Outside the comfort zone…

For me it’s simple, if you’re not working outside your comfort zone, you’re not learning!

OLYMPUS OM-D MK5 II, 45mm F1.8

Last week, I learned a lot.  I finally got my 45mm lens for my Olympus OM-D MK5 II, so I wanted to try some portraits to see if both new camera and lens lived up to expectations.  My initial test model was my willing son Christopher above, in our home with natural light.

Next was to try the new kit in studio with my first shoot with model Artemus Fauna last weekend.  In a previous blog I mentioned I was still finding my way around the features of this new camera which is a huge departure from my Nikon D700 in terms of ergonomics and more crucially, feature access and settings.  Testing light, I immediately noticed in Manual mode I was not able to set my focal length as I had previously… I was in some weird mode, stuck.  What to do?  Spend time fumbling around with new kit while the clock was ticking on my 4 hour shoot…

I abandoned the Olympus and continued the whole shoot with my D700.  Lesson learned.. know your kit inside out BEFORE a shoot.

The day was warm with broken sunshine, so even though I was all setup in my recently finished studio, after 2 hours in studio I decided the sea shore and cliffs were calling to push me further out of my comfort zone.

We picked out a green dress, gold scarf materials and off to the nearby cliffs.  I had taken shots earlier in the day in case I needed to composite the final image of background and model.  As it turned out the light was great, Artemus Fauna scrambled merrily over the rocks and took up position.  My able assistant Liz, held the scarf ready to throw in the light wind. Click..

Sea Bride

Actually, Click, click, click, click. I had to use 4 shots of the scarf to complete the throw.  It was only later after processing I noticed the wing like shape of the final scarf in the image:-)

For a long time I was convinced an image like this was only possible with portable lights to get the light right, and maybe it would have been better.  In the end I really like the final image, and the fact that it was so straight forward to achieve once all the elements were in place, costume, model, assistant, scouted location, weather…

So now I feel I have the best of both worlds, a studio and nearby location depending on weather.

Looking forward to my next shoot!