AAfter my last personal project with Millicent Binks a Burlesque performer, I wanted to go out with her once more in a free and easy few hours shooting in and around Picadilly. I had spotted the exit of the subway and thought that the look of the architecture was interesting and was soemting you pass by on many occaisions but never really think to use it. It was the same theory as this article I wrote about fine art here.
The location has a feeling of the 40’s and wanted her look to represent this period. I thought also it had a war time feeling to it once stripped back to a monochrome representation. We just arranged to meet in pacadilly and Milli would have a selection of clothes but would appear wearing the first outfit. The Criterion hotel was close by and so we could change the outfit if needed. The plan was to work later afternoon so the light was not too strong, the only problem is Picadilly is a very busy area and trying to be spontaneous was quite restrictive.
I wanted her to be placed in the location but not really be part of the location. I decided not to use the 50mm or 85mm lenses and used the Nikon 24-70mm. You may think that this maybe slightly unsual but I have learned that when using this particlular lens and when the distance is just right then it allows for a lovely separation from the backgound without being too far from the subject. A 50mm or 85mm would set you further away from your subject and communicating in a busy area is sometimes too tricky.
I have great experience in monochrome and black and white photography. I studied in darkroom photography an dprocessing of film and prints. This process I really understand and have found moving from the darkroom into the digital world of the Photoshop darkroom a simple work around, although it was a while to make this transition in early 2004. I have now a process workflow for creating monochrome prints and may secret is the super dynamic range of digital cameras have the ability to capture detail in the extremes of shadow and highlights.
II have a range of black and white lightroom presets which work really well for me and use them on a regular basis. I am thinking it could be a good idea to share these with the world at some point this year. Let me know if you think this would be interesting and that you may use them. As a user of both Lightroom and Photoshop I commend their abilty to mimic the darkroom styles of black and white. However I have just found a new bit of software which also emulates black and white photography. The deal is that Luminar are at ths moment talking to me about creating some online material for their blog and to see how I can transfer my digital darkroom skills into Luminar and thes ecould be happening very soon. Keep an eye out for my announcements in the coming months.