It has been a few weeks in the making but the day finally rolled around when the fencibles stormed the Howick historic village and our community project team had the chance to go along armed with camera and lens in hand. Unfortunately my recent china trip clashed with the monthly schedule for the live days at the village and I was forced to push this project onto the horizon, luckily last Sunday the stars aligned and after exchanging a few emails with the village organisers I was able to make this project a reality.
The lighting was fairly even with the occasional rays peaking through the clouds. The image above is a perfect example of the unique lighting situation which we used to our full advantage while constructing set imagery from the ground up. In the above example you will notice the even light on the background house and grass garden leading you into the image. The primary focus is the lad in the foreground, side light from a stray sunbeam adding a slight touch of drama to the subject helping further differentiate and separate him from the background.
If you are familiar with natural light, you will know exactly how difficult it is to time and manage your exposure on a forever changing canvas with little to no control. You quickly learn to roll with the punches.
My primary aim for this shoot was to use the unique setting of the 18 hundreds as my backdrop and create some intimate portraiture illustrating the time periods beauty. The shoot was a complete success and the actors were fantastic at playing along with all our requests. I hope the results make everyone involved proud.
Throughout the live day there was a number of different experiences on offer, our group participated in a traditional church and school class where yours truly got asked to sing 'twinkle twinkle little star', all in good fun and a small price to pay for a round of laughs and the images I came away with afterwards (see the behind the scenes pics at the end of the post for proof, thank you Fergus for the shot). Sometimes it pays to give a little before asking what may seem like the world to those not commonly photographed. First impressions count and the relationship between you and your subject are the key to obtaining a natural and sincere look, at the very least smile and be polite.
It was great to get back into the swing of things and get amongst friends. I get a lot of satisfaction from organising trips and events which bring our community closer together.