British weather can sometimes help!
Often my strongest work comes from what evolves from my original mental picture for a fine art photograph. Lots of things can influence changes. Frequently the concept is refined naturally as we try out poses and work with props. Sometimes it is in response to outside factors though such as as the British weather.
Weather and shooting on location
Weather is rightly somewhat of a preoccupation here in the UK. I’ve heard many jokes about the British weather obsession and they are mostly true! Our weather is incredibly changeable – I think we’ve seen three different season’s worth in the last week or so alone… A slight aside but it really is also a perennial topic of conversation. I even recommended it to some friends visiting from America as a go-to in any situation where they were dealing with English reserve!
As a location photographer dodging the rain is often a required skill. Another is balancing dull days on which skies still want to blow out losing the detail. On this particular day, the weather was a big factor. I made the mistake of saying how nice it was at the start of the shoot. I’d taken just half a dozen frames when the heavens opened!
Motion in images
When we arrived at the location for this set I was amazed at how windy it was in that particular spot. It must have been a geographic quirk as it hadn’t been at our earlier location. The bonnet – made from an old beach hat the evening before – was actually depending on the ties to keep it in place. But the wind meant the long ribbons streamed in the wind nicely, almost as if I’d planned it!
So we embraced the wind and started playing around getting the shawl to stream out. I’d got it in mind to use an image of it held. But I decided it worked better as a stand-alone element because it fitted so well with this pose.
Motion is great in pictures, it really makes them come alive. But capturing that feeling can sometimes be challenging. I’d originally intended to try and give the sense of walking through the fields. However, I prefer the final image with all the wind and extra motion.
All fine art photographs are about having a vision. However, it is important to explore opportunities to refine and improve your mental picture. And just for the record, it was really only a small gale and 20-minute rainstorm otherwise known as a great British summer day…!
‘A Windy Walk’ is available as a limited edition archival print starting at £135, please get in touch to purchase this and other prints.