Black and White: Downtown With Meghan Hale

It's a different feeling, shooting for black and white results.  It's like using a prime lens for a while, or choosing to take photos of only one thing.  It's limiting, but at the same time very liberating.  I'm no longer concerned about the colours in the shot as much as I am textures, shapes, contrast and expressions.  With no colour information to distract you from these things, they either stand out like a sore thumb or work beautifully in unison together.  

Of course, when Meghan Hale proposed to do a black and white photo shoot in the city, I was excited to give it a try.  I hadn't really done much of this kind of work before, and usually reserve my black and white shooting for street photography.

Lighting was kept simple for the most part.  I didn't bother much with using flash early on since I already had tons of ambient light with great direction.  I did use light reflecting of a nearby building's window to act as a spotlight, as well as a reflector to balance.  It's amazing what you can find at the right time of day!

As we shot, the light was getting more dramatic, but also hidden behind the city's taller buildings.  It became apparent that if I wanted more punch from the light I'd need something else.  The following two photos incorporate off-camera flash as a way to get Meghan to really stand out against the backdrop.

Last but not least is my personal favourite from the shoot.  We took this down near Purdy's Warf, after the sun was behind the building.  The light source is one of my flashes gelled 1/2 CTO orange for glowing warm light.  With a bit of trial and error, I found a spot where the flare wouldn't take over the image but would add a little glow.  My assistant, Angie is just off camera right holding the flash up.  Of the locations we tried for a levitation shot, this one worked the best.

To get the levitation look, I used a fast shutter, and Meghan jumped.  It really is that simple.  To keep your body, hands and facial expression in check when you jump is a lot tougher, but after a few tries Meghan got it down.

That's all for now, I should have film later this week to share.  As always, leave a comment and let me know what you think!  Cheers!