Yesterday I re-visited one of my THE MOST FAVOURITE places here in the UK, my definition of momentary "Heaven on Earth", Mayfield lavender farm! Blooming for only about 2-3 months every year between the months of June and August, the wonderous fleeting floral fiesta is an absolute treat to behold, with acres of purple landscape till the eyes can see, and the sweet flavour wafting in the air encapsulating the entirity of floral milieu and beyond.
Last two times that I have been here was more for leisure, discovery and casual photography. But this time round it was for one of my first attempts on professional photography (and by that, I mean using a proper camera, model and props, that's as professional as I can get for now). Thanks to my beautiful red-headed friend, Rachel Marie Price, for agreeing to be my muse, we chose the perfect day for the shoot when the lavenders were at their best blooming stage and top-of-the-weather sunny day, it couldn't have been more perfect! I think going for a proper theme that befits the scenery is very importact too, especially if you have a post-processing look in mind, i.e. what the image should look like after photoshopping (only the effect, not the people). I wanted to go with a very soft, vintagy, moody theme. So, here's my attempt on a moody photography shoot...
Couple of tips I gathered while our shoot:
- Of course, point away from the sun unless you want to get a glimmering silhuoette shot.
- If windy, use the wind to your own advantage or find a way to obstruct it if causing obstruction with the photography. I often keep it natural and let the wind do what it wants but it sometimes can be a bit of a pain to get a good portrait shot, especially amidst the swaying flowers.
- When it is very sunny, sometimes the colour contrast may be too high. In such case ither look for a perfect sun and shade mixtures for a good contrasting photo or turn on the flash! Trust me, it really neutralizes the sun reflection.
- Now, as often the case with white-skinned folks, due to low melanin content, they face more difficulty in keeping the eyes fully open without squinting and frowing during very bright days. I suppose it is the price to pay for having gorgeously bright eyes (something I can console myself with for having dull and boring brown eyes... no offence to you gorgeous light eyed folks). So, in such cases even looking away from the sun wasn't helping, and believe me, we really were wishing for some spell of foreshadowing clouds to dim the sun... Yup! Crazy right?!! But to be absolutely honest, it was infact a more preferably soothing lighting for my moody photography theme as the colours and light were now way more softer and subtler, giving the perfect ambience.
- Lastly, background and framing... Check if the background is clear of distractions such as people and things that break the monotone or the theme. It is always a deal breaker in my opinion when the little things in the pic become more distracting and break the conformity of the pic. Check for such distractions, see if you can avoid them, like waiting for the people to pass by, or if they are far away enough to be cropped, manipulated (by hiding behind the subject) or photoshopped out. If all else fail, try the best angle to frame the view well to hide the interferences.
And that's about it really, I'm still at my really early stages of becoming a proper photographer so wouldn't try and give any advices, just my 2-cents from personal experimentation and experience.
Hope you like my shoot :)