After losing my wife at the end of last year (see blog post Eveline), I stopped writing blogs and put photography on hold for a while. After a certain period of time I started shooting again, not always with the same passion as before and sometimes even with some reluctance. But photography helped me to keep my mind busy with other more positive things. Slowly but surely I was shooting more and more and now I'm even thinking about doing some new photography related projects again. One of the projects that has already come on my way, is a photo shoot with (amateur) models. This was a first for me, as I normally shoot landscapes, my dog Nikki, company events and occasionally a headshot for work. With several colleagues I went to the old city centre of Amersfoort to shoot some pictures at sunset.
The photo shoot, although fun, was also a bit chaotic at times. With hindsight the group was a bit too big to be practical. Sometimes the models were not sure which photographer was the main shooter and thus who's directions to follow. Occasionally, some photographers managed to secure a model, while the rest focussed on the other. Giving them the opportunity to take the time figuring out their best shot.
And during the session, no time was wasted. When some models and photographers were busy shooting, others made pictures of fellow photographers or had a colleague pose for them instead.
Or shoot a picture of the beautiful surroundings
Even though it was my first time doing such a photoshoot, I didn't play it safe. I took some old and adapted lenses with me, to experiment with light and effects. One of these lenses was the MIR-1B reverse globular lens, which gives a Lensbaby like effect. The result wasn't too bad. Although I wished the face of the model in the back was a bit more in focus.
Another old lens I took with me, known for it's swirly backgrounds and sun flare effects, was the Helios 44-2 58mm f2.0 (also an old M42 lens). With this lens I photographed Gwen, the younger of the two models, with the camera pointed into the sun. On my camera the results looked a bit washed out, but in Lightroom I was able to correct most of this resulting in a pretty good picture.
The best results I achieved when I had some time alone with one of the models. Then we could try out some poses and different spots. Without the pressure and distractions of other photographers waiting. Taking my time, so the expressions and poses became less forced and more relaxed.
The photo below of Liselotte I shot when the other photographers were finished and wandered of to another location. I asked her if I could quickly take a couple of pictures of her. I shot two pictures and was pleased with the second one (the one below). It was later chosen by her as her new Facebook profile picture.
Another one of my favourites, was the photo below of Gwen. I saw an old archway, with the sun coming from behind. I asked her to lean against the wall. First she had her right arm fully stretched and her left arm alongside her body. As this didn't look right (too rigid), I asked her to bend her elbow a little and put her other hand on her hip. I tried various angles and distances and after about 8 shots, I had the picture I wanted.
At the next location the models were asked to walk towards the photographers. This was a challenge, as the autofocus on my camera isn't as fast as on a DSLR or the newer Micro Four Third cameras. It took quite some tries and a lot of my pictures were out of focus or weren't just quite wright. The one below was the best of the bunch.
Finally we went to a bridge, on a location were the sun would set right behind where the two models would be. But this didn't go as planned.
At first there was a nice warm evening glow, promising beautiful shots with a colourful sky.
But a few seconds later, clouds drifted in front of the sun, turning the yellow and blue sky, mostly grey.
This photoshoot was a fun experience. The atmosphere within the group was great. We joked around a lot and the girls were friendly and patient. I learned a couple of things, but still have a lot to learn. Wouldn't mind doing this sort of thing again in the near future.