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Louise Sweeney

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Orla O’Brien in Dublin

I had the pleasure of shooting with Orla O’Brien around Dublin recently. Orla as been recently signed with a new agency Platinum. We set this shoot up during the the Street Pic Shoot that we had last month. We decided upon an urban theme and went with it. Orla had a friend (name??) who styled the shoot and I think they did a good job, although we didnt get to use all the looks due to time constraints.

I had the assistance of a college mate Adam on the shoot. I put the call out for help as I knew that in working out doors that an extra pair of hands to hold a light would have been needed. I was using my new ishoot softbox for the first time on this shoot. It is a soft box that is comes with brackets that are designed to take speedlights. Handy 🙂 The softbox was on a bog standard light stand with a Nikon SB600 with 1/2 CTO gel being used for most of the shots. I was having problems with my radio triggers so I used the 2m TTL cord to trigger the flash and to do so in TTl mode. Nice. Nikon i-TTL mode is great.

Orla O'Brien -7s

The first shot above is a nice shot I think. Here, the softbox is just out of the frame camera left and above Orla’s head. It was shot with an 18-55mm Nikon Kit lens. A lot of the shoots from the day were taken with that lens as I needed the width to try and capture some of the urban setting also. For a kit lens its gear. It does suffer some barrel distortion at the wider angles though, but nothing that cant be fixed in photoshop.

The above and below shots are again taken with the softbox above, near the model.

I like the Jumper. It is a nice fun shot and the black and white conversion came out nice. I chose a low angle to give the impression of extra height and to also show the height of the building also. Adam was holding the light up high on this one to make sure that Orla was lit when she jumped.

The shot below is creepy at first. It was a happy accident that turned out to be a not to the a ring/ grudge type films.

Orla O'Brien -6s


Orla O’Brien

Orla -1s

I have decided that I need a project and I have called that project Street Pic…. not a very catchy name but to the point. The aim being to try and take some great, natural photos of people right on the street. When I say natural, I mean just bring along my camera (Nikon D40) and 35mm 1.8 lens and see what happens. No lights, no stylist, no nothing. I am also going to apply a 15 minute photoshop rule also. This means that a street pic can not spend more than 15mins in photoshop. Just enough time to make colour and exposure corrections and minor touch ups. No full on skin smoothing here.

The first example above is from a meeting with Orla. We me up to have a chat about a future shoot. I told here that I would take some test shots during the meeting. I initially started out going straight in to strobist mode, cracking out the flash and ttl cord for some off camera action. I have Orla’s boyfriend trained in after 5 minutes to be a fully qualified speed light holder ( Good job Rob). Took loads of frames with flash, and they were good but lacked something. I was shooting about F3.5 or there abouts.

Then we had finished up and put the flash away and I decided to try a few in natural light for the craic…. great decision it turned out to be. Lately I have been in strobist over load…. taking the lights out at ever opportunity. I have now seen sense. Flash photography is a tool, not just a style. You need to know when to use the natural light and go with it and when you need to nuke a scene out of it. Besides, at F1.8, there is more than enough light getting in there for a shutter speed in the high 1,000’s as ISO 200. Thankfully, I have this epiphany before the shoot with Lisa Nolan and most of the shoots from her shoot with all natural light.

Anyway, back to Street Pic. If you fany getting a street pic taken, then keep an eye on my twitter or facebook to see when I am about Dublin next and we will make it happen. The more the merrier