I was fortunate enough to be able to shoot a local model and this year’s “Miss Morecambe”, Amie, at the iconic art deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe, which went through a huge refurbishment a few years ago and is an amazing location with a wide variety of different places within the hotel that can turn the shoot from classical huge architectural shots to really in-your-face colourful fashion shots.
Location shooting is what I enjoy doing most and this amazing place gave me the chance to shoot so many different types of images within a few hours that it was like paradise for me!
I took along my newly skinned Lizard Blue X100S and Burnt Orange X-Pro1, both of which were done recently by Fujifilm UK as part of their Signature series. I will be doing a write-up about that soon, so look out for that one!
Along with the X-Pro1 I took the 35mm and the 14mm XF lenses. I don’t like to carry around a lot of gear and like to limit myself to the minimum I think I will get away with. It not only gives me a very light bag, which is important on-location, but often forces me to think more creatively with a limited range of focal lengths.
For the lighting I took along my Profoto B1, a gridded strip light and a beauty dish. To supplement that I took a speedlight and the Orbis ring flash for those in-your-face fashion shots!
First duty of the day was to scout out a few suitable locations, which I did quickly and then we decided on the outfits and make-up for each location.
We started off shooting on the huge oval staircase against the enormous window. The light used for this was the beauty dish with a grid as I wanted a pool of light just onto the model, and balance that with the available light from the window behind. The B1 was directly across on the other side of the staircase. In the shot below I was shooting from the location of the B1. In the gallery below showing other images of the staircase the B1 was left in place and I shot from above and below to give different perspectives.
The first set-up of the day always takes the longest and we probably spent long on these than any of the other setup of the day, but it’s always a good chance to not only get everything dialled in, and with someone you haven’t shot with before, it gives you both a chance to get to know each other and get relaxed with working together. Amie was quite inexperienced at modelling, but we had an ex-model on hand who directed her superbly and was invaluable.
The hotel was very hot and both myself and the model were suffering, so to cool down I decided to move to at second location on the hotel balcony. It was a warm day, but breezy, so we used that to create a windswept look!
I had a friend (despite shooting with Sony!) and fellow photographer along with me who shot some BTS for me. I fired the B1 with the Air Remote, but we used my secondary radio triggers plugged into the sync port on his camera so he could fire it as well. It worked well and I was pleased that there didn’t appear to be any interference from the two radio trigger systems.
As you can see here, these days I often prefer to shoot using the rear-screen as it makes contact with the model easier and I think more friendly if they can see your face. It also allows you to have a wider view of what’s going on rather than the narrow view through the viewfinder.
After this we had a change of clothes and moved indoors again, shooting with both the Profoto B1 with the gridded striplight, but mostly with the beauty dish on a boom close-in to the model, but just out of shot. I love shooting with gridded lights, creating pools of light and a beauty dish is perfect for this giving a soft light, but with a grid, a very focussed one.
The shot below was with the gridded striplight used horizontally. This chair was one of those amazing pieces of furniture that couldn’t be ignored!
I wanted to do something a bit more in-your-face, fashion style, so I switched to the Orbis, using it both as a traditional ring flash, but also here below you can see that the Orbis also makes for a great hand-held softbox.
Simply using a funky design on a wall and very simple lighting from a single speedlight and the Orbis handheld you can create a dramatic fashion image.
We were in a corridor here, with limited space and I shot this with the 14mm (21mm equivalent) and got up quite close to give a dramatic look to the shot.
You can see more of the images we created on this day in the gallery below.
If you’d like to join me for an on-location lighting workshop, I am doing one in Manchester on the 19th November with professional model Elle Beth. Check for details of that and make a booking here. There will be a maximum of 6 attendees so plenty of time to shoot and learn without being over-crowded. We will go over all the techniques I used here with the Profoto B1, Orbis ring flash and others to create some dramatic images with one light that an individual shooting on their own could setup whist out on-location. It is amazing how many different types of shots and styles you can get from just simple lighting and all within a few metres of each other.