Street Fashion With A 200mm Lens & A Fishing Rod
Ok, so I know I’m going a little over the top with flashed out images, but it’s hard to resist playing with my new Elinchrom Quadra Ranger kit 😳 .This is another set from my penthouse shoot featuring the model Ulorin Vex, but this time we took model, lens and lights down on to the streets of Dublin for a little bit of “street fashion” Recent traffic restrictions have meant that this area of Dublin (Temple Bar) is all but inaccessible to private traffic during peak hours, meaning the street was more or less empty of moving cars, presenting us with an opportunity to use the cobbled street and city backdrop for a different type of set.
The whole process was very much a hit and run because on the whole I felt quite pressured by the shooting situation I found myself in. Whilst the street was more or less closed off to traffic, every now and again there was a taxi or delivery truck which made it up the street, meaning we all had to move aside to let the traffic pass by. This meant I was just as concious about watching out for a car coming up behind the model as I was about framing the shot perfectly & I think the first part won out over the other. On top of this we also drew a pretty large crowd of spectators, most of whom decided to break out their own cameras and snap away. One kind gentleman was also giving the model advice on posing 😆
I guess in fairness, we were a bit of a spectacle. As I was shooting this in and around 200mm, it meant I was a considerable distance from the model. This of course meant that to communicate with her, I needed to raise my voice (I’d hesitate to say shout, but it wasn’t far off it). So having a guy squat in the middle of the street, pointing a long lens at a model giving it socks 20~30 feet away, shouting at each other, was bound to draw a crowd.
But I think the star of the show here had to be the voice activated light stand 😀 The shot was lit by a single bare Quadra head. To get the light in the position we wanted an ingenious piece of DIY was involved. A telescopic fishing rod was modified so that the last extension wide enough to accommodate a light fitting, had a light fitting jammed and glued into it, which in turn had the quadra head attached. This allowed us to have the light positioned above the model about 12 foot or so. It was kindly held by one of the other photographers on the day.
In terms of metering, everything was “metered” by looking at the histogram and output. Due to the nature of the setup (model moving due to traffic, light moving due to it being hand held and it being impossible to fix the position precisely) I was constantly adjusting either the power of the pack via the sky port, or dialling up and down the aperture accordingly. Looking at these now, if I were to shoot this type of thing again (when I shoot it again ❓ ) I would probably mix in a little more ambient.
Unfortunately for this set, we didn’t have our behind the scenes camera man, so I don’t have a brilliant record shot of the setup or the crowd of spectators that gathered. But the shot above is a crop of an iPhone image which captures some of the scene that faced us. The crowd on the right of the picture (7 or so people) were mirrored by about twice that number out of frame on camera left. I’m the little black speck in the middle hunching down and for this shot, I’m actually shooting the model Juchi. You can just about make out Brian (camera left) holding the fishing rod/light stand and beside him is Ulorin Vex.
I have to admit, out of the two days and all the sets I shot, this set was probably the least prepared, the shortest, the most rushed, but also the most fun. As much as I wish I had taken more things into consideration during it, I also enjoyed the hit and run nature of it. Yes, I’d probably mix more ambient into the shots if I were to take them again, but that said I really like the light in this and the feel of them. I love the effect of the cobbled streets and the city in the background with Ulorin giving it all hips and elbows