for this shot. Using 2 Speedlights greatly reduces the flash recycle time.

13. Another picture set up by Chris.I grabbed some natural light shots while Sarah demonstrated her pole swinging skills.

13. Another picture set up by Chris.I grabbed some natural light shots while Sarah demonstrated her pole swinging skills.

14. I then shot a sequence of frames through some glass to reduce the contrast and change the mood.

14. I then shot a sequence of frames through some glass to reduce the contrast and change the mood.

15.

15.

16. Sometimes it's nice to let wind and hair do their own thing. I used a low viewpoint to add drama to Sarah's look.

16. Sometimes it's nice to let wind and hair do their own thing. I used a low viewpoint to add drama to Sarah's look.

17.

17.

18.

18.

Feeling thoroughly windswept we headed straight for the Moon & Sixpence pub for a spot of lunch before negotiating the 5 minute drive to the beach.

19. A high viewpoint challenges Sarah's determined look.

19. A high viewpoint challenges Sarah's determined look.

20. Hazy sunlight gifted us some effortless pictures.

20. Hazy sunlight gifted us some effortless pictures.

21. We warmed up our shots in camera to release the colours in the rock.

21. We warmed up our shots in camera to release the colours in the rock.

22. Shooting into the light is where I feel most comfortable. I love the bokeh from my 100mm lens too.

22. Shooting into the light is where I feel most comfortable. I love the bokeh from my 100mm lens too.

23.

23.

24.

24.

25.The rocks and boulders at Clevedon are fabulous compositional elements.

25. The rocks and boulders at Clevedon are fabulous compositional elements.

This last frame is quite a departure from the rest and utilises a pair of Speedlights on a Gemini bracket.

26. This last frame is quite a departure from the rest and utilises a pair of Speedlights on a Gemini bracket.

Browse our range of upcoming photography training courses here.

Please feel free to comment on the pictures.

16 Comments

  1. Jack

    Lovely shots. However I hvae a question. Are all these shots made with an IR converted camera? Many pics look so natural. Please enlighten me.

    Reply
  2. Alex

    I LOVE Sarah Beasley – she is the best to shoot with, such a stunning beauty.

    Reply
  3. Mandy Meadows

    Fab shots guys, I have a couple of piers over here, I will give it a go.

    Reply
  4. jonathon watkins

    Wonderfull work as ever. You and Chris came away with such differnt images. I’m finding it hard to choose which ones I like best. :-)

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Jonathon, Don’t try too hard or Chris will get disappointed ;)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  5. Chris Hanley

    Not bad these D ;)
    Benny the lunch was lovely as we had the company of 4 lovely ladies.
    My versions of this creative shoot are over on my blog http://bit.ly/dW82W7

    Reply
  6. OttossonPhoto

    Nice pics. Good idea with a test per month. But how was the pub lunch :-)

    Reply
  7. Nigel Pullen

    I think we should get a Welsh flag there lol on the pier shots.

    Only kidding guys. Cant wait for the big flash in the Country course on the 18th April.

    Photography – I just love it!

    It’s a passion!

    Thank you to the team here. I’ve had a blast these last few years.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thank you again Nigel,

      It was great to catch up with you the other week. The Gower might just be where I do my cottage series of shoots later this year. I’m still on the look out for the ideal location.

      Keep enjoying your photography and lets speak soon.

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  8. Nigel Pullen

    Love these shots Damien. I would love to show you some of the Gower scenery I work with. I know you would so much enjoy it.

    As always your images are a pleasure to view.

    Regards

    Nigel

    Reply
  9. Kevin Cull

    Damien Fantastic stuff again as always, amazes me what can be achieved with very little if you have the skills!

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Kevin.

      Reply
  10. Lee

    Excellent shots & a great bit of inspiration.

    Reply
  11. Simon Davis

    Damien, another wonderful and inspirational set of images with a unique look.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Simon :)

      Reply

Ask a question or leave a comment. All comments get a reply.