Fall is here, which means that the leaves are beginning to change and the cooler weather is kicking in. Photography sites are flooded with beautiful images of kids playing in the leaves and getting pumpkins. But what if you live in an area where there are no fall colors? What if you live in the city and want to embrace that? Here is something for you.
We live down the street from this apartment and business complex. Throughout the summer I noticed that the light would hit the windows and reflect onto the concrete, making beautiful patterns. With the Hello Pro Creative group our project this month was shapes. And so with that in mind on a sunny afternoon I took my daughter, in her new dress, down to the buildings to see what kind of shapes we could find. (Based on previous trips I knew that I would find the best light around 3 or 4 pm – do your scouting ahead of time if possible, so you aren’t disappointed that you missed the sun).
When you’re working with buildings and shadows it is easier to use a wide-angle lens. I ended up using three different lenses for this shoot because I wanted different effects. The majority of my images I used my 14-24 mm lens, because I wanted to make sure to include as many of the elements of the building as possible. I saw the beams on the side of the building and wanted to use the leading lines and shadows along with the reflection to create the image. With the 14-24 if you close down the aperture you can get the star effect with the sun, so I kept that in mind and played around with that while asking my daughter to play with her dress.
I found a set of stairs not far from the beams that were the same color as my daughter’s dress, so I wanted to make sure and use that to get the repetition of color in the image. The light on the ground and the stairs was gorgeous from the windows opposite the stairs, so I had her stand in that light and twirl or just walk around.
Next we wandered around and since my daughter is 8 she wanted to dance on a wooden platform – I pulled out my Lensbaby 35 and played around with that and loved how I was able to get the blur while incorporating the different shapes and reflection.
When I turned around from there I saw the triangle light on the wall and had my daughter stand in the corner. I knew that I would crop the image and make the shadows darker, to keep it simple (always expose for the highlights), so you can do this.
We then wandered over to a different set of stairs that had a long, low rise. I tried a few different shots and decided to use my 24mm lens, since it is more accurate than the others. I saw that if I had my daughter run down the stairs her face was in shadows – so I had her run up the stairs a few times to make sure I got the shot.
When we were leaving the business complex I noticed the light was reflecting off something in one of the offices in the same orange color as my daughter’s dress so I had her walk through that section, making sure to include some of the buildings so we could see where we were at.
Although these images aren’t your normal fall images I love how they turned out. The late afternoon sun and looking for leading lines and shapes allowed me to see more than I would have usually noticed. It was a fun challenge and I love the results.
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