We’ll take Manchester ~ Creative fun shoot

Mar 15, 2012 | Location | 19 comments

01. 'We'll take Manchester' was shot exclusively with the Fujifilm X100 using natural light and features the beautiful Natasha Beardmore.

Every now and then we all need to recharge our creative batteries and share good times with mates. Few things are better than combining the two. Chris Hanley and I were tweeting after watching the BBC4 docudrama ‘We’ll take Manhattan’ based on the early works of David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton. We decided to do a Baileyesque shoot in Manchester. Natasha Beardmore was our model and we chose to shoot exclusively on the Fujifilm X100. So here are 19 of my shots from the shoot

02. Natasha has classically chiseled beauty and the patience of a saint.


Chris and I were not alone on this shoot. We were joined by the Evolve 3 delegates. We’d been partying until nearly 3am the night before and we were all feeling a little jaded. I enjoyed not having to lug a camera bag around. The Fuji X100 just slipped in my pocket perfectly.

04. Manchester is blessed with the most glorious navigation engineering. Tramways span canals and railways with the most elegant riveted wrought iron girders. I chose a simple placement for Natasha to contrast with the complex tones in the frame.

05. I was on the floor for this shot and it was a challenge to get back up. Sleep deprivation along with the excesses of youth had caught up with me. Natasha was lit with reflected sunlight from the windows of the Hilton.

06. I love clean hard sunlight when it is controlled with a reduction in exposure. Natasha was lurking in a night club entrance while the 8 of us compared exposure notes.

The Bailey shoot was straight monochrome with a few colour frames thrown in for good measure. There was no fancy post production used by him just pure honest photography so I decided to do the same. The best thing about film is the lack of skin softening and liquefy built in to the printing process.

07. The lens on the Fuji is simply superb at coping with sunlight in the frame. The clarity and sharpness is astounding.

08. This set up was by Chris and I loved the message so I decided to grab this frame when he wasn't looking.

09. I used my biggest gobo on my Lupo 1200 for this shot. Haha, only joking it was sunlight passing through the girders of the Castlefield viaduct that created the pattern.

10. And in I went for the close up.

11. Natasha was fabulous with us blundering rabble. We were having such good times laughing and fooling around in the fabulous weather that I've now become accustomed to when shooting in Manchester.

12. I used minus 2 stops, I'm not sure where Chris was with his X100 for this scene.

13. A bit of RGB woke me up a bit in Lightroom.


15. This angel wears Prada. All my shots were taken at f/2 with or without the nd filter as required.

16. Reflected sunlight excites me and it doesn't get much better than this.

17. Mr Chris Hanley standing in for me as I asses exposure. He used the tricks I taught him on Evolve 1 for his shots Haha. Seriously though Evolve is like a family with a constant stream of creative shoots and sharing going way beyond the realms of the formal training. The friendships formed on Evolve will last lifetimes.

18. And here is Natasha in Chris's spot. Note the sun shone for Natasha.

19. By the time we arrived here we were all flagging. A lunch of chips out of the paper gave us a boost but my shoot was essentially over.

Please feel free to comment on these pictures below or perhaps comment on the the time you’ve had on Evolve. This was too good a life experience not to repeat it on a regular basis.


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  1. Nicole

    Nice shots with X100. I should try them on portraiture. So far only shoot for street :) Thanks for sharing my friend :)

    • damien

      Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for your comments. I’ve never tried ‘street’ photography as I like to set up my shots. It’s a genre that suits the X100 perfectly it seems. I might have to give street shooting a go. Maybe I’ll do a bit on my upcoming trip to the States. I find I’m more adventurous abroad :)

      Kindest regards, Damien.

  2. Cristian

    Wow! She is such a gorgeous girl!

    • damien

      Hi Cristian, Yes indeed, a fabulous bone structure with classical beauty and a great personality to match :)

  3. Lee Kerr

    Cool! Nice pics great model :)

    • damien

      Thank you Lee. We had a great day for it. Best regards, Damien.

  4. Howard Lucas

    I am grinning imagining how much fun that was.

    • damien

      Hi Howard,

      It’s time to make it happen. I want you with us at the next reunion. Go get them brides. Top regards, Damien.

  5. Ben Langdon

    Just had another look… I love that first shot! Great stuff!

  6. Ben Langdon

    Fantastic work Damien. Great variety too. Brilliant!

    • damien

      Thanks Ben,

      I was a little dazed and confused but that made the shoot so much more interesting :)

      Best regards, Damien.

  7. radmila kerl

    WOW! Stunning as always, I love No. 5 – what a picture! Pretty much Audrey Hepburn style, isn´t it! Also, No. 1 and 13 – I really need a bit of Manchester in Munich :) – the location is just AMAZING! Looking forward to seeing you next week Damien!
    Chris: I go and have a look on your pictures right now (any online already?) cheers!

    • damien

      Thanks Radmilla.

      It’s always a pleasure reading your comments. Thank you. Diner in Stuttgart is on me. Cheers!

  8. Sona

    Oh Damien! How do you do it? Absolutely amazing photos once again! I really like all of them but those are my top 6;) 6,7,9,12,14,15! Stunning! You are a real master and inspiration!

    • damien

      Thank you Sona. You are very generous with your comments. It’s interesting to see what pictures you like and how they differ from the other blog readers. I guess all of them are worth showing. Thanks again for your kindness.

      Stay inspired,


  9. Jeremy

    It was a great day of friendship and creativity, thank you. Fantastic work, I think the first shot is my favourite I just didn’t see what you captured.

    • damien

      Hi Jeremy,

      Thank you. There’s a shot in there somewhere, it just needs coaxing through the lens into the camera.

      See you soon, Damien.

  10. Chris Hanley

    Quality all the way in preparation, picture taking, post production and partying. You’ve surprised me with some shots I simply didn’t see. Great to see fresh eyes on an old patch :)

    • damien

      Thanks Chris,

      Great times among mates :) Italy here we come!



  1. Lovegrove Fuji X100 Gallery | Lovegrove Photography - […] We’ll take Manchester ~ Creative fun shoot […]
  2. We’ll take Manchester | Chris Hanley Photography Blog - [...] Flemming great photos, love your Jean Shrimpton Thursday, March 15, 2012 – 10:47 PM damienlovegrove The best of times…

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