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  • Grace Williamson

Photoshoot Practice - Princess in the Ruins

This week I've gone through some of my older photos. Most of the time I look back and think "why did I think that was good??". I guess I'm just overly critical of myself!

Yet, I did a shoot back in January with my best friend Spunj* at Ashby Castle, and we decided to do it as a princess in a castle theme. Ashby Castle is a lovely ruin near Leicester and Coalville.

So since my post last week was about diffused light giving better photographs, I thought I'd show you examples of the practice in action!

The day we went was cold of course, but it was also really windy! We started out on a tower and Spunj's hair was all over the place. Lower on the ground was much better.

This shot by a barred window was to mimic a prison, like she was a captive. I only used natural light from the window, and I reckon it emphasizes the feeling of entrapment vs freedom.

You can see from her hair how windy it was!

Also, note that Spunj gets cold easily, so her hands and nose went rather red!

These three shots were taken at the same point; by the arched doorway pretty much facing the direction of the sun. Luckily it was overcast, which as I explained in my post last week creates a soft diffused light.

The first distant shot was to go with the theme of princess in a castle. I wanted to include the surroundings and get a full length shot.

The second shot of her top half again was posed for the theme, but the lighting creates a nice portrait without a theme.

This one I really like. It's not often I like getting so close to people (though I was standing quite far - 45mm lens on a micro 4/3 sensor) Spunj is so photogenic and comfortable in front of a camera that I risked it. She is a beautiful model and the soft diffused lighting adds a gentle femininity to the image.

In my final image I did an extreme close up. She was sitting down for this one in a different area of the castle.

This was still natural light only, still outdoor, still diffused through the clouds. It casts a gentle light again on her face.

I've tried creating this kind of lighting using studio lights and soft boxes, and nothing has come close to natural light.

So there you have it! I took these without fully appreciating the use of diffused sunlight, and now looking back at them I can say that I am please with how they turned out. I hope that maybe you get some inspiration to try out portraits on a cloudy or overcast day if you haven't already :)

Until next time!

*Nickname obviously - I am the Kabbij, she is the Spunj

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